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A high relief portrait of Edward VIII (the king who gave up his throne for the love of a divorced American) graces this gem, a traditional work of medallic art!
Edward VIII never appeared on Canadian coinage. Indeed, he was king for less than a year. But for a brief and shining moment, before scandal rocked his world and he abdicated, he reigned as monarch of the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth, including Canada.
So we're really pleased to bring you this surprise, sixth entry in the innovative new Vignettes of Royalty Series from the Royal Canadian Mint, honoring the monarchs who have appeared on Canadian specie over the past two centuries. The series consists of five silver proofs and a copper medal. Each silver proof features two portraits, one on each side - make each a double-headed coin! The historical portrait is taken directly from the circulating coinage of the era and is struck in ultra high relief. The beauty of these high relief, medallic-style silver proofs must truly be seen in person to be fully appreciated. The six monarchs are:
King Edward VII
King George V
King George VI
Queen Elizabeth II
King Edward VIII (Copper Medal)
Complete 5-Coin Silver Proof Set
Click here for all the entries in the Vignettes of Royalty series!
King Edward VIII
Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David; later The Duke of Windsor) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December 1936.
Before his accession to the throne, Edward successively held the titles of Prince Edward of York, Prince Edward of Cornwall and York, Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay, and Prince of Wales. As a young man, he served in the First World War, undertook several foreign tours on behalf of his father, King George V, and was associated with a succession of older, married women.
Only months into his reign, Edward caused a constitutional crisis by proposing marriage to the American divorcée Wallis Simpson. The prime ministers of the United Kingdom and the Dominions opposed the marriage, arguing that the people would never accept her as queen.
Edward knew that the government (led by British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin) would resign if the marriage went ahead, which could have dragged the King into a general election and irreparably ruined his status as a politically neutral constitutional monarch. Rather than give up Mrs. Simpson, Edward chose to abdicate. He was succeeded by his younger brother, George VI. With a reign of 325 days, Edward is one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British and Commonwealth history, and was never crowned. He was the third and final British monarch to serve his entire reign as the Emperor of India.
After his abdication, he was created Duke of Windsor, and in 1937 toured Nazi Germany. During the Second World War, he was at first stationed with the British Military Mission to France, but after private accusations that he held pro-Nazi sympathies, he was moved to the Bahamas as Governor. After the war, he was never given another official appointment, and spent the remainder of his life in retirement. He died in 1972.
The King Edward VIII Ultra High Relief Copper Medal is the sixth issue in the Vignettes of Royalty Series, which commemorates the monarchs who have appeared on the circulation coins of Canada since the 1800s. The individual portrait of each monarch is struck in medallic art relief and is taken from designs that were minted on actual Canadian coins of the era.
When Edward VIII acceded to the throne in January, 1936, preparations for new coins bearing his effigy began, but he abdicated before the production of official coins to be issued in Britain and its colonies were completed. Hence, this particular portrait, originally designed by T.H. Paget, never entered circulation in Canada.
It is interesting to note that Edward's unorthodox approach to his role also extended to the currency which bore his image. He broke with the British tradition that each successive monarch on coinage face in the opposite direction of his or her predecessor. Edward insisted that he face left (as his father King George V had done), to show the parting in his hair! Only a handful of test coins were actually struck before the abdication, and when George VI succeeded he also faced left, to maintain the tradition by suggesting that had any coins been officially minted featuring Edward's portrait, they would have shown him facing right.
Click here for the other coins in the Vignettes of Royalty series!
The Vignettes of Royalty Series shows a lot of investment potential, to say nothing of cachet! This program features two firsts:
1) It's the first series of ultra high relief Canadian coins!
2) It's the first series of double-effigy coins in Canadian history!
That is, these are the first double headed coins struck by the Royal Canadian Mint! Couple these firsts with the very low mintage of only 10,000 and the unusual $15 denomination, and these look like a sure winner.
Click here for more great coin-on-coin designs!
The Royal Canadian Mint is applying its expertise in the design, engraving and striking of medals and medallic art to this special series of coins. Each will feature a portrait struck in ultra high medallic relief. Each planchet or blank is individually hand-polished before it is quadruple-struck. The edge of the coin is plain, not reeded, unlike most Canadian commemorative and collector coins, in keeping with its medallic nature. Slight differences in the frosted cameo relief and proof-like fields are normal for this high-relief striking process, just as they are with high relief medals.
Click here for more stunning medals and medallic art!
The Specimen Finish
This coin features the uniquely-Canadian "specimen" finish, a three-fold combination of different finishes. The design (raised area or relief) includes both frosted and mirrored surfaces, while the fields (background) are subtly striated, resulting in a contrasting, matte appearance. No other mint in the world employs the specimen finish.
Click here for more coins and sets featuring the unique, Canadian specimen finish!
An ultra high relief, uncrowned portrait of King Edward VIII of Great Britain, the United Kingdom and Canada, facing left. The legend EDWARDUS VIII is indicated.
ReverseA pair of maple leaves or garland adorns this medal The legend KING JANUARY 20, 1936 DECEMBER 11, 1936 also appears (and is repeated below, in French).
The medal is encapsulated inside an elegant, burgundy leatherette, clamshell-style presentation case lined with black velvet and protected by a black outer box. A certificate of authenticity is included.
|Year of Issue||2009|
|Composition||.999 Fine (Pure) Copper|