10 oz. Pure Silver Coin – Vimy Ridge – Mintage: 750 (2017)
In those few minutes, I witnessed the birth of a nation.
Brigadier-General Arthur Edward Ross
In April 1917, the four divisions of the Canadian Corps received the order to capture the heavily fortified Vimy Ridge in northern France. It was a historic moment for our young nation, for the Battle of Vimy Ridge was the first engagement in which Canada’s soldiers from across the nation fought side-by-side as one. After weeks of intense preparation and four days of heavy fighting, a victory at Vimy earned the Canadians a reputation as a tenacious offensive force, and intensified a nation’s sense of pride long after the war’s end.
A symbolic gift for those in the military or as tribute to loved ones lost at war. Order today.
- COMMEMORATES THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF VIMY RIDGE: Your coin is an engraved ode to the famous painting The Taking of Vimy Ridge, Easter Monday, 1917 by Richard Jack that conveys a nation’s sacrifice and achievement 100 years ago at the Battle of Vimy Ridge (1917).
- 10-OUNCE 99.99% PURE SILVER COIN: Your coin’s large diameter (76mm) makes it a fitting canvas for such a detailed reproduction of Richard Jack’s famous painting.
- MULTIPLE FINISHING TECHNIQUES: The use of multiple finishing techniques on your 10 oz. pure silver coin brings to light even the smallest engraved detail.
- EFFIGY OF KING GEORGE V: In keeping with the historical theme, the obverse mimics that of all coins produced during the First World War period, with the effigy of King George V by Sir E. B. MacKennal.
- BEAUTIFUL WOODEN DISPLAY CASE: Your coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded wooden case with beauty box, ideal for display.
- VERY LOW MINTAGE: Only 750 coins are available worldwide.
- INCLUDES SERIALIZED CERTIFICATE: The Royal Canadian Mint certifies all of its collector coins. Most of these are serialized certifications, meaning that each certificate is given a unique number, starting at 1.
- NO GST/HST!
Your coin features a highly detailed, magnificently engraved recreation of the large-sized oil painting The Taking of Vimy Ridge, Easter Monday, 1917. The coin’s large diameter (76 mm) is the perfect canvas for such a detailed reproduction of this unforgettable work by Canada’s first official war artist, Richard Jack. By focusing on a Canadian battery, the design captures the intensity of the heavy shelling directed towards enemy positions on Vimy Ridge, which forms the raised horizon in the background. The crew of the 18-pounder field gun work tirelessly and in unison as they pass shells to keep up the barrage—a fitting depiction of Canada’s troops coming together to fight as one. Engraved overhead is the word “CANADA” above the commemoratives dates “1917-2017”, while the face value “100 DOLLARS” is engraved beneath the soldiers’ feet. The obverse features the effigy of King George V by Sir E. B. MacKennal, as used on Canadian coins in the First World War period.
- German forces seized Vimy Ridge and the surrounding area in 1914. The French tried unsuccessfully to recapture it in May 1915, and again in September 1915, at a cost of over 100,000 casualties.
- When Canada’s infantry moved out on the morning of April 9, 1917, they were supported by nearly 1,000 artillery pieces, including the 18-pounder field gun featured on the reverse of this coin.
- Richard Jack, whose art is reproduced on the engraved reverse, was Canada’s first official war artist. Commissioned by Lord Beaverbrook in 1916, his first major work for the Canadian War Memorials Fund (CWMF) is an oversized painting that depicts Canadian troops during the Second Battle of Ypres; but without official photographs of the battle, Jack had to combine his sketches of the area with the accounts of officers and soldiers.
- Until 1916, few official photographs had captured Canada’s involvement in the war. The prevailing belief was that photographs could reveal sensitive information if they were to fall into enemy hands; as such, soldiers were not allowed to bring personal cameras with them in the trenches.
- A newspaper man, Beaverbrook believed that photographs had a limited lifespan of just 25 years. He turned to paintings as a way to record the war for generations to come.
A uniquely Canadian perspective on the First World War can be perceived in the art that emerged during that period—particularly those created through Canada’s wartime art program, which was the first of its kind.
Prompted by a dearth of official photographs, Canadian-born entrepreneur Sir William Maxwell Aitken (later Lord Beaverbrook) established the Canadian War Memorials Fund (CWMF) in 1916. His vision: an extensive collection of works that would stand as an official visual record of a young nation at war.
Over 100 British and Canadian photographers, sculptors, cinematographers and painters—including future members of the Group of Seven—were commissioned to depict Canada’s efforts overseas and on the home front. Through Beaverbrook’s relentless efforts, Canada’s official war artists were given access to soldiers, machinery, battlefields and more. Some were embedded with the troops; others sketched in the field before returning to the studio to recreate the landscape of war on a canvas.
The initiative proved to be a boon to Canada’s developing art scene, thanks to the high historical value placed on these artistic depictions of war. More importantly, the Fund left a significant legacy of almost 1,000 photographs, sketches, films and paintings, including the hundreds of works that are part of the Beaverbrook Collection of War Art, which is in the care of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Ontario.
Your coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded wooden case with beauty box.
- No. 156489
- Mintage 750
- Composition 99.99% pure silver
- Finish proof
- Weight (g) 311.54
- Diameter (mm) 76.25
- Edge serrated
- Certificate serialized
- Face value 100 dollars
- Artist Recreation of Richard Jack’s painting The Taking of Vimy Ridge, Easter Monday, 1917 (reverse), Sir E. B. MacKennal (obverse)
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