The gyrfalcon has been prized by humans as a hunting companion since ancient times. Associated not only with falconry but also with royalty and nobility, and a celebrated circumpolar Arctic coastal dweller, the gyrfalcon—the largest of the falcon species—makes a fitting subject for the Royal Canadian Mint’s stunning 2016 gold coin.
In the vast Canadian Arctic, Ursus maritimus is king. Like its homeland, it is massive – males can weigh up to 800 kilograms and females about 400 kilograms. Although Polar Bears inhabit Arctic coasts around the world, Canada hosts the largest population on earth: about 15,000 of the global total of approximately 25,000.
Valcambi CombiBars are ideal for those seeking gold that can be broken down into small increments. Thanks to the bar's perforated edges, each one can be split into very small amounts, potentially for use in trade or as a gift.
Until the start of the 20th Century, the U.S. Mint’s coinage was only designed by employees of the Mint. But that changed in 1904 when President Teddy Roosevelt, in acknowledging that “the state of our coinage is artistically of atrocious hideousness”, commissioned his friend and world-renowned artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens to design a coin with "some beauty". The exquisite Saint-Gaudens double eagle ($20) is the result of these two giants of history and their belief that the United States deserved a coinage as epic as the future that lay before the country.
The twenty dollar Liberty Head, also known as a "double eagle," was the first gold coin struck by the U.S. Mint. First authorized in early 1849, it was struck that year as a response to the sudden flow of gold, first in North Carolina in the 1830s, then compounded by the California Gold Rush in 1849. Prior to the Liberty Head, all U.S. coinage was made of silver, with the largest denomination being $10, or one eagle, hence the nickname, double eagle.
In the late 18th Century, with passage of the Coinage Act of 1792 and establishment of the U.S. Mint, a set of standards was applied to all gold coins struck by the United States government.
After successfully landing the highly esteemed sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to redesign the some aspect of U.S. coinage in 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt asked the artist to make models for several different denominations of gold coins. In 1905, the artist agreed and thus began a fantastic tale of presidential coin design.
The first national bullion coin in the world, the South African Krugerrand was first issued in 1967 to demonstrate the quality of that country's gold. The Krugerrand is named after Paul Kruger, the 5th president of South Africa and war hero of the Second Boer War, and the rand, the official South African currency unit. The coin was such a wild success that other countries followed suit, issuing their own bullion coins.