Canadian coins help us to celebrate different parts of the culture and history of Canada. As a beautiful and multicultural society, it is important to share what makes Canada such a wonderful place to live. To that end, the Royal Canadian Mint recently released the $250 Gold Pysanka Coin. This unique, egg-shaped coin celebrates the more than three million Canadians of Ukrainian heritage.
Ukrainian Canadians and Pysanka
People of Ukrainian descent have lived in Canada since at least 1891 (there may have been an unconfirmed settlement even earlier). Since then, the group has flourished into the 11th largest ethnic group in Canada. Although the history of Ukrainians in Canada has not always been smooth, it has been one that has greatly benefited the country. Ukrainian-Canadians have offered hard work and innovation to the nation.
The folk tradition of pysanka (derived from the Ukrainian word for “to write”) continues to be practiced in Western Canada and parts of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. This cherished tradition involves decorating eggs in the spring with intricate designs and patterns using a written-wax batik method. The Batik method originated in Indonesia and is a wax resisting dyeing application. The designs typically involve geometric and vibrant themes. However, there are thousands of possible motifs.
Pysanka is usually done to celebrate Easter. However, it is believed that the practice predates Christianity and the modern holiday. Of course, since eggshells are very fragile, there are no intact archaeological specimens to confirm this theory fully. However, there are some fragments of shells with wax decorations that have been unearthed in Poland.
The $250 Gold Pysanka Coin
The Royal Canadian Mint periodically releases various special commemorative coins. In 2021, the Royal Canadian Mint released a coin based on the tradition of pysanka. It is an impressive 58.5 grams (almost two troy ounces) of 99.99% pure gold.
The coin’s most immediately obvious feature is its shape. The profile of the coin is an egg shape, honouring the main ingredient in the pysanka tradition. Additionally, the reverse image is a beautiful design by Canadian artist Dave Melnychuk. Like the egg shape of the coin, the design is intended to evoke the beauty of pysanka.
On the reverse, there is a rooster, a symbol of fertility and reawakening. The rooster’s tail features are adorned with eight-petaled sunflowers. The number eight symbolizes eternity and equilibrium. Around the rooster is an eternal band, called a bezkonechnyk, along with sunbursts representing good fortune and growth.
Like most Canadian coins, the pysanka coin features the obverse effigy of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Susanna Blunt. It is proof finish quality with interrupted serrations on the edge. The coin’s face value is $250. However, like many RCM special coins, its market value is significantly higher.
The Colonial Acres Coins team believes that this coin will prove to be a very sought-after piece. It will only be available in a mintage of 250 coins. Plus, the incredibly intricate design rendered in gold is likely to make it popular with collectors. A previous gold pysanka coin, released in 2019, was also among the most popular Canadian coins.
Add To Your Collection Today
Collecting Canadian coins can be a great hobby. It can even be an investment, especially with a highly desirable coin such as the $250 Gold Pysanka Coin. However, it is much more than just something fun to do. The coins released by the Royal Canadian Mint represent some of the most interesting parts of Canada’s history and culture. This coin is a perfect example of that.
Explore the full selection of coins in the Colonial Acres Coins catalogue today. We are your source for Canadian and other collectible coins. Whether you want a gift for someone special or enjoy collecting yourself, place your order today.