The first feather-shaped coin the Royal Canadian Mint has ever minted has a special connection to the area, thanks to a Comox Valley artist.
Kwakwaka’wakw/K’omoks artist Andy Everson previously designed coins for the mint, but never one in such a unique shape.
“I feel it is an honour to represent our people in an authentic way,” he explained of the (face value) $20 coin.
The one-ounce pure silver coin had a mintage of 3,000 through the Royal Canadian Mint for $149.00 and was sold out at press time.
Everson said the opportunity to design a coin for the world stage provides an opportunity to showcase his culture and heritage.
“(The coin) brings collectors and people around the world an awareness about us, and our culture and our art.”
Generally, the process for coin-designing involves the RCM choosing between a handful of artists and eventually narrowing down the selection process to one. In this case, the RCM reached out to Everson directly last summer and asked him to create a design.
Everson’s coin is an engraved side profile view of an eagle head, presented in the Northwest Coast formline style.
Framed by the coin’s feather-shaped contour, the eagle’s eye and downward-curving beak are surrounded by variations of split-U forms that recreate the eagle’s facial features and feathers.
|The backside of Comox Valley artist Andy Everson’s eagle feather coin. Photo by Royal Canadian Mint|
The reverse also inspired the background pattern seen on the flip side, which features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Susanna Blunt.
Everson noted because of the shape, there were some parameters he had to follow.
“Normally, the shaft (of the feather) is longer and with a bigger point. It’s exciting though because it is so differently shaped.”
Everson said he designed the coin for it to be minted in either silver or gold.
Last year, the RCM released Everson’s pure gold ultra-high relief ancestor moon mask coin, which had a face value of $200 but retailed for $2999.95 with a mintage of 300.
In 2014, the RCM released Everson’s first coin – a $200 denomination one which also came in a silver version with a holographic finish.