First issue of the new series “North...
This is the second egg-shaped Silver coin, issued with vibrant colour throughout the elaborate design, that re-creates the breathtaking hand crafted artistry of a Ukrainian Easter egg. A cultural celebration of a tradition on the 125th anniversary of Ukrainian settlement in Canada. The coin comes in an elegant case with Certificate of Authenticity. Mintage of 5.000 pcs.
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Availability date: 02/02/2017
The Pysanka egg
Simply put, it is an Easter egg decorated using a wax resist (aka batik) method. Its name derives from the Ukrainian verb “pysaty,” meaning “to write.” (“Pysanka” is the singular form; “pysanky” is plural.)
But it is much more than that. Ukrainians have been decorating eggs, creating these miniature jewels, for countless generations. There is a ritualistic element involved, magical thinking, a calling out to the gods and goddesses for health, fertility, love, and wealth. There is a yearning for eternity, for the sun and stars, for whatever gods that may be.
The design motifs on pysanky date back to pre-Christian times–many date to early Slavic cultures, while some harken to the days of the Trypillians, my neolithic ancestors, others to paleolithic times. While the symbols have remained through the ages, their interpretation has changed, in an act of religious syncretism. A triangle that once spoke of the three elements, earth, fire and air, now celebrates the Christian Holy Trinity. The cross which depicted the rising sun is now the symbol of the risen Christ. Sun and star symbols once referred to Dazhboh, the sun god, and now refer to the one Christian God. And the fish, which spoke of a plentiful catch and a full stomach, now stands in for Christ, the fisher of men. Even so, under this Christian veneer, there still lurk the berehynia and the serpent, the sun and the moon, the old gods, the old ways, and the old beliefs.
The egg-shaped reverse design by Canadian artist Ann C. Morash weaves together patterns and symbols that capture the artistry of a Ukrainian Easter Egg. Positioned within four triangular segments are golden blades of wheat, which convey best wishes for harvest and the soul of the clan. Beneath this overlay, the field is filled with the geometric figures that represent the sun and stars, to symbolize life, fortune and growth. These are framed by bands of waves that celebrate water as a life-sustaining element and harmony, which are in turn framed by evergreen boughs positioned along the edge, to symbolize eternal health and youth.
All are beautifully enhanced by the meticulous application of colours that each carry deeper meaning: yellow represents light and purity; red is the colour of joy and folklore; green is associated with fertility, health and spring, which brings hope and renewal; and black suggests the darkest time before dawn, and the idea of constancy and eternity. In the centre of the coin's reverse, the inscriptions: “20 DOLLARS” - the face value, “2017” - the issue year and “CANADA” - the issue country. The coin's obverse depicts the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the inscriptions: “ELIZABETH II” and “D.G. REGINA” - the name of the Queen.