Lennon classic ‘Give Peace A Chance’ remembered 50 years later on Canadian silver coin

Considered a classic anti-war anthem and the first single released by John Lennon as a solo issue (he was still in the Beatles at the time), ‘Give Peace a Chance’ was only a minor hit back in 1969. Peaking at number 14 in the US and number 2 in his homeland, the UK,  it struck a chord with the burgeoning anti Vietnam War movement, and on 15 November 1969, was sung by half a million demonstrators in Washington D.C.

What’s the link with Canada then? The song was recorded on 1 June 1969 in front of dozens of journalists by Lennon and Yoko Ono while they were in bed. The bed was in room 1742 at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel. Photographer Ivor Sharp took an image of the couple in that bed, which has gone on to become a classic of the period, as well as the subject of this coin.

A standard coloured 1oz proof silver coin, one the Royal Canadian Mint can do in its sleep, it’s a simple enough affair. The Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II sits on the obverse, of course, and the reverse face features a reproduction of the most important part of the photograph. Packaging is equally standard, although nicely themed in a good-looking outer shipper. A mintage of 9,999 pieces and a price just shy of $100 CAD would indicate the RCM sees this has having big appeal outside of coin collectors, and they’re likely quite right. Available to buy now, with shipping from 17 June.

REVERSEOBVERSE
SHIPPERSHIPPER BACK

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Give Peace a Chance, the powerful anti-war anthem was created in Canada during John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s famous Bed-In for Peace held in Montréal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel in May/June 1969. Forever etched in our collective memory, the world-famous event is now engraved in a pure silver collectible to mark its 50th anniversary. The coin features John and Yoko in one of their most famous and iconic images peacefully crafting a proud Canadian moment. Revisit a time when a cry for peace sparked a revolution that changed the world.

DESIGN: Your coin features Ivor Sharp’s famous 1969 photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono during their 8-day Bed-in for Peace in Montréal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel. Sharp captured John and Yoko in an all-white setting surrounded by handwritten messages of peace — including one in French. The design portrays John and Yoko in black and white on an engraved coin. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

“I thought often, and for many years afterwards, about the extraordinary experience of being in the company of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Spending time with him left an enduring impression, and only partly because I was a young, star-struck fan. On a deeper level, I was moved by the sincerity of his idealism, and encouraged by his certainty that citizen action and the energy it generates can truly change the world. He was an inspiration. And as our world grows more cynical, my memories of his message—clear, simple and unafraid—grow fonder still.” Allan Michael Rock, P.C., B.A., LL.B., Q.C.

PACKAGING: Your coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded clamshell with a graphic beauty box, making this product truly special for John Lennon fans.

Bold Precious Metals
SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $20 Canadian
COMPOSITION 0.9999 silver
WEIGHT 31.39 grams
DIMENSIONS 38.0 mm
FINISH Proof
MODIFICATIONS Colour
MINTAGE 9,999
BOX / COA Yes / Yes