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.