The Royal Canadian Mint regularly releases commemorative Canadian coins to celebrate different aspects of Canada. Some of these mark moments of joy and unity. Others remember more tragic occurrences. One of the 2021 Royal Canadian Mint releases was aptly named “Lest We Forget.” The 2021 $20 Wreath of Remembrance silver coin marks the 100th anniversary of the poppy flower becoming the Flower of Remembrance, a tradition that helps remember and celebrate the sacrifices of Canadian military personnel who have died in the line of duty.
The Remembrance Poppy
November 11th is a date celebrated in many countries from every corner of the globe. It marks the armistice that ceased hostilities in the First World War. Since then, it has become a day to remember all those who made sacrifices defending their homes in the 20th and 21st centuries. In Canada and other nations of the Commonwealth, November 11th is called Remembrance Day.
One of the most visible traditions of Remembrance Day is the wearing of artificial poppy flowers. Remembrance poppies are typically provided by veterans’ associations (the Royal Canadian Legion in Canada) in exchange for charitable donations. They also serve as a highly visible symbol of national unity and mourning.
The idea for remembrance poppies comes from the poem “In Flanders Fields” by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, who served in World War I. His friend, a fellow soldier, died during the Second Battle of Ypres, in Flanders (part of Belgium). The references to the red poppies growing on the graves of the fallen helped to popularize the image of poppy flowers as a memorial symbol.
Commonly, wreaths made from poppies are placed on graves and other memorial sites on Remembrance Day. This practice helped to inspire the design of the coin.
The 2021 $20 Wreath of Remembrance Coin
2021 was the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the remembrance poppy as a memorial symbol. To mark this anniversary, the Royal Canadian Mint decided to issue a commemorative coin. The result was a $20 coin made from 99.99% pure silver. The coin is proof finish and weighs 31.39 grams.
On the reverse of the coin is a coloured image based on the appearance of a poppy wreath. Most of the wreath is beautifully engraved on the coin. However, the poppies are rendered in full colour. Additionally, there is a ribbon extending across the design with a coloured maple leaf in the center (this is coloured like the natural leaf rather than the simpler version used on the flag). Additionally, the ribbon includes the words “Canada” and “2021.”
This design is a beautiful and eye-catching way to mark the anniversary of an important remembrance tradition. The coin comes in an attractive display box that adds further value to its collectible status. On the obverse is an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Susanna Blunt.
Design by Caitlin Lindstrom-Milne
The reverse design of the coin was made by Montreal-based tattoo artist Caitlin Lindstrom-Milne. She was selected from a field of applicants due to her unique design skills and her prior experience with coins. Since 2019, she has designed three coins for the RCM, including the Remembrance Day coin, a grizzly bear coin and a black-footed ferret coin. Each time, her design has been selected from a pool of applicants.
Get Your Collectable Coins Today
Colonial Acres Coins has a large selection of Canadian coins and other collectibles from around the world. Whether you want to celebrate the history of Canada or want something personally meaningful, we have coins for you. Check out our online catalogue today. This is the perfect option for finding gifts for loved ones or a special something for yourself.