In the continuing quest to understand our universe, astronomers and astrophysicists with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) use the laws of physics and chemistry to explore the processes and phenomena that shape our galaxy, and beyond. This fine silver coin celebrates Canada’s spirit of innovation and discovery, as well as the Canadian facilities that are changing the way we define our world, our universe and ourselves.
Composition: 99.99% pure silver
Weight (g)*: 31.39
Diameter (mm): 38
Face Value: $20
Finish: Proof, color and borosilicate glass
Artist: Ardell Bourgeois
Packaging: Maroon clamshell with black beauty box
- Third and FINAL coin in the Mint’s The Universe three-coin series! Each one is an unforgettable piece of art, thanks to the unique combination of detailed engraving, vibrant colour and a captivating, handcrafted glass embellishment!
- No two coins are alike! Each coin features a beautiful glass embellishment that is lightweight yet resistant to thermal shock and impact. Handcrafted in Canada, this glass piece has been manually sculpted with dexterity and a strong synchronized movement that has been learned over time.
- Within each glass insert is a one-of-a-kind representation of a radio wave. Worked at extremely high temperatures, the effect is created with a mix of glass and silver fume laid out in the shape of a wave—just like the ones captured by a radio telescope!
- Luminescent elements within the glass add a captivating glow to the silver fume swirl, while the coloured sky hides another feature that reveals itself in the dark: glow-in-the-dark to recreate a night sky!
The engraved reverse design by Canadian artist Ardell Bourgeois features a depiction of the NRC Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) near Penticton, British Columbia. Against the tree-lined mountain to the north, the 26-metre John A. Galt Telescope is pointed up to the sky to capture and transmit the radio wavelengths originating from space. The soft colours of the blue sky and light clouds provide a beautiful backdrop to the engraved building in the foreground, which is easily identified by the NRC-CNRC logo. Under lit conditions, the coloured sky masks a spectacular hidden feature: the presence of glow-in-the-dark stars, as they would appear in the night sky over the observatory. To the left, artist Loïc Beaumont-Tremblay has handcrafted a lightweight yet resilient glass embellishment, which presents an artistic representation of a radio signal received by the telescope. Using a mix of glass and silver fume, the effect is achieved by working at extremely high temperatures in order to replicate the wave shape; the addition of luminescence also gives the wave a captivating glow, adding an otherworldly quality to this celebration of astrophysical achievement.