The Royal Mint marks the anniversary of the end of the world’s greatest and deadliest conflict with a poignant coin

The biggest, most widespread, and most destructive war in human history ended just a short 75 years ago. The Second World War certainly hasn’t ended war – something that remains a core element in the human psyche – but it does seem to have instilled in the popular conciousness the idea that a Third World War is to be avoided at all cost. At least that’s something.

The numismatic world has long had an association with the military and the historical fields, so military history is a dead cert for representation when it’s as important as this. Few are more adept at subtle and classy commemorations as the British Royal Mint, who have issued a plethora of fine designs over the last few years covering both the 75th anniversary of WWII, and the centenary of WWI.

Their latest issue is one meant to round up the whole programme and while perhaps a little too understated, does a good job at that regardless. It’s an uncomplicated concept, combining the words ‘WAR’ and ‘PEACE’ around a shared ‘A’, to form a cross. The lettering looks like it has been carved into stone, an effect enhanced by the stone-textured background field. It’s simple, but elegant, just what’s required.

A £5 coin, so one of the mints standard, and rather large formats, the gold coin weighs in at 39.94g and is struck in 22kt (0.9167) fineness metal. That gives us a fine gold weight of around 1.17 troy ounces. That goes some way to explaining the £2,640.00 price-tag, but with gold at UK highs by some large margin, the price is inevitable. The silver coins are weighed in using standard, not troy ounces, and are made up of a 1oz sterling (0.925) silver coin, with a piedfort version of identical diameter tipping the scales at double that. A cheap base-metal variant is also on offer. All are available now.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention that there are a few of these coins repackaged in sets with a period newspaper that look very cool, but have a high premium. They can be had in SILVER and in GOLD with very limited quants available.


This year marks the 75th anniversary since the End of the Second World War, marking the end of a war that had raged for six years, claiming millions of lives and brought suffering to entire populations. The new coin acknowledges the pivotal events which took place throughout 1945 and the contribution of Allied soldiers; including continued fighting in the far east, the impact of the atomic bomb, and Victory in Japan.

Matt Dent and Christian Davies, designers of the 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War commemorative coin said, “By taking our inspiration directly from the familiar hand-cut commemorations that are part of our collective memory, the effect is a common link transcending age and culture. Working closely with the Product Design team at The Royal Mint, we researched the method of chiselled lettering to create the digital clay model, whilst photographs of stone lend the real-life textures that give the natural ripples. Finally, we felt it was important to treat the characters in such a way that the word ‘peace’ dominates, conveying a sense that the horror of war has passed and a new era of peace has arrived.”

Clare Maclennan, Divisional Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said, “Following the launch of the VE Day commemorative coin, it only felt right to also mark the 75th anniversary since the End of the Second World War with a commemorative £5 – an anniversary that without a doubt can be considered as a national milestone. This commemorative coin not only preserves the legacy of this historical moment for future generations but also commemorates the sacrifices made around the world to restore peace.”

John Delaney, Head of Second World War and Mid 20th Century at The Imperial War Museum commented, “75 years ago, the Second World War, the most devastating conflict in modern global history, came to an end. The story of the Second World does not finish with what we know as VE Day on 8 May 1945. The world witnessed three more months of intense fighting and the annihilation of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by two atomic bombs before the conflict came to a close. This commemorative coin, produced by the Royal Mint in collaboration with Imperial War Museums, reminds us of that important period in our history, pays tribute to the sacrifices made by those who fought during this conflict and reminds us of the human cost of war.”

Once Japan had accepted unconditional surrender, Prime Minister Clement Attlee announced the news at midnight on 14 August, declaring a two-day public holiday beginning with Victory over Japan (VJ) Day. Up and down the country bonfires were lit and street parties were held as people joined together in celebration; the process of recovery and reconstruction could finally begin. This set in train a series of events that culminated in the official signature of the capitulation document on 2nd September, at which point World War Two was indeed at an end.

Despite the rain, thousands turned out to see King George VI and Queen Elizabeth driven down The Mall in an open carriage. Later at 9pm, the King addressed the nation and the Commonwealth in a radio broadcast made from his study at Buckingham Palace.

DENOMINATION £5.00 UKP £5.00 UKP £5.00 UKP
COMPOSITION 0.9167 gold 0.925 silver 0.925 silver
WEIGHT 39.94 grams 28.28 grams 56.56 grams
DIMENSIONS 38.61 mm 38.61 mm 38.61 mm
FINISH Proof Proof Proof
MINTAGE 225 2,575 565
R.R.P. £2,640.00 £82.50 £155.00