Circulation coin celebrates Canada’s rare Wood Bison

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February 9, 2012 – The Royal Canadian Mint is pleased to announce that Canadians can soon collect a new 2011-dated 25-cent circulation coin celebrating Canada’s Wood Bison. This coin, which enters circulation on January 16, 2012, has been preceded by a one-dollar circulation coin dedicated to the centennial of Parks Canada and a two-dollar coin featuring Canada’s Boreal Forest. It will soon be followed by 25-cent coins featuring the Orca and Peregrine Falcon, as this commemorative series concludes. All five of these special circulation coins are inspired by the theme of “our legendary nature”; a core element of Canadian pride and identity.

“The Royal Canadian Mint is proud that its five special commemorative circulation coins, produced at its Winnipeg, Manitoba facility and honouring Canada’s legendary natural heritage are a permanent tribute to one of Canada’s greatest national treasures,” said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “As a majestic example of Canada’s abundant wildlife, as well as a great conservation success story, the Wood Bison belongs on a special 25-cent circulation coin which Canadians of all ages can collect, learn about and enjoy.”

A Wood Bison around Coal River. Photo: Alan and Elaine Wilson / Wikipedia.

The Wood Bison is uniquely Canadian, as it is only in Canada that it can be found in the wild. Though 200,000 Wood Bison once prospered in the woodlands of the Canadian West, only mere hundreds survived by the early 1900s because of overhunting and human encroachment. Thanks to the work of Parks Canada in Wood Buffalo and Elk Island National Parks, the nearly extinct Wood Bison population has bounced back to number more than 10,000. The introduction of Wood Bison at Chitek Lake and Lake Winnipegossis in the 1990s is also helping expand this precious animal’s range to Manitoba.

The painted circulation coin.

In celebration of this remarkable story, the Mint’s newest 25-cent circulation coin features an artistic interpretation of a Wood Bison, which is enhanced by the addition of green colour (symbolizing the forest) on half of the 12.5 million circulation coins dedicated to this theme. The Mint remains unique in the world by being the only producer of coloured circulation coins since 2004.

And the unpainted circulation coin.

The Mint will also invite the public to trade their loose change for the 25-cent Wood Bison circulation coin at its boutiques in Ottawa and Vancouver from January 16-18, as well as in Winnipeg, from January 17-18.

A free illustrated collector card in which all five coins in the Legendary Nature series can be kept, will also be distributed to the public at these locations, as well as special Mint coin exchanges, such as the Mint’s appearance at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on January 13. While supplies last, Canadians may also visit this site to order the collector card, as well as to exchange three dollars for a special “circulation pack” of twelve new 25-cent circulation coins featuring the Wood Bison, Orca and Peregrine Falcon. Each pack contains two coloured and two non-coloured versions of each coin.

Legendary Nature Collector Coins Available
There is also available a special uncirculated coin set as well as a variety of gold and silver collector coins complementing the compelling series of 2011 commemorative circulation coins. This selection of finely crafted, limited-edition collector coins featuring the Wood Bison; the Orca; and the Peregrine Falcon; and Canada’s boreal forest includes a series of four 50-cent 1/25 ounce 99.99% pure gold coins and four $10 face value 99.99% pure silver coins .
A sterling silver set of all three 25-cent coins featuring the colour version of the circulation coin designs and a special-edition uncirculated set featuring all five Legendary Nature circulation coins, including the coloured and non-coloured versions of the 25-cent coins are also available.

For more information please visit the website of the Royal Canadian Mint.

A glimpse on a herd of the impressive Wood Bisons in Canada offers this video clip.