The Royal Canadian Mint has released a new 1 oz silver coin to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Italian Campaign. As a first for the RCM, the coin comes with unique 3D packaging.
The Italian Campaign was Canada’s first full-scale ground operation of the Second World War. By the summer of 1943, the Allies were revitalized by victories in North Africa and were seeking to open up a second battlefront by invading Germany’s Axis ally, Italy. On the morning of July 10, 1943, Canada joined its allies in the planned invasion of Sicily; in September, they began their slow crawl up the mountainous Italian peninsula. Although the Allies would ultimately be victorious, the 20-month operation proved to be a bitterly fought campaign against occupying Nazi forces who fiercely defended their hold at every turn.
The reverse design of the coin by Canadian illustrator Joel Kimmel recreates the sense of danger and the fierce fighting that awaited Canadian soldiers in the narrow streets of Italian towns such as Ortona during the winter of 1943. In the background, the crumbling remnants of stone buildings are indicative of the sheer destruction caused by combat that was often fought in close quarters. In the centre, a Canadian Sherman tank rumbles through the rubble-filled streets, causing dust to fill the air behind it. The tank is flanked by two Canadian soldiers who, despite the risk of sniper fire and landmines, bravely move along the streets as they clear the town and search for survivors.
The obverse design features the effigy of King George VI by T. H. Paget.
The packaging features a diorama case that recreates a battle-ravaged Italian village and the difficult fighting conditions that Canadians encountered during the Italian Campaign.
Each coin is struck in 1 oz of 99.99% pure silver to proof quality with a diameter of 38 mm. The maximum mintage is 10,000 pieces.
For additional information or to place an order, please visit the Royal Canadian Mint product page.