Every year, the Royal Canadian Mint releases special, commemorative coins to mark important events and celebrate Canadian history, culture, nature and national pride. The 2021 Royal Canadian Mint releases included a series called “Moments to Hold.” These silver commemorative coins each represented something special about Canada. One of them marked the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the national colours.
The History of Canada’s National Colours and the Maple Leaf
There are few symbols that evoke the Canadian national identity more than the white and red maple leaf on the flag. The combination of these colours and icons can be used in many different variations while still producing the same effect. Both aspects of the country’s imagery have interesting histories.
The national colours were officially chosen when King George V proclaimed the Canadian Coat of Arms. The red and white, however, have a history dating back to the First Crusade. The Norman lord Bohemond I had red crosses distributed to 10,000 crusaders.
As time passed, the colour of the cross came to be a symbol of the nationality of the crusader. England was represented by white crosses and France by red crosses. Although these colours alternated, they continued to be important colours for both nations. Thus, when it came time to choose colours for the Coat of Arms, red and white seemed the perfect choices for Canada, representing its shared history with England and France.
The maple leaf has long been associated with Canada due to the prevalence of maple trees. It became a prominent national symbol as a common icon on Canadian military uniforms. In the WWI Canadian Expeditionary Force, 140 of the 260 infantry battalion badges used the maple leaf symbol. At Vimy Ridge, there is a piece of maple leaf graffiti still visible carved into the underground tunnels.
The Moments To Hold Series
The 2021 Royal Canadian Mint Moments to Hold series is a set of four silver coins that each represent a different important moment in Canadian history. The coins include the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Coat of Arms, the 25th anniversary of the selection of the maple tree as a national emblem, the establishment of the Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds and the 100th anniversary of the national colours. Another series of four coins preceded them in 2020.
100th Anniversary of Canada’s National Colours Silver Coin
The 2021 $5 Moments to Hold – 100th Anniversary of Canada’s National Colours coin is a 99.99% pure silver coin with a face value of $5 CAD. It is a limited-run coin offered in specimen finish.
The reverse of the coin features an image of a Canadian standing atop a high mountain holding the national flag up high. The design is selectively coloured with bold red and white on the flag. It perfectly evokes both the national colours and the national pride that they represent. The coin is double-dated with 1921 and 2021 inscribed on the reverse face.
Like other Canadian coins, this coin’s obverse features an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Susanna Blunt. It also features the words “Elizabeth II” and “D.G. Regina.”
The coin comes in a display sleeve that also features information about the national colours, the flag and the Coat of Arms. This is a beautiful collectible coin for anyone who is interested in Canada and its history.
Order Canadian Coins for Your Collection
Find Canadian coins and other collectible items in the Colonial Acres Coins catalogue. We have a large selection of Royal Canadian Mint coins as well as coins from around the world, jewellery and more. Whether you want something for yourself or need to find a gift to give, this is the perfect place to start (and finish) your search!