RCM to hold Armistice coin exchanges

After recently issuing a $2 circulation coin honouring the 100th anniversary of the First World War armistice, the Royal Canadian Mint has announced it will host 12 public coin exchanges in six provinces across Canada in November and December.

Recalling the signing of the historic peace treaty that officially ended the Great War on Nov. 11, 1918, the coin was unveiled at the Mint’s Winnipeg facility last month. A total of three million coins – with two million selectively coloured pieces and an additional one million unpainted – will be issued nationwide in honour of this crucial event in Canadian and world history.

“For a nation of eight million people, Canada’s efforts in the First World War were remarkable. More than 650,000 Canadian men and women served in uniform during the First World War, with more than 12,000 comrades from Newfoundland and Labrador also answering the call to arms,” said Finance Minister Bill Morneau last month.

TWO COINS EACH

The coin exchanges will hit British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.

A maximum of two coins can be exchanged by each guest while supplies last.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

  1. Nov. 1 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Bentall Centre Post Office
  2. Nov. 2 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Vancouver Main Post Office

ALBERTA

  1. Nov. 9 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at West Edmonton Coin and Stamp

MANITOBA

  1. Nov. 1-3 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Mint facility in Winnipeg

ONTARIO

  1. Nov. 2-4 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Mint facility in Ottawa (meet artist Laurie McGaw on Nov. 3)
  2. Nov. 9 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Meadowlands Post Office in Ancaster (meet artist McGaw)
  3. Nov. 10 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Colonial Acres in Kitchener (meet artist McGaw)
  4. Nov. 11 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa

QUEBEC

  1. Nov. 2 from noon-8 p.m. at Imaginaire in Quebec city
  2. Nov. 3 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Imaginaire in Sherbrooke
  3. Nov. 4 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at Imaginaire in Trois-Rivières

NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR

  1. Nov. 8 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the St. John’s Post Office

A total of three million $2 circulation coins, including two million selectively coloured pieces (shown above), were issued by the Royal Canadian Mint beginning Oct. 15.

COIN DESIGN

Designed by Canadian artist Laurie McGaw, the coin’s reverse depicts a poignant pairing of two symbols of remembrance – an iconic Great War-era steel combat helmet and a poppy.

Within the inner core, a soldier’s “Brodie” helmet represents the end of the First World War and serves as a solemn reminder of the many lives lost during this unprecedented conflict. Below the helmet lies a large poppy, the official bloom of remembrance inspired by the iconic war poem In Flanders Fields, which was written by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae in 1915.

The poppy’s bright scarlet colour is re-created on selectively coloured versions of the coin. Two more poppies are engraved on the outer ring, which includes a banner bearing the bilingual words “REMEMBER” and “SOUVENIR” as well as the year-date “2018.”

“The Mint is proud to share the story of bravery, sacrifice and determination, on both the battlefield and the home front, by Canadians, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, which secured Allied victory in the First World War,” said Jennifer Camelon, interim president and CEO of the Mint.

“With a new coin commemorating the Armistice, Canadians may remember our predecessors who risked their lives or made the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War to defend our values and freedoms.”

The coin’s obverse features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Canadian artist Susanna Blunt in 2003.

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