The Royal Mint has released (10th August) new gold and silver Proof crown coins, which are in remembrance of the end of the Second World War that engulfed the world in fighting from Europe to Asia and involved armies from North America. 2020 marks the ...
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United Kingdom: New crown coins issued in remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and more...

United Kingdom: New crown coins issued in remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War

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The Royal Mint has released (10th August) new gold and silver Proof crown coins, which are in remembrance of the end of the Second World War that engulfed the world in fighting from Europe to Asia and involved armies from North America. 2020 marks the 75th anniversary since the end of the Second World War, marking the end of a war that had raged for six years, claimed millions of lives, and brought suffering to entire populations. The new coin acknowledges the pivotal events which took place throughout 1945 and the contribution of Allied soldiers; including continued fighting in the Far East and the impact of the atomic bomb, which resulted in ultimate victory over Japan.

Many historians have agreed that the end of the Great War in 1918 was, in fact, just a pause to what would be further fighting as numerous disagreements came to the forefront in Europe and Asia since the end of that deadly conflict. Germany, which had suffered a significant defeat in 1918, and the emergence of Japan as a military power, only served to lessen the safety and security of neighbouring countries. Defeated Germany had emerged post-war as a weak republic whose economy was suffering from hyperinflation and later detrimental effects resulting from the Great Depression of 1929. In 1933, the National Socialists were swept into power with promises to reverse the non-aggressionist conditions imposed on the country by the Versailles Treaty. Japan, which was embarking on a policy of colonisation all over Asia, was intent on displacing European powers of their own possessions and territories in the region. Italy elected a fascist government in 1922, and it was these three governments which came together, forming a tripartite pact to be known as the Axis Powers.

War was declared in September 1939 by Great Britain and France, with the invasion of the Polish Republic by the army of the German Third Reich. In December 1941, the United States declared war against the Empire of Japan after they had deliberately bombed their naval port in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. These two theatres of war would go on to inflict great suffering on the civilian populations of countless countries on four continents, where the fighting had ultimately reached. Military occupations of many countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa resulted in the movement of millions of refugees across continents. The stories of horror emerging from survivors managing to escape their internment gave greater resolve to the allies of Great Britain, France, the United States, and the USSR to put an end to the suffering caused by the Axis.

The war in Europe would endure until May 1945 for almost six years by the time the fighting had ended. The Third Reich was soundly defeated with heroic fighting by the Allies and during battles that would be remembered in history as some of the fiercest and most decisive. The theatre of war in Asia would take longer to conclude. This was finally achieved in August the same year when the world had seen, for the first time, a power unleashed by American B-29’s fighter planes never before seen. An atomic bomb was detonated in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and then in Nagasaki, which essentially resulted in the unconditional surrender of Japan. Celebrations in the United Kingdom, recently-liberated France, in the United States and Canada, and in Australia broke out on two occasions when the news of unconditional surrender had been received. Countries celebrating victory in Europe were acutely aware the celebrations were heartfelt but also mindful that the other theatre of fighting, in Asia, was still ongoing, and their fighting men were in their thoughts and prayers. When the news of victory in Japan was received by the world on the 14th August 75 years ago, spontaneous celebrations broke out again in the streets of Great Britain with bonfires and parties. A document of capitulation was signed on the 2nd September by representatives of Japan aboard the United States Navy battleship USS Missouri, and in the presence of General Richard K. Sutherland of the United States, Chief of Staff in the Southwest Pacific area during the war. With this official act, the world war was finally at an end.

The Proof-quality gold and silver coins are designed by Matt Dent and Christian Davies, who capture the magnitude of events with a design inspired by stone inscriptions on war memorials. The typographic intersection of the words WAR and PEACE reiterates the sense of the conflict abating and the dawn of a new era. The centre design is surrounded by the inscription THE END OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR, with the commemorative years 1945 and 2020 placed below.

The obverse side depicts the fifth effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II created by Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark and introduced onto all circulation and many commemorative coins in 2015.

Denom. Metal  Weight  Diameter  Quality  Maximum Mintage 
Five pounds Cupro-nickel  28.2 g 38.6 mm Brilliant Unc. with applied colour Unlimited
Five pounds .925 Silver 28.2 g 38.6 mm Proof with applied colour 2,575
Five pounds .925 Silver 56.5 g 38.6 mm Proof with applied colour 565
Five pounds .916.7 Gold 62.2 g 38.6 mm Proof 225

Each Brilliant Uncirculated cupro-nickel crown is presented in a colourful folder which includes images and informative text about the events leading up to the end of the Second World War.

The silver Proof-quality traditional and Piedfort crown coins are presented in black matte custom cases, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

The gold Proof-quality coins are presented in polished hardwood cases, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For additional information about these coins and other coins available from the Royal Mint, please visit their website.

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Canada: Large silver coin celebrates 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Northwest Territories

The Royal Canadian Mint has released new large-size silver coins which are in remembrance of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Canada’s Northwest Territories, one of the largest regions of land in North America. At 1,144,000 square kilometres (442,000 square miles), it represents 34 percent of Canada’s landmass. Created in 1870, just three years after Canadian Confederation from land once known as Prince Rupert’s Land, this immense spans of land was named after Prince Rupert of the Rhine, a nephew of King Charles I, and who was the first governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Along with a portion of land known as the Northwestern Territory, so named due to its location in correlation to Prince Rupert’s Land, these two entities came together and were transferred from the Hudson’s Bay Company to the government in Ottawa on the 15th July 1870.

Today, the land once known as the Northwestern Territory has seen several boundary changes since 1870, with some of its territory being divided to enlarge or create some of the present Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, and Yukon. The last border change came on the 1st April 1999, with the creation of a new territory named “Nunavut” to the east. At 1,877,787 square kilometres (725,018 square miles) in size, it makes this territory Canada’s largest and most northern territory in the Confederation. The Northwest Territory is predominantly populated by Indigenous or First Nations peoples with European Canadians as the second largest demographic group. The Northwest Territories are ranked as number 11 in terms of population, with just over 44,000 inhabitants. Appointed as such in 1967, prior to this, a series of settlements and forts acted as the Northwest Territories’ administrative seat. Of particular interest was that the Northwest Territories, unlike the Provinces, had separate administrative and legislative capitals between 1911 and 1967.

The large-size silver Proof coins are designed by Inuvialuk artist Myrna Pokiak, whose depiction is an artistic celebration of life in the Northwest Territories. The commemorative years 1870 – 2020 are seen in the design and placed just to the right of the dancer.

The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt. The denomination of 30 DOLLARS is placed below the Queen’s likeness.

Denom.

Metal 

Weight  Diameter  Quality 

Maximum Mintage 

30 dollars

.999 Silver

62.6 g 50 mm Proof

2,500

Each coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded custom case and is accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity. For additional information on this coin, please visit their website.

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Barbados: Seahorses feature on latest Caribbean silver one-ounce bullion coins

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The Central Bank of Barbados has released their 2020-dated Caribbean Silver Seahorse one-ounce bullion coins. Begun in 2018, the series focuses on the seahorse as its theme, while the 2020-dated coins depict a new design from the two previous releases. One of the most fascinating and distinct fishes in the ocean, seahorses are truly unique, and not just because of their unusual equine shape — which is where their name derives.

Searching for mates can be difficult and risky since seahorses since they do not swim as fast as their predators and need to rely on camouflage to hide from them. Unlike most other fish, seahorses are known to favour monogamous pairings and mate for life. Rarer still, they are among the only animal species on Earth in which the male bears the unborn young. This is achieved when a female seahorse lays dozens, sometimes hundreds, of eggs in a pouch on the male seahorse’s abdomen. This anatomy is called a brood pouch and resembles a kangaroo’s pouch for carrying young. Seahorse young will hatch and emerge after up to 45 days in the brood pouch.

The gold and silver coins are produced by the Scotsdale Mint at their facilities in Arizona, on behalf of the Central Bank of Barbados. The obverse side features a full image of a seahorse facing right with its tail wrapped around part of a plant in the ocean. In the background are graphics representing the waves of the ocean and air bubbles formed by the wildlife in the sea. The name of the coin, CARIBBEAN SILVER, is seen to the left of the primary design. The purity and year of issue are shown along the lower edge of the coin. The reverse side displays the Barbadian coat of arms, which includes the golden shield along with two pride of Barbados flowers, the national flower, and the bearded fig tree, Ficus citrifolia. Above the shield is a helmet and mantling, and on a wreath is the arm and hand of a Bajan holding two crossed pieces of sugar cane, symbolic of Barbados’ sugar industry. The coat of arms carries the motto Pride and Industry.

Denom.

Metal 

Weight  Diameter  Quality 

Maximum Mintage 

One dollar

.999 Silver

31.1 g 39 mm Bullion

10,000

The silver coins are available as a separate item, in multiples of 10 or 20 pieces, which are delivered in a protective tube packaging. For additional information, please check with your usual bullion dealer/broker in your area, as the Central Bank of Barbados does not sell directly to the public.

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Niue: Inventor Alfred Nobel features on third coin in “Geniuses of the 19th Century” series

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The government and treasury of the island state of Niue have released the third coin in their ongoing collector series entitled “Geniuses of the 19th Century.” Many historians focusing on events of the 19th century agree this century was a time of brilliant and eccentric inventors. Countries in the Americas, notably the United States, and those in Europe, such as Great Britain and Germany, experienced something now referred to as the Industrial Revolution. These geniuses laid the foundations of today’s advanced technology that make our lives so comfortable. Each of them was a distinctive personality with different goals and motives, but they had one thing in common — their success was the result of a stubborn, unrelenting effort.

This numismatic collector coin series opened with Thomas Alva Edison, continued with Nikola Tesla, and now continues with Alfred Nobel. He famously created a formable mixture of liquid nitro-glycerine and loose diatomaceous earth, which was patented as dynamite in 1867. The positive element of this product was that, unlike nitro-glycerine, dynamite was resistant to pressure, shock, and temperature changes and the success of the invention surpassed Nobel’s wildest dreams.

However, the potential use of dynamite was quickly discovered not only by builders and miners but also armies, whose deadly force was adapted to the battlefield. Although Nobel viewed humanity with skepticism, he hoped that this new destructive force would help end violence and war rather than proliferate it. Alfred Nobel’s outlook was stated succinctly stated with this sentiment:

“The day two army corps will be able to destroy each other in a second, all civilized nations will turn away from the war in terror and dissolve their armies.”

Unfortunately, this did not come to be, and aside from the countless uses dynamite had, especially in the use of blasting through solid rock for the creation of tunnels and extended rail services, more weaponry was ultimately developed over the centuries.

The coins are produced by the Czech Mint and are designed by the medalier Asamat Baltaev DiS. The reverse side bears a charismatic portrait of the inventor, supplemented with the inscription ALFRED NOBEL placed to the left of the portrait. The explosion in the background symbolizes Nobel’s numerous explosive discoveries and features a bundle of dynamite with an incendiary cord.

The obverse side of the coin includes an effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II created by British sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley and also includes a collection of drawings of various inventions from the 19th century depicted in the Geniuses of the 19th Century series. The nominal value of 1 DOLLAR is shown in vertical text, and the year of issue, 2020, is seen under the Queen’s name.

Denom. Metal  Weight  Diameter  Quality  Maximum Mintage 
One dollar .999 Silver 31.1 g 37 mm Proof 1,000

The collection, when complete, will include inventors Thomas Alva Edison (phonograph), Nikola Tesla (alternating current), Alfred Bernhard Nobel (dynamite), and Alexander Graham Bell (telephone). A custom retro-designed metal case that will enable the inclusion of all four coins is also available separately. For additional information, collectors may contact either the Czech Mint or the New Zealand Mint.

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Belgium: New €2 coin issued in honour of International Year of Plant Health

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The Belgian Ministry of Finance has issued (22nd July) new €2 commemorative coins in honour and recognition of the International Year of Plant Health, a worldwide initiative which seeks to promote greater awareness of the global plant health challenges mankind faces, as well as the importance of protecting our crops from pests and diseases. In this way, we can achieve sustainable agriculture that guarantees our food security, stimulates economic development, reduces poverty, and protects the environment.

They are organised by the United Nations who have declared 2020 the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The goal of IYPH 2020 looks to increase the public’s knowledge of their plant health, which is coming under increasing pressure. Climate change and human activities have affected ecosystems. This decreases biodiversity and creates new niches where pests thrive. At the same time, more international trade and more international travel, which have increased exponentially (more than three times as much in the past decade), means that pests and diseases can spread much faster around the world. Conditions such as cross-contamination from foreign organisms not native to specific parts of the world due to accidental introduction into a local ecosystem can lead to considerable damage to native plants and the environment.

It is a fact that plants constitute 80% part of our daily menu and that all the greenery on our globe provides no less than 98% of the oxygen we breathe. With this in mind, there is also a threat that pests and diseases are responsible for up to 40% loss of global food production. Facts like these provide irrefutable proof that plants are an absolutely indispensable link in our ecosystem and are therefore vital for the survival of humans and animals.

The Royal Dutch Mint produces the €2 commemorative coins at their facilities in Houten under license by the Royal Belgian Mint. Designed by Royal Belgian Mint artistic director Luc Luycx, the obverse side is based on the logo of the International Year of Plant Health. As the IYPH is an initiative of the United Nations, the logos are designed in French, English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Arabic. The reverse side is that of the standard euro-zone design for the two-euro coins, and the numeral 2 superimposed over a map depicting Europe created by artist Luc Luycx.

Denom.

Metal

Weight Diameter Quality

Maximum Mintage

Two euro (French)

Bi-metallic

 8.5 g 25.7 mm Brilliant Unc.

150,000

Two euro (Dutch)

Bi-metallic

8.5 g 25.7 mm Brilliant Unc.

150,000

Two euro

Bi-metallic

8.5 g 25.7 mm Proof

5,000

The Brilliant Uncirculated versions are presented in a standard coin-card with images, text, and illustrations highlighting the International Year of Plant health; the coin-cards are available in French and Dutch text. The Proof version is encapsulated and presented in a case accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For additional information about this coin and others issued by the Belgian Finance Ministry, please visit the website of the Royal Belgian Mint.

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