OTTAWA — The Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled a pair of collector coins commemorating the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The two coins marking the planned April 29 royal nuptials — a $20 silver coin and a 25-cent piece — go on sale April 18 and May 2 respectively, but the mint is taking orders immediately.
The design of the $20 coin, created by portrait artist Laurie McGaw of Guelph, Ont., includes an engraving of William and Kate gazing lovingly into one another’s eyes.
Embedded in the coin is a sapphire-coloured crystal, reminiscent of the 18-carat sapphire-and-diamond engagement ring worn by Kate.
The coin is also engraved along its edge with HRH Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton in English and French, and there is also a heart hidden among its maple leaves.
The nickel-plated 25-cent piece — which will cost $25.95 — has a coloured photo reproduction of the royal couple based on a photograph taken at the 2008 wedding of a friend in Austria.
The $20 silver coin is limited to 25,000 worldwide and will retail for $104.95.
Gov. Gen. David Johnston was on hand for the event in the aged stone building on Sussex Drive.
The mint has a long history of honouring royal milestones. Its president, Ian Bennett, has called the coming wedding “a priceless opportunity to celebrate Canada’s pride in royal tradition.”
In May, the mint will also launch an extensive set of collector coins marking the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.
The first two silver coins in its “Continuity of the Crown Series” were released March 15, portraying princes William and Harry in ultra-high relief. A coin featuring their father, Prince Charles, will be released in September.
William and Kate are scheduled to pay an official visit to Canada this summer.