The Royal Canadian Mint's incredible Call of the Wild series continues with the 2018 Canadian Golden Eagle 1 oz Call of the Wild gold coin! This is the fifth in the Mint’s gold coin series showcasing the iconic wildlife of Canada. Each coin is struck from one troy ounce of ultra-pure “five nines” .99999 fine gold. Five nines gold is 99.999% pure - the purest gold ever to enter the market. You will not find any mint in the world offering .99999 gold bullion coins other than the Royal Canadian Mint.
The reverse design, by famed Canadian wildlife artist Pierre Leduc, shows a finely-detailed view of a Golden Eagle’s head, caught in mid-screech. Stylized sound waves travel the background of the coin, from left to right. These soundwaves are the distinguishing feature of all Canadian Call of the Wild gold coins.
The Royal Canadian Mint’s famous micro-engraved security mark can be found on the lower right of the coin’s face. Introduced on 2013-dated Gold Maple Leafs, the intricate design of this feature is laser-engraved onto the reverse die used to make this coin. It is composed of a small raised maple leaf with a smaller a maple leaf cut from the middle. In the center of the mark is the number 18, representing the year-date of 2018. Rim inscriptions include the issuing country "CANADA" across the top rim and the specifications "FINE GOLD 99999 1 OZ OR PUR" along the bottom rim.
Susanna Blunt's portrait of Queen Elizabeth II appears on the obverse, facing right. Inscriptions around the outer rim read "ELIZABETH II," the year-date "2018," and the denomination "200 DOLLARS," as well as abbreviations for the traditional titles of the monarch in Latin: "D. G. REGINA" (Dei Gratia Regina, “By the Grace of God, queen”). Blunt’s initials SB can be seen at the left edge of the portrait’s truncation
The $200 face value of the 2018 Call of the Wild Golden Eagle 1 oz gold coin is the world’s highest denomination on a 1 oz gold bullion coin. This is a fitting crown to the unsurpassed .99999 fine purity and state of the art security measures the Royal Canadian Mint has included in this beautiful coin.
Each 2018 Canadian Golden Eagle Call of the Wild 1 oz gold coin comes in a protective capsule which is sealed in a custom, credit card-sized assay certificate that is signed by the Royal Canadian Mint’s Chief Assayer, Jonathan Forrest. Above Mr. Forrest’s signature, the title Assay Card, the coin’s fineness of .99999 and weight of one troy oz (31.11gr) is printed in both English and French.
About the Artists
Pierre Leduc is a famed wildlife artist who got his start in college, producing scientific illustrations for publications by the faculty of the Biology Department of the University of Quebec at Trois Rivieres. After seven years as a scientific illustrator, Leduc began stretching himself creatively by painting the native wildlife of Canada. He started painting wildlife full-time in 1986.
He has exhibited in more than 70 shows in Europe, Africa, and North America. His skill and creativity has landed him prestigious assignments from major Canadian conservation groups, such as the Quebec Wildlife Foundation, Wildlife Habitat Canada, and The Newfound-Labrador Conservation Fund. Leduc has also been awarded commissions from sportsman conservation groups such as Ducks Unlimited and the Quebec Federation of Hunters and Fishers.
From 1995 to 2000, Leduc designed the 24-stamp “Birds of Canada” stamp series for Canada Post. Other Canadian stamps he has designed include the 2005 Atlantic Walrus. In 2006, he collaborated with photographer Ted Coldwell for the Canada Post Duck Decoys four-stamp series. Coldwell’s photographs of Canadian duck decoys were backed by Leduc’s custom paintings. Each stamp featured the decoy from one of four different regions of Canada.
Pierre Leduc continues to have a long-standing relationship with the Royal Canadian Mint, where he has designed scores of wildlife coins. In addition to the gold Call of the Wild coin series, he has designed the Majestic Wildlife colorized silver coins, the 1 oz gold-plated silver Timeless Icons piedfort coins, and the gold-plated Maple Leaf Forever platinum 1 oz coin, among many others.
Susanna Blunt was born in 1941 to a British banker and Canadian mother living in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin, which was occupied by the Japanese from 1932 to 1945 during WWII. The Blunt family moved to Alberta, Canada while Susanna was a small child. Fascinated with drawing and painting, she studied painting under noted French artist Francoise Andre for three summers at the Banff School of Fine Arts. After graduating high school, she moved to Victoria, British Columbia, where she took private art lessons from Frances Goward for a year.
Then it was off to London for further studies. After a year at the Hammersmith School for Art and Architecture, where she studied drawing and basic sculpture, she enrolled at the Byam Shaw School of Art. Three years later, she was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Academy, where she completed four years of post-graduate work. Among her accomplishments in Britain, she spent six months assisting Yoko Ono on her art projects and exhibitions.
Blunt then spent two years in California, teaching part time while striking up friendships with other painters such as surrealist Gordon Onslow Ford. Returning to British Columbia, she divided her time between teaching art and painting.
Susanna Blunt has traveled the world for portrait commissions, as well as exhibiting in the UK, France, Italy, Hong Kong, the US, and Canada. One of her most-well known portraits is of Gerda Hnatyshyn, wife of Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Governor General of Canada from 1990 to 1995. Blunt was personally chosen by Mrs. Hnatyshyn to paint her official portrait to hang in Government House.
The public reception of this piece led to Blunt being invited by the Royal Canadian Mint to participate in a nine-person competition to design a new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II for Canada’s coins in 2002. Her right-facing image of Elizabeth was declared the winner, and began appearing on Canadian coins in June 2003.
Susanna Blunt now resides in Vancouver, where she is active in the city’s thriving art scene. She has shifted her attention from painting (though she does still take commissions) toward sculpting and producing three-dimensional artwork using found objects.
About the Golden Eagle
The golden eagle is the largest raptor in the Western Hemisphere. Primarily seen in Alaska, western Canada, the western US, and central Mexico, the golden eagle prefers large, open areas for hunting, and cliff faces or very large trees for nesting.
A dark brown bird, the golden eagle is named for the bright golden feathers that run down the back of its head and neck. It is not only the largest eagle in the Americas, it is also one of the fastest and most agile. The wingspan of a golden eagle can reach more than seven feet. It has been seen riding updrafts and hunting in winds as high as 100 mph (160 kmh).
Tools Of The Hunt
Golden eagles see in color, which helps them identify prey at distances unimaginable for man. They can also turn their head through the same 270 degrees of motion as seen with owls. Compared to the 180 degree vision field of a human, the golden eagle can see 340 degrees without moving its head.
Purdue and West Virginia University sequenced the golden eagle’s genome in 2014. One of the surprises from their study is that golden eagles cannot see in the ultraviolet range, as was long believed. This explained the failure of using ultraviolet paint on wind turbines to warn off the eagles. Another surprise was that golden eagles have a far more developed sense of smell than previously imagined.
Of course, seeing a prey animal does no good if it cannot be caught. To catch its prey unawares, the golden eagle can dive at speeds exceeding 150 mph (more than 240 kmh)! The massive talons of the golden eagle allow it to catch prey from as small as a mouse to as large as mountain goats or fully-grown deer. Numerous videos exist that show a golden eagle grabbing an adult deer or mountain goat and launching it over the edge of a cliff to effortlessly kill it. If no cliffs are handy, the golden eagles has little difficulty grabbing a deer by the spine, where its antlers can’t reach, and quickly felling the prey.
The golden eagle’s sharp beak is used for eating instead of hunting, but it will bring all weapons to bear when defending a kill. They have been known to fight off coyotes, wolves, and even bears that are trying to steal their kill. The golden eagle has no qualms about turning the tables on its competitors, and often will drive off the “owner” of a particularly nice kill, whether it’s a large mammal or other eagles. Even the bald eagle cannot stand up to the power of a golden eagle.
Dangers To The Golden Eagle
With such power and ferocity, perhaps it is little surprise that the deadliest enemy to golden eagles is man. From the 19th century to the late 20th century, ranchers and farmers in western Canada and the western US would kill golden eagles, under the impression that they were hunting livestock. As a raptor that is not adverse to eating carrion, the golden eagle is often killed by eating poisoned carcasses set out to kill coyotes.
To protect their dwindling numbers, the Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940 was extended to cover golden eagles in 1962. This covers not only shooting or otherwise killing an eagle, but also possessing a part of an eagle’s body, including feathers or eggs. Damaging an eagle’s nest, or molesting or disturbing an eagle is also a crime under this Act. Native Americans can apply to the Department of the Interior for permits to take bald or golden eagles as part of their native religion.
Purposefully taking a golden or bald eagle (including parts, nests, eggs, etc) carries a first-time penalty of up to $5,000 and one year in jail. A second offense has a maximum criminal penalty of $10,000 and two years in jail.
The giant electrical towers that carry power through remote areas are attractive to golden eagles looking for a high location to build their nests. The large size and broad wingspan of a golden eagle makes activity around the high tension power lines deadly. They can often accidentally grab two power lines with their huge talons, or brush two lines with their wings when landing or taking off. This results in immediate death by electrocution.
Another growing danger for raptors of all kinds are wind turbine farms erected to generate electricity. Birds cannot recognize the danger posed by the blades of the windmills, which turn faster than they can see. As a result, they fly directly into the turbines, with tragic consequences. This is especially dangerous for golden eagles, as the windy locations where windmill farms are set up also provide the thermals and updrafts that the eagles prefer to use when hunting. Many thousands of endangered and threatened birds, including the golden eagle, bald eagle, and California condor, are killed each year by flying into the whirling blades of wind turbines.
Advances in avian safety regarding power poles have helped reduce golden eagle fatalities from that cause, but designing effective warning devices and retrofitting them onto the tens of thousands of wind turbines used to generate electricity is a problem the solution of which is still far in the future.
The golden eagle’s diet protected it from the ravages of DDT in the 1960s and 1970s. DDT pesticides leached into the water across America, and concentrated in the flesh of fish. Since the main prey of bald eagles, ospreys and many other raptors were fish, they accumulated the chemical in their own bodies. In addition to poisoning them directly, it made the shells of their eggs so thin that they would break soon after being laid. Since the main prey for golden eagles were mammals, they were spared most of the ravages of DDT.
Did You Know?
- Susanna Blunt’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II does not include a crown, at the Queen’s behest.
- The Golden Eagle is the official bird of Albania, Austria, Germany and Kazakhstan, and both the national bird and subject of the national flag and coat of arms of Mexico.
- The Royal Canadian Mint’s Call of the Wild .99999 fine gold coin series began in 2014, with the release of the “Howling Wolf” coin.
About the Royal Canadian Mint
As a LBMA designated “Good Delivery” gold refiner, the products of the Royal Canadian Mint are all certified as being made from conflict-free gold. The RCM has been a world leader in developing pure gold investment vehicles. Notable accomplishments include Introducing the first .999 fine 1 oz gold investment coin, the first .9999 gold investment coin, the first .99999 fine gold bar, and the first .99999 gold coin.
The Royal Canadian Mint offers the world’s purest unlimited mintage gold and silver bullion coins, at .99999 and .9999 respectively. The RCM is also a world leader in precious metal coin security measures, with the micro-engraved Maple Leaf security mark, the precision-engraved diffracting radiant field, and the Bullion DNA database system that compares any Gold Maple Leaf dated 2014 or later, and any Silver Maple Leaf dated 2015 or later, to a photographic database to validate authenticity.
Gainesville Coins not only has the 2018 Golden Eagle Call of the Wild 1 oz .99999 fine gold coin, but also carries many sizes and styles of numismatic and bullion Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins.