This 2014 $500 ultra-high relief silver coin is the ultimate combination of an incredible work of art, an extremely rare collector coin with a total mintage of just 150 pieces, and an incredible HUGE display piece. This coin weighs five kilograms, or more than 160 troy ounces. For those who prefer to think in pounds, it weighs more than 11 pounds. The coin is extremely thick and has a diameter of 180 mm – more than 7 inches! As a pure silver coin struck by the Royal Canadian Mint, this item is GST/HST exempt.
Like the National Aboriginal Veterans monument itself which stands in Ottawa, this coin honours the military contributions that Canadian Aboriginal men and women have made throughout Canadian history to the present. The design is a graphic interpretation of the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument by Lloyd Pinay, a First Nations sculptor whose father took part in the D-Day assault in World War II.
The design depicts a golden eagle (or Thunderbird) which stands as a symbol for the Creator, and as a symbol of the Aboriginal people. Underneath this Thunderbird are four human figures, facing the four points of a compass and representing the First Nations people, the Inuit people, and the Metis people. The artist incorporated a female figure into the sculpture to acknowledge not only the efforts of Aboriginal nurses during wartime, but of the women who maintained their families alone while the men were at war.
The figures seen on the monument, and subsequently on the coin, hold not only weapons, but spiritual objects: an eagle feather fan and a peace pipe. The four animal figures along the bottom of the sculpture in each corner represent spirit guides, each with special symbolism: the wolf represents family values; the buffalo stands for tenacity; the elk for wariness; and a bear symbolizing healing powers. The word “CANADA” appears above the monument design, while the $500 denomination and date