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Canada 2007 Holiday Lenticular #1 - Christmas Tree Ornaments 50 Cents Colorized Half Dollar with 3-D Lenticular Technology Specimen

Price: $99.95 $69.95
(You save $30.00)

Product Description

Celebrate the holidays the old-fashioned way, with glass ornaments the glimmer and shine as you move the coin!

Sold out at the Mint!The beautiful balls of colored glass that we now call ornaments were first made in Lauscha, Germany by Hans Greiner, who according to legend began hand-blowing glass into Christmas decorations because he was unable to afford the usual tree-trimmings, such as nuts, apples and candy. Greiner originally blew glass into the shape of fruit and nuts. The inside of his decorations were made to look silvery, at first with mercury or lead, then later using a special compound of silver nitrate and sugar water.

Ornaments.jpg As demand for Greiner's ornaments grew, he began blowing the glass into new shapes including the sphere, which is now the most popular. Other glassblowers in Lauscha recognized the growing popularity of Christmas ornaments as tree decorations and began producing them in a wide range of designs. Soon, the whole of Germany began buying Christmas glassware from Lauscha, and after Queen Victoria's Christmas tree was pictured in a London paper decorated with glass ornaments from Prince Albert's native Germany, Lauscha began exporting its products throughout Europe.

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In the 1880s American F.W. Woolworth discovered holiday ornaments during a visit to Germany. He made a fortune by importing the German glass to the United States. By the 1920s, traditional hand-blown methods had given way to mass production and before long there was competition from other regions of Germany and from abroad as well. The demand for the decorative items grew steadily, especially as new colors became fashionable. Today it's hard to imagine a Christmas tree without these beautiful balls of color surrounded by twinkling lights.

The Christmas Tree Holiday Ornaments Half Dollar is the first in the Mint's new and dynamic Lenticular Holiday Coins series. This series couples exciting, advanced minting technologies with a most affordable price! Please see the article near the end of this presentation for a short history of the Christmas tree.

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Technology Note
The Holiday Ornaments Half Dollar is the very first coin to feature the Royal Canadian MintÂ’s new 3-D lenticular technology. The RCM leads the world with its proprietary colorization technology, in which the color is actually sealed on the coin. The lenticular technology combines color with the illusion of movement - as you tilt the coin back and forth the ornaments glimmer and the lights appear to twinkle!

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07_Ornaments_50c_in_box.jpgThe Specimen Finish
This coin features the uniquely-Canadian "specimen" finish, a three-fold combination of different finishes. The design (raised area or relief) includes both brilliant and mirrored surfaces, while the fields (background) are subtly striated, resulting in a contrasting, matte appearance. No other mint in the world employs the specimen finish.

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A traditional Christmas tree is brightened by a selection of glass ornaments, highlighted in color by the Royal Canadian Mint's proprietary colorization technology, and further enhanced by the mint's lenticular 3-D effect. The date and denomination are also indicated.


Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of England, in profile facing right. This portrait, the fourth effigy of the queen to appear on Canadian coinage, was executed by the artist Susanna Blunt. The legend ELIZABETH II D. G. REGINA ("Elizabeth II, Queen by the Grace of God") also appears.

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The coin is encapsulated inside a burgundy leatherette, clamshell-style presentation case, lined with black velvet and protected by a black outer box. An individually-numbered certificate of authenticity is included.


Country Canada
Year of Issue 2007
Face Value 50 Cents
Weight 12.61 g
Diameter 35 mm
Mintage Limit    50,000
Finish Specimen
Composition Brass-Plated Steel
Edge Plain
Artist Royal Canadian Mint engravers
Certificate Individually Numbered


Origins, History and Legends of the Christmas Tree
The Egyptians were part of a long line of cultures that treasured and worshiped evergreens. When the winter solstice arrive, they brought green date palm leaves into their homes to symbolize life's triumph over death. The Romans celebrated the winter solstice with a fest called Saturnalia in honor of Saturnus, the god of agriculture. They decorated their houses with greens and lights and exchanged gifts. They gave coins for prosperity, pastries for happiness, and lamps to light one's journey through life.

Christmas_Tree.jpg Centuries ago in Great Britain, woods priests called Druids used evergreens during mysterious winter solstice rituals. The Druids used holly and mistletoe as symbols of eternal life, and place evergreen branches over doors to keep away evil spirits. Late in the Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed evergreen trees inside their homes or just outside their doors to show their hope in the forthcoming spring. Our modern Christmas tree evolved from these early traditions.

Legend has it that Martin Luther began the tradition of decorating trees to celebrate Christmas. One crisp Christmas Eve, about the year 1500, he was walking through snow-covered woods and was struck by the beauty of a group of small evergreens. Their branches, dusted with snow, shimmered in the moonlight. When he got home, he set up a little fir tree indoors so he could share this story with his children. He decorated it with candles, which he lighted in honor of Christ's birth.

The Christmas tree tradition most likely came to the United States with Hessian troops during the American Revolution, or with German immigrants to Pennsylvania and Ohio. But the custom spread slowly. The Puritans banned Christmas trees in New England. Even as late as 1851, a Cleveland minister nearly lost his job because he allowed a tree in his church. Schools in Boston stayed open on Christmas Day through 1870, and sometimes expelled students who stayed home.

The Christmas tree market was born in 1851 when Catskill farmer Mark Carr hauled two ox sleds of evergreens into New York City and sold them all. By 1900, one in five American families had a Christmas tree, and 20 years later, the custom was nearly universal. Christmas tree farms sprang up during the depression. Nurserymen couldn't sell their evergreens for landscaping, so they cut them for Christmas trees. Cultivated trees were preferred because they have a more symmetrical shape then wild ones.

Six species account for about 90 percent of the nation's Christmas tree trade. Scotch pine ranks first, comprising about 40 percent of the market, followed by Douglas fir which accounts for about 35 percent. The other big sellers are noble fir, white pine, balsam fir and white spruce.

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