This 2016 $20 fine silver coin celebrates Diwali, an annual festival of lights celebrated worldwide and by over 1.2 million Indo-Canadians. Diwali is a dazzling five-day festival of feasts, music and sights. Its overarching theme of spiritual light, and the triumph of good over evil, makes Diwali a shining reflection of the beauty of Canada’s cultural diversity—a notion that is at the heart of this fine silver coin, whose ornate design seemingly radiates with the joyous spirit that prevails during the Festival of Lights. The mintage on this coin is 8,500, and as a pure silver coin issued by the Royal Canadian Mint, the coin is HST/GST exempt.
Inspired by the elaborate patterns of Indian textiles, ornamentation and mandalas, the reverse design by Canadian artist Sarindar Dhaliwal presents a visually stunning celebration of Diwali as a cherished multicultural tradition in several communities across Canada. The outermost ring offers a Canadian twist on the patterned inlay that famously adorns the Taj Mahal, using intricately engraved trilliums and Pacific dogwood blossoms to represent Canada’s largest Indo-Canadian populations in Toronto, ON., and Vancouver, B.C. Alongside these provincial floral emblems is Canada’s own iconic national symbol, the maple leaf, which reflects a spirit of inclusion and the thriving cultural diversity that defines this nation. Symbols from the Hindu, Sikh and Jain faiths form a series of rings that frame the center, where the silvery shine of the engraved clay lamp (diya) poignantly captures the luminous essence of this ancient tradition known as the Festival of Lights.