Last updated on June 26th, 2020 at 02:49 am
Last Updated on June 26, 2020 Posted by Colonial Acres Coins
The year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. Celebrated on May 8th and also known as V-E Day, this marks the occasion of Germany’s unconditional surrender in 1945 during World War II, which brought five years of fighting in Europe to an official end. The Royal Canadian Mint is marking the milestone with a seven-coin commemorative set featuring a 2020 Proof Dollar selectively plated with gold and designed to strike a balance between remembrance and celebration.
History of V-E Day in Canada
V-E Day was not the end of the war. The war wouldn’t officially end until approximately three months later on September 2nd, later to be known as V-J Day for “victory over Japan.” Nevertheless, V-E Day represented a significant milestone that meant much to soldiers in Europe and their families back home. At least a million Canadians had been involved in the conflict since 1939, working to liberate occupied nations such as the Netherlands and Belgium while bombing German cities. Tens of thousands of Canadians were wounded or arrested and detained as prisoners of war, while 42,000 died in European combat.
Following V-E Day, many Canadian troops remained in Europe for at least a short while to help with relief efforts and occupational duties. However, upon hearing the news of Germany’s surrender, their first act was to cheer the victory. The celebration was no less enthusiastic on the homefront. There were ticker tape parades and live band concerts as factories and schools closed for an impromptu holiday. Canadians of all ages gathered to dance, laugh, and cheer the men and women in uniform in their midst.
However, not all of the celebrations were so boisterous. People of faith saw the occasion as an opportunity for solemn reflection. Many attended religious services on that day to offer prayers of Thanksgiving.
Even when World War II concluded, tensions between the Soviet Union and much of the Western world would give rise to the Cold War, which would lead to further armed combat in Korea approximately five years later.
Nevertheless, V-E Day set the stage for a new era of prosperity in Canada that would continue for decades to come. New European immigrants and war brides would expand the population, as would the post-war baby boom, and economic growth was exponential.
Features of the V-E Day Commemorative Set
The 75th Anniversary V-E Day commemorative set from the Royal Canadian Mint consists of seven coins in their own book-style packaging made of genuine leather. You’ll find coins made of 99.99% pure silver in 10-cent, 25-cent, and 50-cent denominations, as well as a gold-plated silver dollar coin and a silver two-dollar coin with selective gold plating.
An exclusive feature of this set is a five-cent coin recreating the Victory nickel from World War II. Though larger than the original, it faithfully imitates the design of the original with the portrait of King George VI on the obverse and the Victory privy mark, i.e., the “V for Victory,” on the reverse. The finish is similar to the steel version of the Victory nickel from 1944, but it uses a bronze alloy in honor of the earlier tombac version from 1943.
Another set exclusive, only available as part of this collection, is the silver proof dollar with selective gold plating. The Victory privy again takes a prominent place on the reverse. Toward the top are crowds of Canadian civilians cheering Germany’s surrender, while along the bottom are three silhouettes representing the three branches of Canada’s armed forces: a sailor, a soldier, and an airman. On the obverse is again a commemorative portrait of King George plated in gold.