In Canada’s far-northern latitudes, where solitude and beauty often meet, nature takes centre stage with a celestial light show that once seen, is seldom forgotten. Using innovative glow-in-the-dark technology, the spellbinding qualities of the aurora borealis are beautifully recreated on this coloured coin that captures the look and feel of a luminous winter night in the wilds of Canada’s Arctic region.
The powerful reverse image by Canadian artist Julius Csotonyi brings together rich colours and detailed engraving to recreate the breathtaking beauty of a winter night in Nunavut’s Auyuittuq National Park. With the imposing vertical cliff of Thor Peak looming in the background, two Baffin Island wolves (Canislupus manningi) stand upslope in the frozen river valley where they lift their muzzles to the sky and release their howl into the crisp air. Nature’s most colourful light show seems to move to this haunting serenade as the aurora borealis arches overhead, bridging the tall granite peaks and the wolves. The full effect of the coin is best viewed in the dark after placing it in a light source for 30 to 60 seconds; this enhances the ethereal quality of the aurora borealis by adding a varying intensity of green, yellow, pink and orange hues, while recreating the soft glow of a moonlit night on the snow-covered landscape below.
The obverse features the word “CANADA”, the face value of “30 DOLLARS”, the date “2016” and the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.