Like a “year in the life” snapshot of a Canadian icon, your coin’s image by Margaret Best traces the sugar maple tree and its leaf’s progression through the seasons. A finely engraved maple tree and its mirror image are each divided in half to create quadrants representing spring, summer, fall and winter, helped by artistic touches that stand in for Mother Nature’s ever-changing colour palette. The coloured upper left quadrant steps into a spring landscape, where the maple’s branches are covered in the reddish-brown buds featured in the enlarged view near the centre. The engraved upper right quadrant leaps ahead to a mid-summer day, where selective gold plating mimics the effect of sunlight on the maple’s broad summer foliage. In the coloured lower right quadrant, the fall scene is a tapestry of brilliant red, yellow and orange hues that famously give Canada its fall colours, while the leaf’s curled edges allude to the seasonal shedding of leaves in preparation for winter. In the engraved lower left quadrant, the maple’s frosted silhouette embodies the resilient spirit of Canadians who embrace our northern climate, even in the face of winter’s fury, while the withered leaf is highlighted with selective gold plating for an elegant contrast. Coupled with the coin’s egg shape, which traditionally symbolizes renewal, the addition of a pair of maple keys is significant: the winged seeds represent the future of the maple and hint at the timelessness of this continuous seasonal cycle. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
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