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High in the Sky

Published February 16, 2024 | 1 min read

By Sydney Stewart

This month the Royal Canadian Mint continues to push the boundaries of minting technology with its 2024 Year of the Wood Dragon coins. The pure gold $350 coin and the fine silver $50 feature Extraordinarily High Relief (EHR). The EHR designs on the obverse and reverse mark the first time the Royal Canadian Mint has used this technology. 

The reverse, designed by Simon Ng, pictures a dragon flying through a cloudy night sky. Additionally, the dragon’s tail forms the lucky number eight. The EHR allows for stunning detail and brings the height of the reverse to 4.7mm. The denomination and country appear on the rim, which is laser-engraved with a wood-grain pattern. The obverse depicts the other side of the same scene in EHR. Susanna Blunt’s effigy of Queen Elizabeth II appears above with the years of the monarch’s reign to the left. 

The fine silver $50 EHR Year of the Dragon coin. (Photo: The Royal Canadian Mint)

Marie Lemay, president and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint, says, “To create a front and rear view of a dramatic design on the same coin, and to do so in extreme relief on both sides, is a technical triumph for our talented employees.”

A version of this article appears in the April 2024 issue of The Numismatist (