Since 2019, the Royal Canadian Mint has been celebrating the Great White North’s cultural diversity with an annual release of gem-adorned gold coins. The 2024 installment, which honors Canadians who trace their ancestry to Iran, Ancient Persia and beyond, is set with a genuine turquoise in the center of a 99.99% pure gold, 1-ounce coin.
The coin’s intricately rendered reverse side was designed by Iranian-Canadian artist Soheila Esfahani, whose work reflects a contemporary take on traditional elements. For this coin, Esfahani incorporated Persian Eslimi patterns, Shah Abbasi flower motifs, lotus flowers inspired by the reliefs of Persepolis, stylized maple leaves symbolizing Canadian identity and a paisley arrangement in the center.
Genuine turquoise was selected as the featured gemstone because it figures prominently in Iranian art and architecture, and continues to be highly prized for its deep blue-green hue. Historically, Ancient Iranians called turquoise “piruzeh,” which meant victory. They also believed that piruzeh offered protection.
According to the Mint, the coin’s balanced symmetry and stirring symbolism are meant to inspire, to urge us to transcend our perceived limits, and to find inner peace and tranquility.
The obverse of the coin features the Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, as well as a special marking that includes four pearls symbolizing the four effigies of the Queen that have graced Canadian coins throughout her reign.
It also includes the Queen’s name, the dates of her reign (1952-2022), Canada, the year 2024, the “200 Dollars” face value and the Latin phrase, “D.G. Regina,” which means “By the grace of God, Queen.”
Measuring 30 mm in diameter, the coin will have a limited mintage of 275 pieces. The coin has a face value of $200, but is priced at CAD 4,499.95 (about $3,334). The Mint pointed out that since turquoise features distinctive patterning and hue variations, no two coins will look exactly the same. Each collectible coin is presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded clamshell box.
The turquoise-set coin is the fifth in the Royal Canadian Mint’s “Celebrating Canada’s Diversity” series, which previously honored Sinhala and Indian cultures with a ruby (2019), Scottish and Irish descendants with an emerald (2021), French-Canadians with a blue sapphire (2022) and the indigenous Haida people with an ocean-colored abalone shell (2023). The annual series was temporarily disrupted in 2020 due to COVID-19.
Credits: Images courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint.