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One of the most popular sets of coins produced each year by the Royal Canadian Mint is the specimen set (brilliant/frosted relief against a lined background). This collection features some of the highest quality coins struck for collectors, all housed in an elegant book format presentation. Six denominations from five cents to two dollars comprise the set.
As the new King Charles III dies were not yet ready for this coin set, all the obverse designs feature a posthumous effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the addition of the double dates of her reign, 1952-2022.
One of Canada’s most endangered birds struts its stuff on the 2023 specimen dollar.
Each spring, the male greater sage-grouse puts on quite a show: it fans out its plumage, puffs and pops its chest, and struts its stuff in hopes of attracting a mate. This elaborate courtship display has been captured on the 2023 specimen dollar, which highlights the endangered status of a species that now occupies just 7% of its historical range in Canada. With fewer than 250 remaining in the wild, Canada’s greater sage-grouse population has been the focus of collaborative efforts to support the recovery of both the grassland species and its sagebrush habitat. Those efforts include a captive breeding and reintroduction program led by the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo; as of early 2022, 187 conservation-born sage-grouse have been released onto protected lands in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, home to only five known communal mating grounds (leks). Hope for the greater sage-grouse’s recovery grows, as ongoing research and population management strategies are working to slow the population’s decline and boost its chances of survival.
Fourth portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II, when she was 77 years old, facing right and surrounded by the inscription. Below, the four pearls symbolizing the four effigies that have graced Canadian coins and the double date of her reign.
ELIZABETH II D·G·REGINA
Depicts a male greater sage-grouse performing its elaborate courtship display in its sagebrush