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1/2 Kilogram Pure Silver Coin - 75th Anniversary of The Normandy Campaign: Operation Tonga - Mintage: 500 (2019)

1/2 Kilogram Pure Silver Coin - 75th Anniversary of The Normandy Campaign: Operation Tonga - Mintage: 500 (2019)

$1,249.95 CAD

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Mintage: 500
STATUS:
Canada and US only
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A pure silver salute to the Canadian paratroopers who risked it all. Order today.

They came from the sky. Shortly after midnight on June 6, 1944, the paratroopers of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion began to drop behind enemy lines. Their mission: Destroy bridges, neutralize key targets, and secure the flanks of the D-Day invasion area. On D-Day, Canada’s ‘red berets’ were the first Canadian troops to set foot on French soil. Jumping feet first into peril, they had to overcome a flak barrage, wayward drops, heavy losses and all the dangers that come with being in the enemy’s midst. But they prevailed. Our year-long journey of remembrance continues with a half kilo-sized commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Operation Tonga. On the tension-filled coin, the finely sculpted image of Canada’s first airborne unit in action is a grateful acknowledgement of their contributions, for their courage and grit paved the way for D-Day.

They were young, in top physical condition, extremely well trained and confident they could do anything. They believed that it was a job to be done, and they committed to do it to the best of their ability. I was a young girl during the war and at that time I did not understand what war was. Looking back, I feel sadness for the men venturing into the unknown; admiration for their dedication and selfless bravery; and heartache for their families, not knowing if they would return home from this danger. One cannot thoroughly understand a situation unless immersed in it oneself.Joanne De Vries, widow of veteran Jan De Vries, CM, Expert

Commemorates the Canadian D-Day paratroopers in a stunning large format coin. Order today.

Special features:
  • A TRIBUTE TO THE PARATROOPERS: More than a commemoration, this half-kilo coin is a pure silver salute to the Canadian paratroopers who risked it all on D-Day and all the battles that followed.
  • GROUND-BREAKING ART: The heart-thumping reverse drops you into the action and captures the intensity of the moment just before the fateful jump. It gives a sense of the dangers of the mission, and brings renewed appreciation for the bravery of these Canadian paratroopers.
  • PART OF A YEAR-LONG JOURNEY OF REMEMBRANCE: This time, the reverse is a flashback to an event that preceded the landings on Juno Beach. Each D-Day commemorative coin reveals a different chapter in the story of Canada in the Battle of Normandy. And the story continues on the 2019 Battlefront coin.
  • INCLUDES A SPECIAL INSERT THAT DISPLAYS THE ARTIST’S ORIGINAL ARTWORK: It illustrates the level of care that went into this highly detailed design, which seemingly reveals something new with every viewing.
  • ENGRAVED BEAUTY: Traditional engraving brings history to life on the sculpted reverse. Elegantly enclosed in a wooden case, this first-rate showpiece is a reminder of what we do best: combining thoughtful design with world-class craftsmanship.
  • HISTORICAL OBVERSE: Just like previous Second World War coins, the obverse features the period-appropriate effigy of King George VI.
  • INCLUDES SERIALIZED CERTIFICATE: The Royal Canadian Mint certifies all of its collector coins.
  • LOW MINTAGE: Limited to 500 coins worldwide.
  • HALF KILOGRAM PURE SILVER: Your coin is crafted from a half-kilogram of 99.99% pure silver.
  • NO GST/HST.

Design:

Designed by Pandora Young, your coin shows the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion in action during the early hours of June 6, 1944. A first-person view captures the intensity of the moment during Operation Tonga, as one by one the paratroopers drop from the Douglas C-47 Dakota aircraft. Seen from above, the paratrooper is outfitted with a leg kit bag as he makes his descent, his static line still clipped to the cover of the backpack parachute. In the distance, open chutes float towards the cloud cover, where small breaks reveal glimpses of the Normandy landscape below. The obverse features the effigy of King George VI by T. H. Paget.

In addition to facing conflict, a paratrooper must first find the courage to let go of the side of a moving plane. I've always felt that verisimilitude in recounting history helps an audience sink into the experience. To create this, we did more research for this war-themed coin than to any other I've contributed. While designing, I learned about British and American paratrooper training, uniforms, equipment, minimum jump altitudes, and many models of parachute.Pandora Young, Artist

Pandora Young challenged me, in the best way, to ‘take to the skies’ with this design. Initially, I focused on the paratrooper landing in uncertain circumstances; but when Pandora submitted a design of a paratrooper inflight, my narrative had to be adapted. It was too good of a perspective not to explore.” Jamie Desrochers, Product Manager, Royal Canadian Mint

Did you know…
  • Canada’s Sky Troops: Against the odds, the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion succeeded in capturing all of its D-Day objectives. “A” Company assisted the assault on artillery positions at Merville, where the guns would have hampered the landings at Juno and Sword Beaches. B Company cut a bridge at Robehomme before re-joining the battalion at the Le Mesnil crossroads. C Company secured the drop zone then cleared out an enemy garrison at Varaville. A reinforced battalion continued to play an offensive role until the war’s end, eventually reaching the Baltic Sea on May 2, 1945.
  • Canadian, British and American paratroopers took part in Operation Tonga: The British 6th Airborne (including the 1st Canadian Parachute battalion) were dropped east of the planned landing zone, and the American paratroopers landed west of it.
  • They were under enemy fire before touching ground: Crossing the coastline, the bombers encountered a flak barrage and were forced to take evasive action. High winds, poor visibility and damaged beacons also added to the challenge of reaching the designated drop zones (DZs). And, once landed, the paratroopers discovered they were widely dispersed.
  • Each man carried as much as 36 kg (70 lbs) of equipment: This included a leg kit bag that held heavy weapons, rounds of ammunition and explosives, and in some cases, medical equipment. Released mid-air, the kit bags were supposed to dangle from a rope so that the jumper would be free of its weight for the landing. But the force of the chute’s opening and the rope’s extension caused most of the bags to fail and tear away, resulting in the loss of key equipment before the paratrooper had even touched the ground.
  • Of the 547 Canadians who made the jump on D-Day, 367 were injured, captured or killed: Many paratroopers sustained serious injuries upon landing, with chutes getting tangled together or caught in trees. The enemy had also flooded the pasture to deter landings; dragged down by equipment and ammunition, some paratroopers drowned in the fields and ditches.

Packaging:

Your coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded wood case with a black beauty box.

Order today.

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Specifications

  • No.171591
  • Mintage500
  • Composition99.99% pure silver
  • Finishproof
  • Weight (g) 502.99
  • Diameter (mm) 84.85
  • Edgeserrated
  • Certificateserialized
  • Face value125 dollars
  • ArtistPandora Young (reverse), Susanna Blunt (obverse)

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