Nfld. & Labrador

Royal Canadian Mint silver coin commemorates Beaumont-Hamel 100th anniversary

The Royal Canadian Mint honours the 100th anniversary of the battle of Beaumont-Hamel with a silver collector coin.

Collector coin part of an eight coin series honouring WW I

The silver coin features an image of a soldier advancing, and features King George V on the flip side. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

The Royal Canadian Mint presented a silver collector coin to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and the Newfoundland Command of the Royal Canadian Legion on Tuesday in St. John's.

The one ounce silver collector coin commemorates the 100th anniversary of the battle of Beaumont-Hamel. 

"We're in a unique position to tell these important stories and share them with all of Canada, and the coins are very good at doing that," Alex Reeves, senior manager of communications at Royal Canadian Mint, told CBC Radio's The St. John's Morning Show.

The coin has selective gold plating and depicts a solider on one side and an effigy of King George V on the other. 

Detailed design

"It features the assault, the men bravely advancing under enemy fire ... There's an angel which is part of the design feature of the victory medal that was awarded to all the veterans of the First World War," he said.

"Normally Canadian coins depict the effigy of Queen Elizabeth, but in a tribute to the period, the monarch who was ruling at the time was King George, and there's a very nice, classical effigy of him in selective gold plating over a pure silver coin."

Each year the Royal Canadian Mint board of directors hold meetings somewhere in Canada. This year's visit to St. John's provided the perfect opportunity to present the coin, Reeves said.

In 2013, the Royal Canadian Mint announced a six-year project to commemorate important centennial anniversaries of the First World War and 75th anniversary of the Second World War. This particular coin is part of an eight-coin series.

The coins can be purchased online, or through Canada Post. There are 10,000 available for collectors. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

Canadian artist Silvia Pecota designed the coin while the effigy of King George V by Sir E. B. MacKennal appears in selective gold plating on the obverse side. 

Pecota is a participant of the Canadian Forces Artist Program and has been designing coins for the Royal Canadian Mint since 2013.

"She was an ideal candidate for the job and did a very nice job of showing a soldier in the foreground with his comrades fighting valiantly in the background as well," Reeves said.

"It's a very, very nice coin."

Availability 

Ten thousand coins have been made, which are intended for collection, not circulation. 

The coin has been available for purchase since June 1 and can be found online, shipped to Canada and the U.S., or at Canada Post retail outlets.

"It's an important story to tell to people who are passionate about coins," Reeves said.

"To understand that Newfoundland went through this tragic experience, yet they were valuable partners in the allied victory as well. So we'll spread the story to a great variety of customers."

With files from The St. John's Morning Show

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