Royal Canadian Mint coin collecting is an excellent way to preserve tributes to Canadian history, and the Battle of Vimy Ridge $2, $3, $20 and $100 coins are no exception. Masterfully designed, these coins celebrate the 100th anniversary of an important event in Canada’s history: the three-day conflict that ended with a noteworthy Allied advancement. This battle became a turning point for the country — not only for the military achievement but for its effect on the Canadian national identity.
What Is the Battle of Vimy Ridge?
The Battle of Vimy Ridge occurred in Vimy, France, during the First World War. It began on April 9, 1917, which happened to be Easter Monday. While the battle itself didn’t significantly impact the war’s outcome, it played an essential role in Canada’s history. The valour of Canada’s troops throughout the remainder of the conflict led to the Versailles Peace Treaty bearing Canada’s signature alongside other Allied nations.
This particular area was held by German troops, who thwarted several attempts by the Allies to claim it. The Battle of Vimy Ridge was part of a larger offensive by British troops in tandem with an attack by the French. The fighting was brutal, leaving around 7,000 Canadian soldiers wounded. The dead totalled 3,600.
Their sacrifices gained a critical vantage point, as the Ridge offered a sweeping view of the terrain to the east. Today, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial stands on the site of that battle, ceded to the Canadian government to honour the soldiers who never returned home. Here, visitors can learn about the battle, World War I and the monument itself.
Why Is This Battle Celebrated?
Though Canada became a self-governing entity in 1867, over 100 years as a British territory meant the country hadn’t had much opportunity to assert itself on the global stage. However, the Battle of Vimy Ridge proved the military strength of the Canadian Corps to the point it became known as elite shock troops. The Victoria Cross was awarded to four Canadians for their heroism during the battle. This honour was the highest military award given by the British Empire.
The victory also boosted morale among the troops and created a new sense of national identity. The Battle of Vimy Ridge brought the Canadian Expeditionary Force’s four divisions together. These men hailed from different parts of the country all of them fought side-by-side for the first time in this battle. Doing so shone a spotlight on the emerging national identity — it gave the country’s citizens a source of pride outside of their British heritage.
How Do the Royal Canadian Mint’s Coins Honour This Battle?
The Royal Canadian Mint produced four coins in 2017, honouring this significant battle. Each bears a unique image in commemoration:
- $2: This coin features a modern veteran, a First World War soldier and the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.
- $3: The Canadian National Vimy Memorial graces the reverse of this silver coin.
- $20: The coin depicts Canadian First World War soldiers in silver on the reverse, with a small gold “Victory” figure at the bottom to embody their sacrifice and courage.
- $100: This coin bears a battle painting reproduction in silver on the reverse side.
Each silver coin comes beautifully packaged, making it an excellent gift for collectors.
If you’re interested in adding the Battle of Vimy Ridge or other silver coins to add to your collection, check out Colonial Acres Coins. We offer a variety of coins from the Royal Canadian Mint, as well as world coins, U.S. coins and even vintage jewelry. We’ve sold high-quality, authentic collector’s items for over 30 years and are proud to provide more information about the hobby. To see our selection, visit us online. Our friendly staff is also happy to answer questions by phone.
Learn also about the $2 Special Wrap Roll: The Battle of Vimy Ridge here.