Winter’s white gallery
More than any other feature, Canada is best known for its snow, that great blanket of white that covers the landscape and influences everyday life across the nation; so much so, that extensive research has been undertaken to understand how this climatic phenomenon works.
Canada’s research scientists are known for developing the world’s most accurate gauge for recording snowfall and automated sensors that measure snow accumulation and melt on major glaciers and ice sheets. However, most people will agree that snow’s most breathtaking aspects have been brought to light by another long-established piece of equipment: the microscope.
The esteemed glass will penetrate the great white expanse and distill a handful of snow down to a perfectly star-shaped snowflake; that iconic symbol that graces everything from winter woollens to jewellery and greeting cards. It falls in countless shapes and sizes but always maintains its basic six-sided structure. And while its star-like shape may appear perfectly symmetrical to the naked eye, the microscope will reveal just how intricate it is; and how each branch is slightly different from the others.
Not all snowflakes are created equal. If it is very cold, they will fall as “dry” powder. Or, they may also take the shape of slender hexagonal columns that look like tiny wooden pencils under the microscope. The iconic star-shape people adore will only occur when the temperature is around -15° C (5° F) and the ice crystal can grow large and drift gently earthward without hitting any other crystals. With or without a microscope, the “six-sided dendrite ice crystal” is beautiful to behold; it’s a wonder such breathtaking art should fall from the sky.
Face Value: 300 dollars
Composition: 58.33% gold, 41.67% silver
Weight (g): 60.50
Diameter (mm): 50
Artist: Konrad Wachelko
- Our first gold snowflake coin since 2006.
- This coin glitters with six Swarovski elements.
- Mintage of only 750 coins worldwide.