The Canadian Royal mint are the first to use the famous Yousuf Karsh portrait of Winston Churchill on a coin. Licensed by Camera Press the Yousuf Karsh series launched in 2015 with the portrait of Albert Einstein, followed by a second coin in 2017 featuring Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as a young princess. Each of the three engraved coins are made of 10 oz. of fine silver and include a high-resolution printed copy of Karsh’s original portrait and signature on the packaging.
Jerry Fielder, Director of the Estate of Yousuf Karsh, accompanied Mrs. Karsh during her visit (to the mint) and explained that while they have permitted the use of the image on stamps, posters, books and more, they never allow interpretations of Karsh’s work. Until now.
How did the Royal Canadian Mint get the honour of interpreting not one, but three portraits by this legendary Canadian photographer? According to Mrs. Karsh and Fielder, the answer is simple: “This is a Canadian coin and Yousuf was an extremely proud Canadian. He would have been very pleased with this reproduction.”
Eric Boyer, Royal Canadian Mint engraver on tackling the imprint commented, “I spent a lot of time researching images of Churchill because I wanted to ensure that from whatever angle you look at the coin, you would see a true resemblance to the portrait.”