After several years of a numismatic commemoration for the centennial events of the First World War, we’re now firmly within the realms of the 75th anniversary memorials for the Second. An even bigger swathe of destruction swept around the globe for the rematch, with hardly a region in the world completely untouched. It’s fair to say that the First World War had a predominantly European focus, but the Second World War was a fight against two tyrannies simultaneously – linked more by a shared desire to subjugate their local regions than for any idealogical reasons.
Because of the war being split into two major theatres, it actually ended in two parts, such was the scale of it. The first of them was the capitulation of the Nazi regime in Europe and was termed Victory in Europe Day (VE Day). This took place in early May 1945, some three months before the surrender of Imperial Japan and the subsequent VJ Day.
There have already been a few celebratory coins issued for VE Day (we’ll get a guide together in the next couple of months), and now Pobjoy have added one of their seven-sided fifty-pence coins to the mix. Issued for Gibraltar, a territory which was a critical part of the Allied war effort in the Mediterranean and Atlantic, it comes in three variants. The most common of them all is a base-metal card-mounted version (£12.46 +vat), which shares an identical design to the sterling silver pair. These two differ only in the piedfort variant (£99.17+vat) coming in at double the weigh (16.0 grams instead of 8.0)of the standard coin (£49.17+vat) and both come identically packaged.
The design is clean and bold, centred around a silhouetted London skyline complete with floodlights sweeping the sky as they did during the famous London Blitz of 1940. A line of six coloured Allied flags, runs horizontally through the middle of the reverse face. A neat and thoughtful design, eschewing the jingoistic nature of military hardware for something more optimistic, perhaps. Available to order now, it will ship from the 7th May, just in time for the actual 75th anniversary day.