Royal Mint coinage program marks WWII ending anniversary
- Published: Aug 16, 2020, 11 AM
The Royal Mint, in collaboration with the Imperial War Museum, is marking the end of World War II with 2020 commemorative £5 coins.
This year marks the 75th anniversary since the end of World War II, a war that raged for six years, claimed millions of lives and brought suffering to entire populations.
The new 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War coin silently acknowledges the many momentous events that took place throughout 1945 and the contributions of Allied soldiers, including continued fighting in the far east, the impact of the atomic bomb, and Victory in Japan.
Four versions of the coin are available: a Brilliant Uncirculated copper-nickel coin, a Proof .925 fine silver version, a Proof .925 fine silver piedfort (double thick) coin, and a Proof .9167 fine gold coin.
Designers Matt Dent and Christian Davies capture the event with a simple design inspired by stone inscriptions on war memorials. The typographic intersection of the words WAR and PEACE captures the sense of the conflict abating and the dawn of a new era.
Dent and Davies said, in a press release, “By taking our inspiration directly from the familiar hand-cut commemorations that are part of our collective memory, the effect is a common link transcending age and culture. Working closely with the Product Design team at The Royal Mint, we researched the method of chiselled lettering to create the digital clay model, whilst photographs of stone lend the real-life textures that give the natural ripples. Finally, we felt it was important to treat the characters in such a way that the word ‘peace’ dominates, conveying a sense that the horror of war has passed and a new era of peace has arrived.”
Clare Maclennan, divisional director of commemorative coin at the Royal Mint said, in a press release, “Following the launch of the VE Day commemorative coin, it only felt right to also mark the 75th anniversary since the End of the Second World War with a commemorative £5 — an anniversary that without a doubt can be considered as a national milestone. This commemorative coin not only preserves the legacy of this historical moment for future generations but also commemorates the sacrifices made around the world to restore peace.”
Significance of anniversary
John Delaney, head of second world war and mid-20th century section at the Imperial War Museum commented, “75 years ago, the Second World War, the most devastating conflict in modern global history, came to an end. The story of the Second World does not finish with what we know as VE Day on 8 May 1945. The world witnessed three more months of intense fighting and the annihilation of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by two atomic bombs before the conflict came to a close. This commemorative coin, produced by the Royal Mint in collaboration with Imperial War Museums, reminds us of that important period in our history, pays tribute to the sacrifices made by those who fought during this conflict and reminds us of the human cost of war.”
Once Japan accepted unconditional surrender, Prime Minister Clement Attlee announced the news at midnight on Aug. 14, declaring a two-day public holiday beginning with Victory over Japan (VJ) Day.
All the coins measure 38.61 millimeters in diameter and feature the Jody Clark effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.
Edge lettering on all three precious metal versions reads THROUGH COURAGE AND ENDURANCE.
The copper-nickel coin weighs 28.28 grams, has an unlimited mintage and retails for £13.
The standard silver version weighs 28.28 grams. In total, 2,575 coins are available individually for £82.50 each.
The piedfort silver coin weighs 56.56 grams. In total, 565 were issued, for £155 each, but all those sold out upon release Aug. 10. The gold coin weighs 39.94 grams, and 225 were designated for individual sales at £2,640 each.
In addition, special packaging options are being issued, with various mintages.
The Royal Mint also marked this historic milestone by striking 750 gold sovereign coins featuring Benedetto Pistrucci’s iconic St. George and the dragon design on the anniversary day, Aug. 15, 2020.
The Brilliant Uncirculated coin features a special anniversary Mint mark and the striking is authenticated by a hand-signed certificate of authenticity.
Those strike-on-day sovereigns, priced at £650 each, also sold out.
For full details of the coins and the program, visit www.royalmint.com/our-coins/events/end-of-the-second-world-war.
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