2014 $3 Animal Architects: Caterpillar and Chrysalis - Pure Silver Coin

SKU: 623932055384

RCM Number:
Country: Canada
Year: 2014

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This Royal Canadian Mint three dollar fine silver coin with selective colour presents the Monarch Caterpillar in the prelude to one of nature’s greatest transformations.  Few metamorphoses are as dramatic as the one experienced by the Monarch butterfly.  Its beautifully patterned black and orange wings easily make the species one of the most recognizable butterflies found in North America; however, this iconic form is only attained during the final stage of its life cycle, after it sheds its brightly striped caterpillar form and develops within the safety of the chrysalis that encases it. This coin weighs a quarter of an ounce of fine silver, with a 27 mm diameter. Mintage is limited to 10,000. GST/HST exempt.


The Design:

The coin image features a beautifully detailed side profile of a Monarch caterpillar. Selective colour application showcases the caterpillar's bright yellow, black and white stripes as it crawls along a bright green milkweed leaf – a plant that plays an integral part in the Monarch's early life cycles. A large chrysalis is engraved in the background as a reminder of the Monarch's next stage, at which time it will enclose itself during its metamorphosis into one of Canada's most recognizable butterflies. 

The Caterpillar and Chrysalis:

The process begins when the caterpillar spins a silk pad on the underside of a milkweed leaf and attaches its hind claspers to it. Now suspended with its head facing downwards, the caterpillar's life depends on the strength of this attachment. Twisting around, the caterpillar sheds its skin to reveal a moist exoskeleton that hardens to a waxy, green-coloured coating. The chrysalis darkens and becomes transparent over the course of nine to 15 days, during which time the pupa develops inside. The butterfly soon emerges (after approximately 10 days with a little assistance from gravity as it pushes down and outwards to split the chrysalis. Now free, the butterfly will rest on its former enclosure while expanding its wings in preparation for its first flight.

(Many think of a butterfly chrysalis as a "cocoon" but this is not accurate – a chrysalis is made of protein (like the caterpillar's skin) while a cocoon is made of silk and is often associated with moths.)


Produced By: RCM
Denomination: 3 Dollars
Year: 2014

Diameter: 27mm
Material: Silver
Fineness: 0.9999
Weight: 7.96 grams
Bullion Weight: 0.256 Troy Ounces

Obverse: Queen Elizabeth II
Reverse: Monarch caterpillar with selective colour application of caterpillar's bright yellow, black and white stripes and bright green milkweed leaf, large chrysalis engraved in background
Artist: Trevor Tennant
Finish: Proof
Series: Animal Architects
Quantity Produced: 10,000

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