The 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) is being celebrated, with three products being released as part of the Royal Canadian Mint’s January catalogue.
“Canada’s air force stepped onto the world’s stage during the Second World War, and, propelled by its members’ contributions, the RCAF quickly made a name for itself at home and abroad,” the mint states in its product release.
“Whether participating in air defence, Arctic patrols, NATO training, humanitarian flights, natural disaster relief, peacekeeping operations or search-and-rescue efforts or even providing space power support to the Canadian Armed Forces, Canada’s air force continues to defend Canada’s air space, saving lives, helping people at home and abroad, and serving Canada.”
The history of the RCAF traces back to the Canadian Air Force (CAF), formed in 1920. On April 1, 1924, King George V granted the CAF royal sanction to form the RCAF.
To celebrate the anniversary, the mint is offering three special collectibles, including a 20-millimetre gold coin featuring the De Havilland DH-82C Tiger Moth biplane that played a pivotal role in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan during the Second World War.
Designed by Geoffrey de Havilland and built by the de Havilland Aircraft Company, the Tiger Moth served as a primary trainer aircraft for the RCAF. According to Wikipedia, “the Second World War had the RCAF Tiger Moths operating in other capacities, including maritime surveillance and defensive anti-invasion preparations; and, some aircraft were even outfitted to function as armed light bombers.”
Designed by artist Neil Hamelin, the gold coin’s reverse features the Tiger Moth in flight with the RCAF roundel as a backdrop, and below the aircraft is the motto Sic Itur ad Astra (“Such is the pathway to the stars”). The obverse features Canada’s first effigy of King Charles III. With a mintage of only 1,500, the pure $100 gold coin weighs 7.8 grams. The gold coin is now available.
The second collectible is the fine silver Proof dollar, the mint’s flagship collector coin. Described as one of the year’s most anticipated coins, the design represents a “close collaboration” between the mint, the RCAF and artist Jason Bouwman, who also designed the 2009 Anniversary of Flight in Canada Proof dollar. The reverse features four different aircraft in flight with the RCAF roundel as the backdrop. The obverse features the Charles III effigy.
With a mintage of 35,000, the 36.07-mm pure silver coin with a serrated edge weighs 23.17 grams. While available for pre-order, the coin will officially be available starting March 5.
The RCAF silver Proof dollar will also be featured in the RCM’s annual Proof set featuring all denominations for 2024. However, instead of the traditional yellow gold plating, the set-exclusive Proof dollar features an application of rose gold to the RCAF roundel’s Maple Leaf, and on the rim of both the reverse and obverse.
“From the laser-engraved tartan to the brilliant relief, a mix of carefully engraved frostings make the engraved design come alive,” the mint states.
A total of seven coins are included in the set, including the Proof dollar, $2, $1, 50 cents, 25 cents, 10 cents and five cents. Available March 5, only 25,000 Proof sets are available.
The RCM’s 2024 Celebrating Canada’s Diversity coin pays tribute to Iranian cultural traditions from today to those of ancient Persia and beyond. Created by artist Soheila Esfahani, the design features Eslimi Patterns and Shah Abbasi flower motifs from traditional carpet designs, lotus flowers inspired by the reliefs of Persepolis, stylized maple leaves symbolizing Canadian identity, and a paisley motif in the centre. These elements come together to surround the simulated turquoise on the coin’s reverse. Turquoise figures prominently in Iranian art and architecture. Coin No. 5 in the diversity series is available in both one-ounce silver and gold.
Only 275 of the 30-mm gold coins with a $200 face value are available, while the mintage of the 38-mm silver coins with a $20 face value is 5,500.
Also, in January, the mint is releasing a 1/20-ounce 14.1-mm pure gold coin to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. With a mintage of 8,888, the coin showcases the Chinese spirit dragon with the art motifs, symbols, and legends that are a cherished part of Chinese-Canadian culture.
OTHER JANUARY RELEASES
Returning this year are the RCM’s popular “Treasured Silver Maple Leaf” premium bullion first strikes, minted on the first days of production with new dies. The three designs available this year are also the first to feature the effigy of King Charles III. The three privy mark designs include: a dragon to celebrate the Year of the Dragon, fireworks that say “Congratulations” and a polar bear that applies to any occasion. Silver Maple Leaf bullion coins also feature cutting-edge security features, including radical lines, Bullion DNA Anti-Counterfeiting Technology, and the RCM’s exclusive Mintshield surface protection. With a mintage of only 25,000 for each privy mark, the one-ounce 38-mm coins have a face value of $5. Designed by artist Walter Ott, each coin comes in special packaging. The mint is also offering the polar bear privy mark on a 1/10-ounce Treasured Gold Maple Leaf first strike, with a mintage of 5,000.
The mint’s popular “Welcome to the World and Celebrate Love” silver coins for 2024 are now available. These keepsake coins are given out annually by family and friends to celebrate newborns and special occasions such as engagements and weddings. Unlike most coins that feature raised relief, the Welcome to the World coins’ two feet have been struck incuse, like footprints in the sand. Each 34-mm pure silver coin includes a certificate in full colour with space to add a personalized message. With a mintage of 20,000, Celebrate Love is a meaningful gift to celebrate special occasions and milestones like a wedding, engagement, birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and more. Yellow gold plating highlights the infinity heart on the reverse, the effigy of Queen Elizabeth on the obverse, and the rim that frames the engraving on both sides. The coin is 38 mm in diameter and weighs 31.39 grams. Both specialty coins are packaged in an elegant keepsake box.
The 2024 Gift Card Sets are the first sets to feature 2024-dated uncirculated Canadian coins with the effigy of King Charles III, marking a new era in Canadian numismatics. The three sets include Born in 2024, Happy Birthday 2024 and O Canada 2024. Packaged in a card-like folder with an envelope enclosed, each five-coin uncirculated set includes an exclusive beaver-themed $1 coin.
For further details, visit mint.ca.