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The 1-ounce Silver Great Horned Owl coin is the finale of the Royal Canadian Mint’s Birds of Prey 4-coin series. Consisting of 99.99% pure silver, the Silver Great Horned Owl is minted with a bullion finish and holds a face value of 5 Canadian dollars. With a maximum mintage of 1 million coins, the 1-ounce Silver Great Horned Owl is a limited edition bullion coin that celebrates Canada’s most prevalent bird of prey and its role in the ecosystem. Canadian artist Emily Damstra designed the great horned owl illustration as well as the artwork for the coin’s predecessors: the peregrine falcon, the bald eagle, and the red-tailed hawk.
The swift hunting motion of the great horned owl is vividly featured on the coin’s reverse. With his eyes locked on his target, the great horned owl extends his agile wings and powerfully leads with his talons in preparation for an aggressive pursuit of his prey. The detailed depiction of the great horned owl’s features — pointed horn-like tufts, distinctive beak, defined feathering, razor-sharp talons, piercing eyes — demonstrates the storybook appeal of this nocturnal creature. Arching over the breadth of the great horned owl illustration is the word “Canada,” with “9999” underneath to describe the coin’s purity. Below the owl, following the curved line of the coin’s serrated edge, is the description: “Fine Silver 1 Oz Argent Pur.”
Featured on the obverse is the traditional effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Canadian artist Susanna Blunt in 2003. Surrounding Her Majesty’s portrait is the mint date, “2015,” at the top, the face value, “5 Dollars,” at the bottom, and “Elizabeth II” on the left. The right curve of the coin features the abbreviated proclamation “D. G. Regina,” which stands for Dei Gratia Regina or By the Grace of God, Queen.
The 1-ounce Silver Great Horned Owl is 38 mm in diameter and 3.15 mm thick.