The Royal Mint has released (4th May) new £2 commemorative coins remembering the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, which was celebrated throughout much of the European continent on the 8th May 1945.
VE (Victory in Europe) Day is one of the greatest moments in British history and iconic images of VE Day only serve to remind us of the magnitude of events. Millions came together in the streets to celebrate the end of the war in Europe, more than six years of combat on both the battlefield and closer to home had finally come to an end. When the news filtered onto the streets of Nazi capitulation brought on by the death of the German fuhrer, people broke into spontaneous celebrations on the streets in Britain and all across the world. There was an outpouring of joy and relief that the war in Europe was over and great hope for a better future. The reconciliation and reconstruction could begin as the continent took its first steps towards lasting peace. But, for others, it was a sad time, as they were left to reflect on those they had lost. For many servicemen, however, the war wasn’t over, as the celebrations were just temporary and the prospect of deployment to the Far East and Pacific beckoned. This period of rejoicing was only brief as the monumental task of rebuilding the country and lives awaited. For those who had lost friends, family, and loved ones, the occasion was bittersweet.
Following news of Germany’s surrender, the 8th May 1945 was declared a public holiday. With bunting strung from lamp posts and pubs stocked with beer, war-weary Britons could finally celebrate. People danced and hugged in the streets as sheer joy broke down social conventions. “This is your victory,” declared Winston Churchill, paying tribute to the British people who had remained unbowed by the bombings and blackouts. Ultimately, a spontaneous massive crowd gathered in front of Buckingham Palace, the many thousands of jubilant celebrants were calling to see King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. They appeared on the balcony along with Churchill and Princess Elizabeth, she in her Women’s Auxiliary uniform and Princess Margaret. Today, VE Day remains in the memory of all who witnessed it. 75 years on, the Nation gives thanks to the generation which gave so much and honours their spirit and sacrifice.
The coin’s reverse is created by Royal Mint designer Dominique Evans, who depicts a crowd of celebrants as they might have appeared on the day. The rays included in the design evoke searchlights, a familiar sight in the skies during wartime. Except here, they become rays of hope on the evening of VE Day, behind the façade of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The obverse side includes the fifth numismatic effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II created by Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark that was introduced on all circulation and commemorative British coinage in 2015. The edge lettering reads JUST TRIUMPH AND PROUD SORROW.
|Two pounds||Bi-metallic||12 g||28.4 mm||Brilliant Unc.||Unlimited|
|Two pounds||.925 Silver||12 g||28.4 mm||Proof||7,250|
|Two pounds||.925 Silver||24 g||28.4 mm||Proof||1,945|
|Two pounds||.9167 Gold||15.97 g||28.4 mm||Proof||661|
The coins are available in several options, from Brilliant Uncirculated bi-metallic base metal to precious metal sterling silver, silver piedfort, and gold Proof. The Brilliant Uncirculated coins are presented in a colourful folder, including printed narration about the anniversary and vintage imagery.
Both silver coin versions are presented in black matte custom cases accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
The gold Proof quality coins are presented in polished hardwood cases accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For additional information about these coins and others offered by the Royal Mint, please visit their website.