Royal Canadian Mint

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BEAR Mythical Realms of Haida Gwaii Silver Coin 50$ Canada 2016


Third issue in this captivating series showcasing Haida art and culture. This Silver coin is dedicated to the Bear, stunningly enhanced with red and black enamel to re-create the distinctive artistic style of Haida formline imagery, hailed as one of the most popular art forms from the Pacific Northwest. Limited mintage to only 1.500 pieces worldwide.

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Haida Gwaii
Haida Gwaii is a place of astounding natural beauty; a land of ancient legends where mythical beings move about in the guise of familiar animals from our three-dimensional world. This mesmerizing new coin series portrays three of the most powerful supernatural beings from the realms of water, earth and sky.

The Bear
In less than thirty years, over 1000 Black bears have been killed on Haida Gwaii. Since 1977, the majority of these one thousand deaths can be directly connected to two guiding licences. Today, the bear hunting licenses are held by the owners of the Tlell River Lodge, the Prophet Muskwa – Pacific Bear Outfitters company. Despite research indicating growth opportunities in eco-tourism activities, such as bear viewing in their natural habitat, Prophet Muskwa owners Kevin and Victoria Olmstead, continue to run their business based on recreational bear hunting or as it is commonly referred to ‘trophy hunting’. According to Prophet Muskwa’s website bear hunters travelling to Haida Gwaii, “in the past have had 100% opportunity with about 90% success at taking home a trophy pacific black bear.” Since 2000, 185 black bears have been killed on the Islands. These bears are an endemic subspecies (Ursus americanus carlottae), found nowhere else in the world. They are also the largest Black bear in North America. In 1995, the Council of the Haida Nation passed a resolution at their Annual House of Assembly calling for the end of recreational hunting of Black bears on the Islands. And at a recent February 2004, Community Land Planning Forum, sponsored by the Haida Nation and the Province of BC, Guujaaw, President of the Haida Nation restated this position.

  • CountryCanada
  • Year2016
  • Face Value50 Dollars
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)999/1000
  • Weight (g)157.6
  • Diameter (mm)65.25
  • QualityProof
  • Mintage (pcs)1.500
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)Yes

Haida artist April White - SGaana Jaad of the Yaghu’jaanaas Raven Clan - has created a mesmerizing image of a bear holding what appears to be a human child in his arms. The word “appears” is used here because this supernatural being is known to marry human beings, and the cubs of these unions, by removing their cloaks, can live as human beings. This is the Bear Mother Myth. In this design, Bear is protecting his child. His extended tongue represents communication as he shares his wisdom with his offspring under the light of a full moon - teaching him bear songs and stories as he prepares him for life without his father.