As with the original Birds of Prey series, the Peregrine Falcon is the first to be released from the latest Reverse Proof version. Coins are struck in reverse proof finish and arrive completely sealed within protective airtight plastic carriers. The silver content of the coin is 1 oz of fine silver with a .9999 purity, and a $5 face value.
Due to the lengthy process of proofing just one coin, the Royal Mint expects to introduce the second coin of the Reverse Series, the Great Horned Owl, two years from the release of the Falcon.
Coins shipped in multiples of 10 will ship within protective mint sheets while multiples of 200 will ship encased within protective mint boxes engraved by the Royal Mint. The Canadian government backs the true authenticity of the coin.
The obverse side of the 2016 1 oz Canadian Silver Peregrine Falcon Reverse Proof coin features the 2003 royal portrait of Queen Elizabeth. Since 1952, the year the Queen initially took the throne, there have been just five portraits for coinage, each coin showing an updated image of Her Majesty.
This was the fourth design, completed by artist Susanna Blunt after winning the national portrait competition that year. The final design was debuted in 2015. Also on the obverse side is the year of mintage and the face value of the coin.
The reverse side features the Peregrine Falcon in a flawless reverse proof finish, which enhances the beauty of the design by illustrator Emily Damstra. The falcon appears to be in a predatory stance ready to swoop in mid-flight onto its unsuspecting unseen prey. The artist’s initials are etched next to the falcon’s talons, and the coin’s purity and weight are encircled around the mighty falcon.
The Peregrine Falcon
The Peregrine Falcon is one of Canada’s mightiest predatory birds. Known for its lovely blueish/grey/black and white feathers, and it’s speed of up to 320 km/h, it’s no wonder its prey doesn’t stand a chance and is likely taken by surprised mid-flight.
This superior bird prefers to devour smaller birds and to nest in wide-open spaces as opposed to forestry. Its favorite habitats include marshes, river valleys, and sea costs, and it enjoys preparing its nest on anything high such as cliffs, trees and in recent times, rooftops.
The process of proofing coins is quite elaborate and time consuming, requiring a great deal of hands-on labor. Initially, the die is treated with special chemicals to add elaborate sophisticated effects to the coinage such as a mirrored finish or a frosted appearance, then the die is polished.
Following the careful crafting of the die, the coin is then struck twice, with more emphasis on the second strike under a higher pressure compared to other coin types.
The process is so lengthy that it can take an hour to produce 50-100 proofed coins versus 750 coins per minute of circulating coins, and up to 300 (BU) coins per minute. Understanding the lengthy process helps to understand and appreciate the value and premium of these fine coins.