One of the most popular sets of coins produced each year by the Royal Canadian Mint is the Specimen Set. This collection features some of the highest quality coins struck for collectors, all housed in an elegant book format presentation. Six denominations from five cents to two dollars comprise the set, including the elusive low-mintage half-dollar which is not issued for circulation. The highlight of the set is a unique one dollar coin featuring a Pileated Woodpecker scaling the trunk of an oak tree, where it uses its bill to excavate an oblong-shaped cavity. This highly collectible coin cannot be found in circulation or in any other coin set. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
While the presentation and quality of coins are excellent, this set remains affordably priced for collectors or to give as a gift. Ideal to mark the birth of a new baby, any birthday, graduation, wedding or other event.
The Pileated Woodpecker:
The Pileated Woodpecker is easily recognized in the wild, thanks to a triangular crest that is as red as Canada’s flag. Other woodpeckers are known to carve round holes in fallen logs and decaying trunks, but this crow-sized insectivore uses its bill to drill large rectangular ones. Its drumming and drilling can be heard from a great distance—a boon when attracting a mate or defending its territory. Whether foraging for insects or excavating a nest cavity, the woodpecker’s tapping activity is key to the survival of many other forest species, which later make their home in the abandoned hollows.