This 2017 $20 proof one ounce fine silver coin is the third and final coin in a series that features some of the marvels that live in Canadian waters. This sea turtle coin is enhanced with the use of colour, engraving and with a type of Mosaic murrini sculpted borosilicate glass element. Hidden beneath the waves is an underwater realm that is home to countless wonders of all shapes, colours and sizes—including the graceful sea turtle. Canada’s coastal waters play host to three species of this ancient reptile, whose iconic appearance is beautifully recreated in a uniquely shaped glass embellishment that adorns this fine silver coin. Mintage is limited to just 7,500 coins. As a pure silver coin struck by the Royal Canadian Mint, this item is HST/GST exempt.
The sea turtle-shaped glass element is the result of a laborious handcrafted process in which different colours of glass rods (stringers) are layered and fused together to form a colourful mosaic that reveals the final image when sliced. The handcrafted nature of both the murrini element and its glass enclosure make each coin unique. Despite its delicate appearance, the glass embellishment is sculpted from borosilicate glass, which is highly resilient yet lightweight.
The reverse design by Canadian artist Maurice Gervais peers into the underwater world off Canada’s coast, where colour over detailed engraving highlights the coral, ferns and rocks that lie beneath the gentle waves. On the left, a handcrafted embellishment by Canadian glass artist Loïc Beaumont-Tremblay contains a sea turtle-shaped Mosaic Murini element. The mosaic-based approach to this glass art technique lends itself well to recreating the turtle’s distinctive appearance, from its shell to its clawed feet and tail. Positioned to mimic the turtle’s movements through the water, the Murini piece is itself enclosed in its own glass “shell” sculpted from borosilicate glass.