NEW series: Our first Sky Wonder is a rainbow-like marvel!
From nighttime displays to unusual phenomena, the skies over Canada give us plenty of reasons to look up in awe! Our three-coin Sky Wonders series places some of these celestial wonders within reach. By mixing colour and lighting technologies, each coin is a fine silver snapshot of naturally occurring optical illusions that are colourful, rare, and completely spellbinding — like the fire rainbow featured on Coin #1.
A rainbow is welcome after any rainstorm. But in Canada, a more unusual sight in the sky is a fire rainbow… which isn’t a rainbow at all! The unusual band of colours blazes across the summer sky on this coin, where our version of the optical illusion is amplified by a blacklight-activated effect.
A rarity: The fire rainbow
This rare halo takes the form of a wispy, rainbow-coloured cloud or band in the sky. Unlike a true rainbow, a fire rainbow requires no rain; instead, the fair-weather phenomenon appears when the sun hangs high in the sky and the cirrus clouds align. When light passes through these high-altitude clouds, it is refracted by plate ice crystals within. These crystals act like tiny suspended prisms that produce the curious rainbow pattern seen on this coin.
KEY SPECIAL FEATURES
- First coin, new series. Back by popular demand: A meteorological-themed series! The fire rainbow is the first of three of Canada’s Sky Wonders, the naturally occurring optical illusions that are a rare display in our skies.
- A technological wonder. When viewed under UV light, the rainbow colours appear more vivid than ever.
- Selective colour. The partial use of colour keeps the focus on the phenomenon, while the landscape is brought to life by fine engraving.
- Look down, not up. The design makes you feel like you are outside looking up at the sky, but the experience is sized to fit in the palm of your hand.
- Different technology every time. Each coin in this series features a different lighting effect.
DID YOU KNOW?
The sun must be high in the sky — higher than 58 degrees above the horizon — to produce a fire rainbow effect. Because of this, the phenomenon is very rare occurrence north of the 55th parallel and south of the equator, although the odds of seeing one in Canada are greater during the mid-summer months.
Within the cirrus clouds, the hexagonal plate ice crystals must also be aligned with their faces parallel to the ground in order to create the rainbow-like optical illusion.
Designed by Tony Bianco, the reverse features an engraved lakeside setting on a mid-summer day. Rolling hills rise up towards the colour portion of the design, where the sun hangs high in the blue-coloured sky. Sunlight passing though the cirrus clouds produces a fire rainbow, which is enhanced by a blacklight-activated effect. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
|Finished size||67 mm x 67 mm|