2019 $20 Fine Silver Coin – 100th Anniversary of the First Non-Stop Transatlantic Flight
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A classic stamp returns 50 years later—and on the centennial of a historic flight.
On June 14, 1919, a modified First World War Vickers Vimy bomber lifted off from St. John’s, Newfoundland and flew straight into the history books. British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown persevered through a rough takeoff, equipment failures, fog, ice and snow before crash-landing the next day in County Galway, Ireland. In doing so, they became the first aviators to cross the Atlantic Ocean in less than 72 consecutive hours — a new milestone in aviation history.
In 1969, Canada Post issued a 15-cent stamp to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first non-stop transatlantic flight. Now, 50 years after that special issue — and on the centennial of this aviation first — the Canadian stamp is forever immortalized on this stamp-shaped, 99.99% fine silver coin.
KEY SELLING FEATURES
- Back by popular demand: A stamp-shaped coin that pays tribute to Canadian philately.
- A dual anniversary. A classic stamp design is now available 50 years after its original issue, and on the centennial of this historic flight.
- A serrated edge gives the coin its unique shape by mimicking the look of stamp perforations.
- Faithful reproduction. The engraved reproduction is just as detailed and colourful as the original stamp issued in 1969.
- Forever preserved in 99.99% pure silver, this collectible is the perfect piece for philatelists and numismatists alike.
First Non-Stop Transatlantic Flight, 1919
The early years of the Age of Flight were already filled with firsts, but the technological innovations of the First World War provided new opportunities to push the limits of aviation. A £10,000 reward offered by The Daily Mail awaited the first aviator(s) to complete a continuous flight across the Atlantic in under 72 hours. No successful attempts were made until 1919, when Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown completed the flight from Lester’s Field in St. John’s, Newfoundland, to County Galway, Ireland in approximately 16 hours.
Did you know?
- This stamp design made its debut on June 13, 1969. Printed by the British American Bank Note Company, the stamp was designed by noted aviation illustrator Robert William Bradford, who played a key role in the founding of the Canadian Aviation Museum in Ottawa, Ontario. A total of 15,170,000 of the aviation-themed stamp were issued.
- The original stamp included a hidden “1969” date beneath the French word “ESCALE”.
- A First World War twin-engine bomber, the Vickers Vimy was shipped to St. John’s in May 1919 and assembled at Quidi Vidi Lake for the history-making flight.
- While there are conflicting accounts of the total distance and time it took to complete the flight, a plaque in Newfoundland lists a flight time of 16 hours and 12 minutes, and a distance of “1,800 miles”.
- The flight was filled with challenges, including: a thick fog that left them flying blind; the failure of their wind-driven generator that powered their heated suits and communications; a storm that caused ice to build up on the aircraft; and weather conditions that prevented a landing in London. For their contribution to aviation history, the pilots were rewarded and knighted, while their plane was pulled from the bog and now resides in a London museum.
Engraved on the stamp-shaped reverse is a colour reproduction of a 1969 Canadian postage stamp, designed by Robert William Bradford and issued on the 50th anniversary of the first non-stop transatlantic flight. The original 15-cent stamp features a stylized map of the North Atlantic Ocean behind the Vickers Vimy bomber piloted by British aviators John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brow, who completed their historic flight from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Clifden, Ireland, on June 14-15, 1919. Like the original issue, the design includes the word “CANADA”, the historic flight date “1919”, and the stamp’s “15”-cent denomination. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
|Composition||99.99% pure silver|
|Diameter||30 mm x 51 mm|
|Artist||Robert William Bradford (reverse), Susanna Blunt (obverse)|
|Packaging||Black clamshell with Black Beauty Box|
|Finished Size||88 mm x 88 mm|