William Shatner To Be Minted Like No Man Has Been Minted Before
|Canada’s new five dollar coin features
world-famous Canadian actor William Shatner.
THE ROYAL CANADIAN MINT– Canada is ready to phase-in the country’s first five-dollar circulation coin. Gaining approval and royal ascent for the proclamation authorizing the issue and prescribing the composition, dimensions, and design of the new coin has been a long trek, but with Canada’s continuing mission to reduce the amount of paper money in circulation, a five-dollar coin was the next step. To coin a phrase, “It was only logical.”
The new 9.2-gram Canadian coin features an effigy of William Shatner, national hero and star of film and television.
The Ministry of Public Works and Government Services has been committed to replacing paper money with coins. Millions of dollars in printing costs will be saved with the five-dollar coin, although the initial minting of $600 million worth of coins is expected to be snatched up by collectors at warp speed.
Minted coins typically have a circulation life of 25 years before they are ultimately destroyed by being placed on railroad tracks or inevitably lost down storm drains. In comparison, paper currency lasts approximately two weeks in circulation before it is irretrievably marred by tears, destroyed in your laundry, or defaced with curly ink moustaches.
Canada’s five-dollar bill was often altered into the image of Mr. Spock.
William Shatner was chosen to be represented on the coin because of his status as a hero to Canadians, and especially the science fiction community, which makes up approximately 80% of the Canadian population.
Most Canadian coins are composed of standard base metals. However with Shatner on the face, they thought it more appropriate to go with a heavier metal, and ultimately chose a nickel-plated tritanium alloy.
Shatner beamed with joy when told he had been selected to be on the face of the coin.
“I can’t…tell you…how happy I am,” he said in halting English. “No bones about it. I hope these coins…live long…and prosper…like my career.”
|Canada’s five-dollar bill was often
altered into the image of Mr. Spock.
This coin is not a limited edition currency, but it is expected that Canadian collectors will cling-on to these coins like a rare Romulan ale–at least for the first few star-dates. Numismatists expect that for the first few months, people will have to trek for kilometres to find a bank or government office that will have them in stock, and cross-border traffic is expected to increase by warp factor 10, as Star Trek nerds will be flocking to Canada faster than fans to a nude Jolene Blalock (T’Pol) website.
Enthusiasts are searching for a nickname for the new coin.
“We’ve got the ‘loonie’ ($1 coin), and we’ve got the ‘toonie’ ($2 coin),” said Noonian Singh, coin collector and Shatner fan. “So what will we call this enterprise? The Shatty? Kirk’s Koin? You’d think that the ‘Trekkie’ would be the logical choice, but there’s just no telling what humans in the early 21st Century will ultimately decide.”
The original concept for having (Bill) Shatner minted comes from the years that the Canadian $5 bill was altered using a blue ballpoint pen. The bill ostensibly shows Wilfred Laurier, a former Prime Minister. A few clever marks transformed the staid former Member of Parliament into the character “Spock” from the original television series. Coincidence? Leonard Nimoy is not a Canadian, but his former captain is.
“We want people to use this coin,” said Paul Gilbert of the Royal Canadian Mint. “We don’t want them to think it’s some phoney carnival token. Believe me, this coin is as real as the hair on Shatner’s head…”
This article about the William Shatner five-dollar coin was actuallyÂ published in Geist Magazine, and written by the Trek fans from The Toque