The grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) is emblematic to Canada as a representative of our people’s will to survive and our country’s expansive and beautiful landscape. With its Grizzly Bear series of coins, the Royal Canadian Mint celebrates the majestic animal and important cultural symbol by depicting different scenes in the life of a grizzly bear, including this platinum coin that captures a ferocious battle of wills during the mating season.
The reverse image by Canadian artist Lauren Crawshaw transports the viewer to one of the many river valleys of western Canada, where tree-covered mountains and glacial peaks form a serene backdrop for a scene rife with intensity and tension. Two male grizzly bears are engaged in a fearsome display of strength in the cold water. With a wrestler’s prowess, each bear uses the sparring skills honed through the playful scrapping of their youth; but this is no game: the drive to reproduce is strong, and our two bears are locked in a fierce battle for the opportunity to mate with a receptive female. Attempting an aggressive display of dominance, the bear on the left side of the image field stands higher than the bear on the right; both are erect on their hind legs, freeing their fore paws to push upon the opponent with the entirety of their immense weight. They will lock their open jaws together in the struggle for dominance, each bear hoping to emerge as the victor. This tension-filled, side-profile portrait is rendered with meticulous engraving; advanced techniques capture the design’s finer details by adding beautiful dimension to the elements, from the bears’ long fur to their aggressive body language and expressions, even capturing the excess saliva that is produced by the bears in their agitated state.
Very limited mintage of just 200 coins worldwide means this premium issue will be highly sought after.