Water-lily and Venetian Glass Leopard Frog

May 6, 2014 0 By SCS




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The coin that seems to have created the greatest buzz amongst the more than two-dozen new ones released this month by the Royal Canadian Mint is the latest piece in it’s Venetian Glass range. Despite upping the mintage by 2,500 from last years 10,000, it’s already sold out and the first three coins in the range are selling with hefty premiums. It’ a strange situation because many numismatic collectors genuinely despise the more gimmicky end of the market but still like these. Without doubt it’s a beautifully done piece and takes full advantage of the process. The latest frog coin is probably the best yet.

For those that like the design but want something more affordable, there’s a bimetallic version available that sells for just $29.95 instead of the $149.95 that the silver coin does. Packaaged in the same box, it’s a compelling budget alternative, unlike many bimetallic coins.

Found in every Canadian province and Territory except Yukon and Nunavut, the leopard frog is aptly named for the irregularly shaped black spots that dot its brown, greenish-brown, or green skin. It lives in a variety of habitats including wetlands in prairies and woodlands in summer for feeding. In the fall it usually moves to ponds, streams, and rivers which do not freeze to the bottom. In the spring it emerges to seek out ponds and marshes for breeding. It is there that the tadpoles will develop.

The leopard frog consumes nearly any animal that fits in its mouth, be it insects, worms, smaller frogs and even birds or garter snakes. The hunter becomes the hunted if it encounters predators such as fish, water snakes, turtles, herons, raccoons or even larger frogs.


These freshwater perennials are remarkable plants. At the surface, their buoyant evergreen leaves form a canopy that become resting places for dragonflies, beetles and even small turtles. Nine species are native to Canada, including the widespread yellow pond lily. Often dotted with a large, fragrant blossom that opens in the morning sun and closes in the afternoon, these plants are anchored to the muddy lakebed by a long stalk. A glimpse underneath these lily pads reveals a wealth of wildlife competing for cover, making these plants essential to their aquatic ecosystems.

The coin was designed by Canadian artist Maurice Gervais and features an engraved and painted Yellow Pond Lily (Nuphar variegatum) that occupies the left side of the image field. The blossom is in fool bloom, its outer cup shaped petals opened to reveal the circular pattern of stamens cradled inside. A stunning, translucent green Leopard Frog made of Venetian glass and hand-crafted by Giuliano Donaggio – a master glassmaker in Murano, Italy – sits upon the engraved and coloured green lily pad leaf in the right portion of the image field.

Murano glass is world-renowned for its bright colours, which beautifully showcases the leopard frog upon a full colour, engraved lily pad. The coin is the fourth in a series that pair engraved and painted flowers with a beautifully detailed rendering of a creature that is native to Canada’s natural landscape.

The coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint branded maroon case with black beauty box.

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