This 2017 $20 proof fine silver coin is the second of a three coin series that features some of the marvels that live in Canadian waters. This sea star coin is enhanced with the use of colour, engraving and with a new type of Mosaic murrini sculpted borosilicate glass element. The sea has its secrets, for beneath the ocean waves lies a hidden realm filled with enchantment and wonders of all shapes and sizes. This colourful underwater paradise is home to this salt-water dweller. Its distinctive appearance makes it easily recognized in rocky tidal pools and beaches along Canada's vast coastline creatures such as the sea star. 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 star-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 explores the colourful life found in the shallow waters off Canada's coast. The application of bright coloured enamel over meticulous engraving recreates the otherworldly appearance of the grasses, corals and sponges in this intertidal zone. On the left, a handcrafted embellishment by Canadian glass artist Loïc Beaumont-Tremblay contains a sea star-shaped mosaic murrini element. The mosaic-based approach to this glass art technique lends itself well to recreating the colour and texture of the sea star's spiny, calcified skin that provides it with a measure of protection against certain predators. The murrini piece is itself protected by the resilient glass enclosure sculpted from borosilicate glass.