Royal Canadian Mint

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NARWHAL Conservation Series 1/2 Kg Kilo Silver Coin 125$ Canada 2015


Final half-kilogram coin in the Royal Canadian Mint’s Call of the Conservation series, which celebrates Canada’s diverse wildlife. Made from over 16 oz of 99.99% pure silver, with a limited mintage of 500 coins. The coin’s large surface area offers an ideal-sized canvas for finely detailed engraving, adding further relief and luster to the design.

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Conservation Series
The Royal Canadian Mint’s poignant Conservation series highlights some of Canada’s most unique and vulnerable species, which contribute to this country’s rich biodiversity. As the last of the three-coin series, this fine silver coin stands as a beautiful showcase of one of Canada’s most secretive and enigmatic Arctic residents: the legendary narwhal (Monodon monoceros).
The narwhal, or narwhale (Monodon monoceros), is a medium-sized toothed whale and possesses a large "tusk" from a protruding canine tooth. It lives year-round in the Arctic waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. It is one of two living species of whale in the Monodontidae family, along with the beluga whale. The narwhal males are distinguished by a long, straight, helical tusk, which is an elongated upper left canine. The narwhal was one of many species described by Carolus Linnaeus in his publication Systema Naturae in 1758.
Like the beluga, narwhals are medium-sized whales. For both sexes, excluding the male's tusk, the total body size can range from 3.95 to 5.5 metres (13.0 to 18.0 feet); the males are slightly larger than the females. The average weight of an adult narwhal is 800 to 1,600 kilograms (1,800 to 3,500 pounds). At around 11 to 13 years old, the males become sexually mature; females become sexually mature at about 5 to 8 years old. Narwhals do not have a dorsal fin, and their neck vertebrae are jointed like those of other mammals, not fused as in dolphins and most whales.
Found primarily in Canadian Arctic and Greenlandic and Russian waters, the narwhal is a uniquely specialized Arctic predator. In winter, it feeds on benthic prey, mostly flatfish, under dense pack ice. During the summer, narwhals mostly eat Arctic cod and Greenland halibut, with other fish such as polar cod making up the remainder of their diet. Each year, they migrate from bays into the ocean as summer comes. In the winter, the male narwhals occasionally dive up to 1,500 metres (4,900 feet) in depth, with dives lasting up to 25 minutes. Narwhals, like most toothed whales, communicate with "clicks", "whistles", and "knocks".
Narwhals can live up to 50 years old. They are often killed by suffocation when the sea ice freezes over. Another cause of fatality, specifically among young whales, is starvation. The current population of the narwhal is about 75,000, so narwhals qualify for Near Threatened under the criterion of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Narwhals have been harvested for over a thousand years by Inuit people in northern Canada and Greenland for meat and ivory, and a regulated subsistence hunt continues

  • CountryCanada
  • Year2015
  • Face Value125 Dollari
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)999/1000
  • Weight (g)500
  • Diameter (mm)85
  • QualityProof
  • Mintage (pcs)500
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)Yes
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The reverse design by Canadian artist Curtis Atwater features two meticulously engraved narwhals moving through the waters in Canada’s Arctic region. A variety of finishing techniques enhance this life-like depiction, bringing added depth and a breathtaking life-like quality to the icy setting. In the foreground, an adult narwhal remains partially submerged as it lifts its head above water through an opening between the ice floes; its spiralled tusk naturally draws the viewer’s eye upwards to the tapered point, which is extended towards the sky. Beneath the water’s surface, the mottled narwhal uses its convex tail fins to propel its movements, curving its sleek body to provide lift as it surfaces. Swimming alongside the adult is a juvenile narwhal; armed with its own small tusk, this young narwhal remains submerged as a trail of air bubbles are released from the blowhole atop its domed head. Its presence is both touching and meaningful, symbolising hope for the continued survival of this mysterious and captivating species in a changing Arctic landscape. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.