Canadian Mint Hunter Full Moon Coin

Posted by admin on Monday, September 26th, 2011

Earlier this year the Royal Canadian Mint introduced a four coin series that combines the rare metals of silver and niobium to produce the beautiful Algonquin Full Moon series. Niobium (sometimes referred to as Columbium) is a soft, grey, metal that is used in small amounts to create alloys that have a greater strength or temperature stability than the main metal content. For example, nobium is used in small quantities to strengthen steel used in gas pipelines, and it is also used to create super-alloys used in jet engines.

Nobium is also susceptible to colourisation by oxidisation, and it is this quality that makes it attractive in the field of numismatics. In the Algonquin Full Moon series, the Royal Canadian Mint has used this quality to its full advantage in the production of a limited edition series that stands out not only for the historic significance of the subject matter, but also the beauty of the final pieces.

The Algonquin people are North American Indians who had their roots in the continent for centuries before colonisation. Primarily hunters, they lived what would best be described as a seasonal economy. In the spring they lived on the coast where they fished; through summer they would live off migratory birds; in the autumn they would hunt in the forests, and through the lean winter they would survive almost hand to mouth in larger groups. The nomadic Algonquin would look to the moon to dictate when they would move from coast to forest to plains to valleys, and it is this that has inspired this coin series.

The second coin in the series – the Full Hunters Moon – celebrates October’s coming of the autumn, when the animals of the forest would be fattened ready for the coming winter. It is at this time that the Algonquin would start to hunt for them, and to build up their supplies for the coming harsh winter. The first coin in the series was the Buck Full Moon, and the final two will be the Wolf and Pink Full Moons, representing the four seasons.

The Hunter’s Full Moon coin features a niobium struck into the core of a sterling silver coin. The niobium is coloured through oxidisation, to create a unique colour and lustre to each coin: no two coins are exactly the same.

The reverse, designed by artist Susanna Blunt, depicts an Algonquin hunter in wait for his prey and using the light of the full moon to aid him.

The niobium core appears rust coloured through the oxidisation process, which enhances the autumnal theme. The obverse shows the John Mantha effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The 28mm diameter coin, which weighs 8.5 grams, has a reeded edge and is finished to proof standard. It is encapsulated and presented in a flock lined wooden case along with a certificate of authenticity.

Its exact composition is 92.5% silver, 7.5% copper (outer ring) niobium (inner core, reverse) and 92.5% silver, 7.5% copper (inner core, obverse).

The face value of the coin is CAD$5, and is available to purchase now from the Royal Canadian Mint at a price of CAD$121.95. Collectors will have to be quick, though, as this coin is limited to a mintage of just 7500.

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