The First World War commemorations in the numismatic world have been extensive and planned to continue through until at least 2018. One of the primary movers has been the Royal Mint, hardly surprising given the pivotal role of Britain and the Empire in the conflict, and the firm entrenchment of the First and Second World Wars in the British psyche. Coins ranging from fractional sizes right up to one-kilo monsters with tiny mintages have appeared in the Royal Mint’s interesting range, but what we have here might be one of the finest yet.
Struck in five-ounces of fine gold or fine silver, the artwork by the renowned 84 year old scupltor James Walter Butler MBE RA, is an object lesson in portraying the horror of trench warfare. The shattered trunks of what must once have been a lush forest, the duckboard paths through the mud that stopped soldiers being sucked to their dooms, and the bodies of those who wouldn’t make it home, all combine to form an incredibly powerful reminder of just what early twentieth century warfare was truly like.
With such a large lump of gold, it’s obvious that these aren’t going to be common, and with the mintage set at just fifty pieces and a price of £6,950, it’s a fortunate collector that manages to get their hands on one. The silver is a little better at £395, but the mintage is still set at just 500 pieces. For a unique design of such quality and integrity, it’s hard to argue that the coin is overpriced when the mintages are so low. Available now, both are well presented and come with a Certificate of Authenticity. As you can tell, we like this immensely.