On 1st June 1969 room 1742 of The Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada, became a recording studio.
It is there that John Lennon, alongside Yoko Ono, debuted his powerful anti-war anthem Give Peace a Chance. Written in protest against the Vietnam War and as a promotion of peace, the song was the pinnacle of the newlywed’s infamous protest “Bed In for Peace”.
It was a moment that has forever cemented a bond between John Lennon and Canada. A bond that is now marked by the release of an exclusive new limited edition coin by the Royal Canadian Mint, issued in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Give Peace a Chance.
It was unveiled yesterday by Ian Graham, International Sales Director of the Royal Canadian Mint, in front of the John Lennon Peace Monument in Lennon’s hometown – Liverpool. We were lucky enough to attend this special launch event and captured all the details as they unfolded for you.
Check out our exclusive footage below:
The Royal Canadian Mint are renowned for their innovative coins and eye catching designs but their latest coin release holds a more poignant message.
Struck from one once of .9999 or ‘four nines’ silver to a perfect proof finish, the coin features a photographic image of John Lennon and Yoko Ono during their Montreal “Bed-in for Peace”.
As one of the most famous anti-war anthems of all time, this powerful song has remained in the hearts of generations of pacifists and music fans around the world for 50 years.
Remarkably, there are just 9,999 of these special coins being released for worldwide distribution. That’s almost certainly not enough for Canadian fans, let alone collectors across the globe.
In fact, I haven’t seen John Lennon officially portrayed on a coin since 2010. And guess what… that one sold out in a few days.
So if you’d like to GIVE PEACE A CHANCE and secure one of these for your collection then you’ll need to be quick.
It’s surprising, in this new digital age, just how ‘hands-on’ designing a coin is. In fact, it’s very much the job of a master craftsman.
Never was this more evident than when the Isle of Man Treasury chose to mark the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria with three new coins, each with a brand new portrait.
The man they turned to was renowned sculptor Luigi Badia and here’s the remarkable process of how these coins were developed.
First Stage – Pencil designs
Like most products across all industries, designing a coin starts with pencil sketches. These are then amended, potentially many times, until a final sketch is produced and approved.
Second Stage – Plaster modelling
The second stage is arguably the most visually stunning. The sculptor, Luigi Badia in this case, will turn their sketches into a 3D ‘Plaster’ design. The skill involved in this process is really very impressive as every tiny detail must be modelled.
The plaster is far larger than the actual coin size to allow for this detail to be captured. The design will be resized in the next step of the process.
Third Stage – Digital Modelling
It’s during this stage where technology has certainly helped the design process. The 3D ‘Plaster’ designs are scanned and a digital file, called a greyscale, is created.
An engraving machine then uses this file to cut the design into a piece of steel that’s the actual size of the final coin. This will then be used to make the dies that will actually strike the coins.
Fourth Stage – Coin Striking
This final stage is when the physical coin comes to life. The specially prepared die is used to ‘strike’ the design onto a metal ‘blank’. The metal used for the blank can vary widely, from cupro-nickel to silver and gold.
Only once the mint is perfectly happy with the quality of the struck coins will they be issued.
The Queen Victoria Silver Antique £5 Set
This set is the only way to own all three of these stunning, specially commissioned Antique Silver £5 Coins.
Just 495 of these stunning sets are available worldwide and exclusive to The Westminster Collection.
100 years ago this year, at 11 o’clock on 11th of November, the guns of war finally fell silent. The First World War was over.
While many fathers, sons, uncles and brothers came home, millions lay where they fell, on the Battlefields of Europe. Those who were lucky enough to be identified were placed in makeshift graves, often only identified by a rifle placed in the earth with his steel helmet placed on top as a final memorial.
To commemorate the Armistice Centenary, The Royal Canadian Mint have issued a remarkable new coin that honours each and every fallen soldier.
Struck in the shape of a WWI Brodie Helmet, it is more deeply curved surface than any other concave or convex-shaped coin I’ve seen before. The design is so unique in fact, that the Mint have kept the minting technique a closely guarded secret.
Although the original helmet would have been cast from Steel, this coin has been struck in the very finest .9999 or “four nines” silver, this is the purest grade of silver available. The Royal Canadian Mint is one of the very few Mints in the world with enough minting expertise able to strike coins with this incredible high relief finish. It’s an exceptional feat of craftsmanship.
What’s more the attention to detail is outstanding, each coin has been given a final antique finish and there are even engraved cracks and markings which complete the helmet’s battle-worn appearance. A reminder of the hardships endured by those who fought.
The amount of 2018 Silver ‘Helmet-Shaped’ coins available is very low. A worldwide edition limit of just 6,500 has been set by the Mint, but of course many of these won’t even make it out of Canada. Without any doubt, this has to be one of the most collectable issues ever struck.
The First World War will always be known as one of Man Kind’s darkest hours but poignant issues like this one allow us to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
If you’re interested…
We have just 500 WWI Lest We Forget Silver ‘Helmet-Shaped’ coins available for UK collectors, but to get one you’ll have to act quickly.