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Canadian $2 Circulation D-Day Commemorative

June 3, 2019 0 Comments

2019 is the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing, that liberated Europe from the grip of fascism. It is worth remembering that American troops weren’t the only North Americans on the beaches that day, and the Canadian Mint is reminding everyone that there were Canadians there too. Of the 150,000 troops who came ashore at Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword beaches, 14,000 were Canadians – almost one in ten. There were also 110 ships and 10,000 sailors from the Royal Canadian Navy, and 15 Royal Canadian Air Force fighter and fighter-bomber squadrons supporting troops on the ground. On Juno Beach, where the 3rd Canadian Infantry landed, 359 soldiers died, and 715 were injured on the first day alone.

June 6, 2019 will be the 75th anniversary of that landing, which was the beginning of the end of the war, and the Royal Canadian Mint is celebrating it by putting a commemorative $2 coin into circulation. Canadians, unlike their neighbors to the south, have no problem with dollar coins, and the ‘Loonie’ ($1) and ‘Toonie’ ($2) coins are widely used, with no bill equivalents since 1987 and 1996, respectively. Three million circulation coins will be minted of this new design.

The new coin was unveiled on May 27, 2019, at the Moncton Garrison, in the province of New Brunswick. The 37 Brigade of the North Shore Regiment is housed there, and that Brigade was on ot the 13 Canadian regiments who made up the 3rd Canadian Infantry. The reverse of the coin was designed by Canadian artist Alan Daniel, and it is intended to convey the anticipation of Canadian soldiers approaching Juno Beach. The Twoonie has a gold-colored core of aluminum bronze and a broad silver rim of nickel, and the image on the core shows three soldiers peering from their landing craft. The central soldier has only his eyes and helmet showing over the flap of the craft, as they head for the beach. The outer ring expands the core outwards, with more soldiers in the landing craft, and ships and aircraft on and above the wider seas.  

Canada is a bilingual country, so the engravings are also. The words, D-DAY and LE JOUR J is shown above the soldiers’ helmets, in English and French. Below, the words REMEMBER and SOUVENIR (French for ‘remember’, not a suggestion that the coin is a souvenir!) are on either side of the date, 2019. On either side of the date as well are two circles embossed into the coin, with images of the Canadian Maple Leaf (which appears on the national flag). The artist’s initials, AD, appear to the right of the central core. Two million of the coins will be plain, and one million will feature coloring, with red lettering for D-DAY/LE JOUR J and a green helmet on the main soldier’ head.

The obverse is the standard design for all Canadian coins, and it features the bust profile of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Canada’s head of state. It was designed in 2003 by Canadian artist Susanna Blunt.

For collectors, the Mint is issuing a range of pieces, of which the most interesting is a ¼ oz. fine silver collector coin with a $3 denomination designed by Glen Loates. It features the lone imprint of a soldier’s boot on the sands of Juno Beach and is dated 1944-2019. 100,000 of these coins will be minted.

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