Guest Author - Raymond F. Hanisco
One of the most memorable days in history throughout the world was V.E. Day, when victory was declared in Europe ending World War II in that theater. That day was May 5, 1945. Most of us are too young to remember the jubilation that it created, but I am sure almost everyone remembers seeing that famous pictures of the sailor kissing the gal in the middle of the street of New York City on that day, or the dancing in the streets in Paris. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the V.E. Day, and the Royal Canadian Mint has just released one of the best-kept secrets in numismatics. It is a special 60th anniversary, one-ounce silver Maple Leaf commemorating that historic day.
If you want one, you’ll probably never have the opportunity to own it. Why? The Royal Canadian Mint has produced this special commemorative in a low mintage of only 3,500 pieces, and it was made for only European distribution through the Royal Dutch Mint in Holland. Even the subscribers to the Royal Canadian Mint will not be offered an opportunity to purchase these coins.
This silver Canadian Maple Leaf displays three ‘privy marks.’ This is the first time in the history of the Maple Leaf that three ‘privy marks’ have been displayed on a this coin. A ‘privy mark’ is like a mintmark struck on a coin. It is usually a symbol, which indicates the significance of a coin. The three ‘privy marks’ appearing on this commemorative are: a tulip, as the symbol of the liberation of Holland by the Canadians; the logo of the Royal Dutch Mint, since they are distribution center of these coins for Europe; and, an inscription, “V.E. Day” (in Dutch, of course) with the date below, “5-5-45.” These three ‘privy marks’ appear on the Maple Leaf side of the coin with the tulip displayed to the left of the leaf’s stem, and the other two displayed to the right of the leaf’s stem. As always, Queen Elizabeth II is portrayed of the other side of the coin, and this coin is legal tender.
This 60th anniversary, V.E. Day, Silver Maple Leaf is struck as a proof, as indicated on the Certificate of Authenticity, but by all standards, it is really a reverse proof. In other words, instead of the devices (the raised portions of the coin) having a frosted finish against a mirror background, these are just the opposite. The devices are mirrored against a frosted background. It is a much more difficult process to manufacture a reverse proof coin.
When you can find these coins, you will find them in original mint packaging, which means the coin is encapsulated, a Certificate of Authenticity from the Royal Canadian Mint, and in a black velvet case with the inscription “Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt” on the cover. You can also expect these coins to cost considerably more than the standard proof Canadian Maple Leaf.
If you are a history buff, and demand the kind of coins in your collection that are just a little bit different, then you will find this is a coin worth the search. By the way, I also understand that there will be a ¼-ounce gold Maple Leaf version of this same coin. The mintage will be only 1,000, and distribution is also for the European market as well.