Arrival: The Queen’s Portrait Ultra High Relief Silver Proof

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.

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  1. Louis says

    Since you listed the gold first and the silver second, don’t you mean 500 and 7500 respectively? In other words, isn’t it 500 gold coins and 7500 silver coins?

  2. says

    Thanks for this. I really like high-relief coins and am glad to see more posts about them.

    I think the high-relief dragon is superior to the queen’s portrait as well. I suspect it will be my favorite 2012 coin when the year is over.

  3. Ikaika says

    Thank you Michael. I was wondering when we would have an article in the blog on the Queen UHR coin. I also purchased one and can say that the high relief is very impressive, especially looking from the rims. It seems like the Queen is alive and coming out of the coin. Very different. The negative is the pricing from the RCM and the box. The gold version with 500 mintage is more than $1000 over the gold content. With this price, the mint could have made a fancy box like the UHRDE from the US Mint. Despite all, it has sold out. I wonder what is the long term potential for the gold version? Anyone?

  4. EvilFlipper says

    High relief queen doesn’t intrigue me one bit but the dragon coins they’re bringing are superb.

  5. Shutter says

    Speaking of RCM, another $20 for $20 silver coin is coming soon. This time it’s $20 for $20 Diamond Jubilee commemorative coin. That will be Diamond Jubilee product #6 (not counting the 2 coins described in this post).

    BTW, gold HR coin is not available anymore.

  6. Broooster says

    Gatewest coins still has the gold UHR listed on their site if anyone cares to pony up $2800 bucks.

  7. Nate says

    Shutter, where’d you see news about the next $20 for $20? I’ve been expecting it to come out soon but haven’t seen anything on the design choice. A Diamond Jubilee would be disappointing. I’m not really interested in that theme and it seems to break from the previous design themes.

  8. Shutter says


    I subscribed to the series and just got an email from RCM. They said 2-3 weeks.

    There really isn’t a “theme” to this series. I mean, the canoe and the polar bear kinda go together, but the maple leaf (the first one) is totally different.

    Personally, I’m in for the series. Not because it’s a big winner, but because it’s not going to be a big looser. Sure, you pay close to $100/oz of silver, but that’s still better than many other RCM releases (including UHR coin described in this post). Heck, people are paying about that for Titanic Privy Maple Leaf and think they got a great deal. On top of that, the face value is 20 Canadian simoleons. With Bernanke printing paper like there is no tomorrow, that can only help.

  9. Nate says

    Shutter – Yeah, I’m with you there. I’m in because I think it’s a great value too. I really liked the canoe and polar bear designs but you can’t really go wrong paying close to face value when silver content and potential collector value are involved. I’m not really sure what their approach to design is, but it doesn’t seem to have much cohesiveness to the series. With the maple leaf, canoe and polar bear I thought, ‘OK, maybe this could be loosely defined as a bunch of nature-related designs.’ With the Diamond Jubilee I guess you’d have to say that there’s no consistent theme to expect in the series. Do we know how long they plan to continue the series? I know there will be at least one more on the subscription for this fall.

  10. G says

    Michael- I sent you an email about the libertad post- let me know if you receive it. cheers!

  11. Shutter says

    you’d have to say that there’s no consistent theme to expect in the series

    The theme is primarily “$20 for $20”. Secondarily the subject matter is Canada. Ok, that describes 80% of Canadian coins, but that’s all I have.

    I know that some people are happy to whine about Queen’s portrait on Canadian and Australian coins, but she is the head of state in those countries. The Diamond Jubilee is made a big deal there, because (a) doing anything for 60 years is impressive, and (b) she’s only the second person to do that in all of those countries.

  12. says

    off topic….if anyone is interested, Perth has the 10 coin dragon set available again. However, these are not doing well in the secondary market.

  13. Ikaika says

    @ Steve

    You are correct, they are for sale again. The problem with the secondary market is despite having a 2500 set mintage, the coins itself are more than 2500. The Chinese 9 coin dragon set with a mintage of 20000 have all of them, except the bullion. In addition, the Berlin World Money Fair Dragon (Black) had 5000. The Perth mint is just changing the packaging and selling these with another title.

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