I wanted to share some pictures and impressions of a recent arrival: The Queen’s Portrait Ultra High Relief Silver Proof Coin from the Royal Canadian Mint.
This coin features a new profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and is issued to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee. Both gold and silver proof versions are available with mintages limited to 500 and 7,500, respectively.
I ordered the coin primarily because I was interested in seeing the execution of the ultra high relief.
This coin is different than the high relief or ultra high relief coins that I have purchased from other mints. The Queen’s portrait in ultra high relief actually rises above the flat surface of the coin to create a two-dimensional image. The obverse of the coin carries the current circulation portrait of the coin rendered in regular relief. the diameter of the coin is 36 mm, only a little bit smaller than the diameter of the one ounce Silver Maple.
By comparison, the high relief coins offered by the Perth Mint such as the recent High Relief Dragon are minted on concave surfaces, with a deeply recessed center of the coin that grows progressively shallower towards the edge. The designs are rendered in high relief at the center of the coin and never rise above the raised rim of the coin. To accommodate the concave surfaces, the diameter of the coin is smaller at 32.60 mm with a greater thickness of 6.00 mm.
The US Mint’s 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle also featured concave surfaces and a thicker planchet.
Personally, I prefer the use of the thicker planchets with concave surfaces.
Looking ahead, the Perth Mint has plans to offer a 2012 Kookaburra High Relief Silver Proof Coin on May 1 and a 2012 Kangaroo High Relief Silver Proof Coin in July. These coins will have maximum mintages of 10,000 and 20,000, respectively.