World War I, dubbed “the war to end all wars,” didn’t live up to that moniker, but 100 years later is remembered for shaping the course of history.
The Royal Canadian Mint marks the declaration of war with a Proof 2014 10-ounce .9999 fine silver $100 coin, the RCM’s first 10-ounce silver coin in at least 15 years.
The war was sparked by the June 28, 1914, assassination of Austrian archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife. In the months that followed, the conflict would enlarge until foes around the world were pitted against each other.
The reverse is a tribute to those who left their homeland and their loved ones to serve as part of the First Contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.
Designed by Canadian artist Yves Bérubé, the reverse captures a departing soldier taking one last look at the Canadian coastline in a scene from October 1914, as the SS Megantic is among the ships transporting the first Canadian troops to British soil in the early days of the war.
“One soldier is leaning against the stern’s guard rail, his back momentarily turned on his shipmates who have gathered on the deck,” according to the Royal Canadian Mint. “With the Canadian Red Ensign softly flapping in the breeze overhead, the soldier takes a long look at the soaring cliffs of the Gaspe Peninsula as the ship brings him closer to the battles that surely lie ahead.”
This sight would prove to be the last glimpse of Canada for many of its soldiers.
The obverse of the coin carries the Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.
The coin weighs 311.5 grams, measures 76.2 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 1,000 pieces. It retails for $899.95 in Canadian funds.
The U.S. prices for collectors in the United States buying from the RCM fluctuate with the exchange rate, calculated at the time of purchase.
Telephone the RCM inside the United States at 800-268-6468. In Canada, telephone the RCM at 800-267-1871. Visit the RCM website to order.