By Jesse Robitaille
Several coins celebrating the Second World War Allies’ victory in Europe are among the Royal Canadian Mint’s first numismatic catalogue of the year.
A $1 Fine silver proof coin, “75th Anniversary of V-E Day,” is described by the Mint as its “flagship product … for a yearlong commemoration of a major anniversary in 2020: the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.”
“The end is the beginning,” writes the Mint about its 2020 V-E Day Collection. “Your proof dollar is the starting point for a historical journey that spans several coins in 2020. It is the story of Canada leading up to V-E Day, of a nation’s contributions and its reaction to the end of the Second World War in Europe.”
Designed by Pandora Young, the coin’s reverse features three silhouettes – representing each branch of the Canadian Armed Forces – below a crowd of celebrating Europeans. A large “V” is at the centre of the reverse, which also includes the words “CANADA” and “DOLLAR” plus the double dates “1945 / 2020.”
The effigy of King George VI, who reigned throughout the Second World War after his brother Edward VIII’s abdication in December 1936, is shown on the obverse.
This coin has a weight of 23.17 grams, a diameter of 36.07 millimetres and a mintage of 25,000.
14-KARAT GOLD V-E DAY COIN
Another piece from the Mint’s 2020 V-E Day Collection is a 14-karat gold $100 coin, also titled “75th Anniversary of V-E Day.”
While the aforementioned proof dollar celebrates the wartime contributions of all Canadians, this gold coin focuses on another part of Canada’s V-E Day story, that of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and its role in the events before and after victory in Europe.
Designed by Laurie McGaw, the reverse of this coin features three RCAF members – two men and one woman – with a large silhouetted “V” emanating from the centre member, who’s saluting. To the top are a flying RCAF aircraft plus the word “CANADA” and double dates “1945 / 2020.”
Once again, the obverse depicts the effigy of King George VI—this time alongside a special privy mark inspired by the 1945 five-cent “Victory” coin.
This coin has a weight of 12 grams, a diameter of 27 millimetres and a mintage of 1,200.
CLASSIC UNCIRCULATED, SILVER PROOF SETS
The annual “Classic Canadian Uncirculated Set” and “Fine Silver Proof Set” plus four yearly gift sets were also issued as part of the January catalogue, which was released nationwide on Jan. 9.
The 2020 Fine Silver Proof Set marks the 75th anniversary of V-E Day and includes an exclusive version of the aforementioned silver proof dollar, this featuring selective gold plating, plus “a rare re-creation” of the 1945 five-cent “Victory” coin. This set has a mintage of 15,000.
Another annual issue is the 2020 Classic Canadian Uncirculated Set is an annual issue featuring six coins “carefully selected as the finest representation of Canada’s six denominations of circulation coins.” It has a mintage of 75,000.
OTHER JANUARY COINS
The remaining coins in the Mint’s January numismatic catalogue include:
- a $3 Fine silver coin, “Celebration of Love,” an annual issue, this featuring a pair of Swarovski crystals representing a “special loving bond,” according to the Mint;
- the second of 12 $5 Fine silver coins from the 2020 “Birthstones” series, this marking the month of February and featuring four Swarovski crystals;
- an $8 pure gold coin, “Lucky Flower Dragon,” which tells the story of a seemingly angry dragon, who lives atop a mountain and was invited by a young girl to her birthday party, later becoming known as the “Good-Luck Dragon”;
- a $10 Fine silver coin, “Welcome to the World,” an annual issue featuring its reverse design struck incuse like footprints in the sand;
- a $20 Fine silver coin, “Best Wishes on Your Wedding Day,” another annual issue with selective pink-gold plating on the reverse heart design and an obverse effigy of Queen Elizabeth II;
- the third of six $50 Fine silver coins from the “Real Shapes” series, this featuring the Bluenose in selective 24-karat gold plating on the reverse;
- a $125 Fine silver coin, “Lucky Dragon,” which weighs 502.5 grams with a diameter of 85.52 millimetres and a mintage of 588;
- the final coin in the “Canadian Coastal Symbols” series, this a $200 pure gold coin, “The Atlantic,” which is struck in “Five 9s” gold (99.999 per cent), the world’s highest gold purity; and
- the third $200 pure gold coin from the annual “Early Canadian History” series, “New France,” which features pioneer Louis Hébert and his family clearing land to grow crops for Samuel de Champlain’s “Habitation,” the 1608 settlement that would become Québec city.
2020 GIFT SETS
Lastly, the 2020 gift sets include:
- the “Born in 2020” baby gift set;
- the 2020 “Happy Birthday” gift set;
- the “Married in 2020” wedding gift set; and
- the 2020 “O Canada” gift set.
Each of the sets includes an exclusive $1 coin designed for the respective occasions plus 2020-dated five-, 10- and 25-cent coins plus a “loonie” and “toonie,” all with traditional designs.
With a mintage of 100,000, each set also comes with graphic envelopes for personalizing and mailing.
For more information, visit mint.ca.