An unique finish, low mintage
limit and unique
animal dollar (found only here!) make for an incomparable set!
The Specimen Set
from the Royal Canadian Mint is indeed unique, unlike
any other coin set found anywhere else in the world. Each coin features
the mint's distinctive "specimen" finish,
a three-fold combination of
different finishes. The design (raised area or relief) includes both
brilliant and frosted finishes, while the fields (background) are
subtly striated, providing a matte appearance. These combine to give
the Specimen Set coins their
special aesthetic appeal and flair.
2008 Specimen Set includes a specimen-finish example of each and
every one of the circulation coins of Canada, each of which features a
design of national importance, including:
One Cent Maple Leaf Penny
Five Cent Beaver Nickel
Ten Cent Bluenose Schooner Dime
Twenty-Five Cent Caribou Quarter
Fifty Cent Coat of Arms Half Dollar
One Dollar Common Eider Sea Duck "Loonie"
Two Dollar Bimetallic Polar Bear "Toonie"
However, instead of a standard common loon dollar, the 2008 Specimen
Set includes a dollar found only in this set (and not released into
circulation). This one-year-only design features a pair of eider sea
ducks on the Arctic seashore of their native Canada.
here for more great mint and proof sets!
The Common Eider Sea Duck
The eider duck, or common eider, is a large sea duck which is
distributed over the northern coasts of North America, Europe, and
eastern Siberia. It breeds in the Arctic regions, but winters somewhat
farther south in temperate zones, when it can form large flocks in
coastal waters. This species dives for crustaceans and mollusks, with
mussels being a favored food.
common eider is characterized by its bulky shape and large,
wedge-shaped bill. The male is unmistakable with his black and white
plumage and colorful nape. The eider's nest is built close to the sea
and is lined with the celebrated eiderdown, plucked from the female's
breast. This soft and warm lining has long been harvested for filling
pillows and quilts, but in recent years has been largely replaced by
down from domestic farm-raised geese and synthetic alternatives.
Although true eiderdown pillows and quilts are now a rarity, eiderdown
harvesting continues and is sustainable, as it can be done after the
ducklings have left the nest, with no harm to the birds.
here for more coins with animals on them!
here for more coins and sets featuring the unique, Canadian Specimen
The Specimen Set has sold out every year since the mint imposed a
mintage limit of only 40,000 sets. In addition, the 2008 Specimen Set
is the only way to get the Common Eider Sea Duck dollar. All collectors
Canadian dollar coins and all loonie collectors need this coin. These
factors combined with the premium packaging make this set a great value!
obverse of each coin features the familiar designs found on the regular
circulation coins of Canada as described and pictured above. The dollar
coin depicts two eider ducks on the Atlantic coast of Canada.
The reverse of each coin features Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of
England, in profile facing right. This portrait, the fourth effigy of
the queen to appear on Canadian coinage, was executed by the artist
Susanna Blunt. The legend ELIZABETH II D. G. REGINA ("Elizabeth II,
Queen by the Grace of God") and mint mark also appear.
The coins are sealed a sturdy plastic lens, attractively packaged
inside a large, burgundy-leatherette book lined with black velvet and
protected by a black outer box. An
individually-numbered certificate with
full specifications accompanies the set.