The Royal Canadian Mint is full of surprises. If you have never seen a glow-in-the-dark coin used as official currency, be impressed with this item from the 2022 collection. Unique designs, cosmic meaning, 21st-century technology, and authoritative design merge to make this a rare collectible gift.
Unique Designs From the Royal Canadian Mint
Illustrated glyphs inspired by the night sky’s constellations are just the beginning. Emphasizing a high colour contrast between the midnight blue background and bright, brassy tones in the inlay, this coin features all 12 signs of the zodiac in evenly-dispersed 30-degree segments. The centre of the coin is a sun-and-moon nucleus, around which concentric circles of glyphs, animals, and Roman numerals are evenly spaced.
The concentric design of the coin is purposely engineered to resemble a circular star chart that matches the heavens on a clear night. Similarly, if you have ever sat inside a planetarium and looked up, the stars are rotating in a circular fashion as time passes. This coin allows you to mimic that experience while matching the symbols and numbers of the zodiac.
The Meaning Behind the Coin
The story that this coin tells must be understood in a counter-clockwise direction, starting with the ram (Aries) and Roman numeral I in the 12:00 position. From there, follow the circle to the left, to the Roman numeral II, to find the bull (Taurus). Continue in this fashion along the outer edge of the coin until you get to the fish (Pisces) with the Roman numeral XII.
Symbolism is rich in this coin. Scorpio, for example, is classically symbolized by a scorpion glyph. The twins that make up Gemini (Castor and Pollux) are standing next to each other, side by side. Leo is represented by the profile of a majestic lion, and Aquarius, the water-bearer, is identified by a water cistern spilling over onto the ground. Some of the glyphs are more abstract or fantastical, such as Capricorn (the Sea-Goat) being represented by an animal with a billy goat’s head and the tail of a fish.
The Technology Within the Coin
Black light technology reveals this coin’s greatest feature. In regular light, the ring that contains the glyphs simply looks like an ancient Egyptian or Babylonian script. Under a black light, however, the constellation upon which the glyph is based is revealed. Libras, for example, prize balance and are represented by the scales of justice. The constellation that inspired this image also closely resembles a legal balancing scale. By viewing the coin under a black light, the hidden stars truly glow.
Meet the Designers
Jori van der Linde is the artist behind the zodiac design. She is a Canadian illustrator based in Vancouver who attended the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. She uses a combination of traditional ink and digital methods such as Photoshop to create images that are whimsical yet relatable. Her works have been featured in Creative Quarterly, The National Magazine Awards, Society of Illustrators in New York and Los Angeles, and 3×3 Magazine.
The designer of the obverse that features Queen Elizabeth II is Susanna Blunt. Susanna attended the Banff School of Fine Art. She also studied in London at the Hammersmith School of Art and Architecture and has worked with Yoko Ono.
Canadian Coins: A Memorable Gift for Any Occasion
Give a gift that is both timeless and modern. This particular coin comes in a signature black clamshell, also known as a black beauty box. Inside, you will find a reference insert that summarizes each zodiac sign’s date and corresponding glyph. Learn more about this one-of-a-kind keepsake on our website.