An artist's coin-cidence

A Kelowna artist is chalking up the last year as a coincidence – or a coin-cidence in her case.

A year ago, Laurie Koss had two of her paintings selected by Canada Post for its new flower stamp series. After finding out her work had been selected, she was contacted by the Royal Canadian Mint and told it would also like to feature her work on the sixth coin in its dewdrop series of silver coins.

“Other than the fact both the stamps and the coin are sold at the Post Office, the fact I was chosen as the artist for both is just a coincidence,” she says.

Both the Mint and Canada Post found Koss’ work through her website, as she specializes in painting flowers.

Koss was asked to submit a design of one of her paintings on an actual coin template.

“With the Mint, I worked alongside an expert who specialists in flowers and plants, and they would focus on the shape of my leaves, or my stem and there were many more revisions with this piece than I had done with the stamps, because the Mint wanted to make sure that flower was scientifically correct. It was very fascinating."

The flower on the coin is the Rudbeckia hirta, also commonly known as the black-eyed Susan, and is popular wildflower grown throughout Canada. The coin features Swarovski crystals on three of the petals, and is made of 99.99 per cent pure silver.

The Kelowna artist is excited about having another one of her works in circulation, as the 10 pack of her flower stamps sold out at Canada Post outlets across the country.

“You can still get the smaller packs or single stamps of the flower series, but not the 10 pack,” she explains.

"I just spoke with a Canada Post worker here in Kelowna who said she has been working for Canada Post for 27 years, and she told me it was the first time she has ever seen any stamp sell out.”

Koss heard the stamps were popular with brides for wedding invitations, and she has received many letters from the public congratulating her on her work.

The coins went on sale May 5, and can be purchased at Canada Post outlets or online for $119.95, but will have a face value of $20.

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