The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) is always seeking to push the envelope of numismatics. This allows the RCM to provide collectors with coins that have been made with the latest advances in technology and to create interesting and unique products.
In November, the RCM released another first - the world’s first convex-shaped, colorized, glow-in-the-dark coin! The coin, which is called “Canada from Space,” uses new and innovative techniques to recreate a view of the earth, as seen from space, focusing on the Western Hemisphere and, especially Canada.
This stunning coin is a fitting tribute to the historic mission of Dr. Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first female astronaut and a neurologist, who flew aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on January 22-30, 1992. This release was issued in 2017 to mark the 25th anniversary of this important event, when Dr. Bondar performed over 40 experiments in the Spacelab. These experiments helped provide critical information on the body’s ability to recover after exposure to space; in particular, she examined the impact of weightlessness on different materials and life.
The data from Dr. Bondar’s experiments has been very useful to astronauts who have gone to space in the past 25 years. In many ways, she helped pave the way for the space travel that has occurred in the past quarter century, which is an achievement for all of mankind. When the Canadian space program was launched in 1984, Dr. Bondar was one of the first people to volunteer to go to space. She and her five colleagues who flew aboard the Discovery were selected from over 4,300 applicants.
On November 2, Dr. Bondor and the Mint’s CEO, Sandra Hannington, unveiled the exciting new coin at an event hosted by Sault College.
"My view from Discovery 25 years ago forever changed my view of Earth and instilled in me a commitment to protect this magnificent planet. This special coin symbolizes the beauty of Earth from space. We need to celebrate our milestones and pioneers as we push the frontiers of discovery,” said Dr. Roberta Bondar. “Glowing in the dark, the coin represents inspiration and hope for the future and it is an honor to have my role in human space flight recognized in this meaningful way.”
“As the first Canadian woman to fly in space, Dr. Bondar will always be remembered as a pioneer among Canada's modern-day explorers,” said Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie. “The Government of Canada is pleased that her achievement of 25 years ago and her ongoing dedication to science have been permanently honored by the Royal Canadian Mint.”
“The Mint is proud to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dr. Bondar's historic mission with a coin as innovative as what she achieved for women and all of Canada,” said Sandra Hanington, President and CEO of the RCM. “This new silver coin captures yet another story of a Canadian reaching for the stars and accomplishing things that will inspire us for generations to come.”
Designed by Canadian artist Alexandra Lefort, the coin combines several different approaches and technology. This includes:
In addition, only 8,500 of these special coins are being issued by the RCM. Each coin is struck from 1 oz. of 99.99% pure silver.
In 2009, Dr. Bondar established the Roberta Bondar Foundation. The Foundation's mission is to build healthier lives by protecting the natural heritage of our planet. By connecting people to nature through photography, the foundation aims to promote good health and protect the planet. Programs include nature photography programs for youth, traveling photography exhibitions on biodiversity for all generations, and research and speakers' series by Dr. Roberta Bondar.
Canada from Space inspires not only Canadian pride, but also the pride of people all over the world. It also taps into the widespread interest in space and astronomy among modern coin collectors and the popularity of curved and specially shaped coins in recent years. This unique coin is a must for collectors of space-themed coins, curved coins, and Canadian coins. Check it out on ModernCoinMart, and see if you want to add it to your collection!
Author Name: Louis Golino
Louis is an award-winning numismatic journalist and writer specializing on modern coins. He has been writing a weekly column for CoinWeek since May 2011 called “The Coin Analyst,” which focuses primarily on modern U.S. and world coins and developments at major world mints. In August 2015 he received the Numismatic Literary Guild’s award for Best Website Column for “The Coin Analyst,” and in August 2021 the column received the NLG award for best column on modern U.S. coins. He has also received other awards for his writing. He is also a contributor to several magazines, including Coin World, where he writes a bimonthly feature;The Numismatist, the American Numismatic Association’s monthly publication, where he writes a monthly column on modern world coins; and and other publications. He began writing about coins in 2009. He is a founding member of the Modern Coin Forum hosted by ModernCoinMart and has written articles for MCM since 2014. He has collected classic and modern U.S. and world coins since he was about 10 and first joined the ANA in the 1970’s. He has been writing professionally since the early 1980s.