This week the Royal Canadian Mint released a new $20 pure silver commemorative coin featuring my illustration of a swimming polar bear. You can see it at the Mint’s website here; however I’m not sure how long that URL will last because the previous two coins in this series sold out quickly. Here’s my photograph of it:

polar bear coin photo

Royal Canadian Mint polar bear coin, designed by Emily S. Damstra

As you can see from the photograph, the part of the bear above the water line is shiny, and the sky has a different finish than the water. I like the different finishes. The card that comes with the coin includes my original sketch of the bear. Below is my photo of one side of the trifold package:

polar bear sketch on packaging

Packaging for $20 polar bear coin, ©Royal Canadian Mint

My design was inspired, in part, by a visit to the Detroit Zoo a few years ago. There, a clear tunnel through the polar bear enclosure enables one to get a close-up view of swimming polar bears. This photo shows a bear standing in the water on top of the tunnel.


Photograph by Emily S. Damstra


Gold lobster | News from the Studio

[…] to have a specimen to draw from. Very often, that’s not an option, such as when I draw polar bears or whales. Despite my distaste for seafood, I had intended to eat her so as to avoid wasting her […]

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