To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation, the Royal Canadian Mint has released three million glow-in-the-dark coins into general circulation. The $2 coins, or “toonies” as they’re colloquially called, depict two people in a canoe on a placid lake surrounded by trees, with the lights of the aurora borealis in the sky. Those Northern Lights illuminate when viewed in the dark, thanks to embedded luminescent ink, making this the first glow-in-the-dark coin in circulation. Here’s a hands-on experiment with one in the Hyperallergic office:
If you’re not in Canada, or don’t want to leave your collecting to chance, the “Dance of the Spirits” coin is also available as part of a commemorative coin set. It features more of the designs selected from the My Canada, My Inspiration contest, including the 25-cent “Hope for a Green Future,” which shows a plant extending from two hands and colored animals growing from the stem, by eight-year-old Joelle Wong of Ontario; and a 5-cent “Living Traditions” coin depicting a beaver in an Algonkian style by Gerald Gloade of the Millbrook First Nation in Nova Scotia.
“Dance of the Spirits” was submitted by Timothy Hsia, a physician who created the design with his brother Stephen. On the Royal Canadian Mint site, Hsia notes that “traditional Cree philosophy attributes the Northern Lights to a special moment when the Spirits manifest themselves, dancing, to the human eyes and minds below.” He further discusses why he chose the Northern Lights in this video, as well as his emphasis on the two people beholding the view:
Mints around the world have released some numismatic oddities, whether the Ivory Coast’s 2010 commemorative coin adorned with a piece of mammoth tusk or Palau’s coin (also from 2010) celebrating 400 years of the telescope and containing an optical lens. The Royal Canadian Mint has even made noncirculating, commemorative glow-in-the-dark coins before. However, Canada has been on the cutting edge of actually putting such experiments into wide use, as with 2004’s 25-cent Poppy coin marking Remembrance Day and the end of World War I, which was the first circulating colored coin. Now, with “Dance of the Spirits,” Canadians can find a bit of Northern Lights magic amid their pocket change.
Lebanese art dealer Georges Lotfi, who once helped authorities seize looted antiquities, is now accused of doing his own share of trafficking too.
An exhibition depicts how people have reimagined the medieval period in the centuries since, and how they have revealed their own interests and ideals with each new interpretation.
The Newark Museum of Art Presents Jazz Greats: Classic Photographs from the Bank of America Collection
Photographers Antony Armstrong Jones, Milt Hinton, Chuck Stewart, Barbara Morgan, and more capture a breadth of legendary and local musicians and performance artists. On view through August 21.
During his 84-year life, Liu Shiming helped shape a new Chinese cultural image rooted in the contributions and sacrifices of everyday people.
Playing at several film festivals this late summer, Ana Vaz’s It Is Night in America asks the viewer to take on unusual perspectives.
Art and photographs, publications from the 19th and 20th centuries, manuscripts, posters and more are set to cross the auction block on August 18.
The sealant used for gem-crusted ancient Maya teeth had medicinal properties that prevent tooth infections and decay, according to a new study.
Patrons can listen to a collection of 400 titles at the library and borrow them for up to three weeks.
The Los Angeles-based photographer offers an updated version of the mythologized American cowboy, calling rodeos “the traditional drag of America.”
At its core Line Berg’s Fra Far manifests the anguish of a family whose loved one is convicted of a serious crime.
At first, simply watching people read In Search of Lost Time might seem dull; by the end, you’ll be itching to read or reread it yourself.