This innovative and visually stunning silver Polar Bear uses new technology and production techniques to showcase one of Canada’s most iconic animals. As a true work of medallic art, the piece is struck in the actual shape of a polar bear. With a weight of 100 grams (3.215 ounces) of .9999 fine silver and a width of about 100 mm, this is a substantial collector piece. The reverse polar bear design comes to life through artistic colouring painted by renowned Canadian artist Trevor Tenant. A brilliant silver border shines around the colour over engraving, while the obverse is presented with a classic proof-like finish.
This is the first in a new four piece series of Real Shape Iconic Canada themed pure silver medallic works of art. The images for this series originate from some of Canada’s most popular historic postage stamps, and have been authorized by Canada Post. The polar bear design comes from a $2 stamp issued in 1998. The coin is encapsulated for protection and presented in a “Magic Frame” for display. The background within the frame includes additional details from the original postage stamp, allowing the shaped image to be beautifully presented in a larger perspective.
Mintage is limited to just 1,867 pieces. This series is issued by the Canadian Heritage Mint, and includes a certificate of authenticity attesting to the mintage, weight and fineness. As investment quality .9999 fine silver items, this series is HST/GST exempt.
Polar Bear Design (first release)
The design on the 100 gram pure silver polar bear is based on the Canada Post two dollar Polar Bear stamp issued in 1998. The original stamp design was created by Steven Slipp of Halifax, NS. The stamp was printed using both high security intaglio printing and lithography, creating a banknote style appearance to the design. The intaglio features of the original stamp have been maintained on the frame background design, thus combining the classic appearance of the stamp with the modern image of the medallic art.
Half of the world's 40,000 polar bears live in Canada - in the coastal regions of both the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, and in Manitoba, Ontario and arctic Quebec. As their Latin name ursus maritimus suggest, polar bears are maritime creatures. They spend most of their days out on the sea ice, hunting seals. Though they are believed to have evolved from grizzlies, polar bears have unique rounded shoulders and pronounced brow ridges. Their necks, skulls and noses are elongated and their muzzles are aquiline. Large paws help polar bears distribute their weight while walking on thin ice. Their front legs act as water propellers while their hind limbs function as rudders.
One of the most distinctive features of the polar bear is its colour. The white fur helps it blend into the arctic background and has special features for cold weather adaptation; it is translucent and transmits ultraviolet radiation to keep the skin warm. Equally distinctive is the polar bear's size. The largest carnivore in the world that lives mostly out of water, it can weight up to 800 kg - double the size of a grizzly!