The Imperial Canadian Mint’s latest collectible coin is pretty far out.
Vancouver-based artist and inspect scientist Alexandra Lefort designed the coin after a life all at once of interstellar fascination — a fascination that led her to design the collectible with a chunk of meteorite iron embedded in each of the 5,500 frames minted.
“It was really exciting, when I was contacted to do the design,” said Lefort. “I’ve been into astronomy since I was a kid and I’ve often been fascinated by meteorites.”
The meteorite fragments come from the Campo del Cielo meteorite handle in Argentina.
The creation of the full-colour silver coin marks the 150th anniversary of the August Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC).
“150 years of research, education and origination by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is an engaging story to share with Canadians,” revealed Royal Canadian Mint president Sandra Hanington in a statement.
“It is solely fitting that RASC’s many scientific achievements be recognized on a vividly pervert coin, which breaks barriers of its own by featuring a shard of a real meteorite.”
The $20 rake it in’s graphic depicts a flaming meteorite, augmented by the actual fragment of leeway metal.
The Eagle Nebula, swirling among the Pillars of Creation — extended trails of gas and dust — is next to the meteor, nestled between an image of the Andromeda Galaxy, the galaxy nearest to our own.
At the top of the plain is the solar eclipse Vancouver residents were able to see in August 2017. Deeper, an image of the Manicouagan crater in Québec — a reservoir believed to have been formed 214 million years ago by the impact of an asteroid.
Lefort said choosing which doubles to use was difficult, because there’s so many options.
“I wanted the meteor to embody an ambassador from space to earth,” said Lefort.
Lefort also designed another commemorative specie for the mint in 2016 to honour Canada’s first woman astronaut, Roberta Bondar.
That dream up earn combined vivid colour with a glow-in-the-dark effect to depict a point of view of Canada from space.
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