100 years ago this year, at 11 o’clock on 11th of November, the guns of war finally fell silent. The First World War was over.
While many fathers, sons, uncles and brothers came home, millions lay where they fell, on the Battlefields of Europe. Those who were lucky enough to be identified were placed in makeshift graves, often only identified by a rifle placed in the earth with his steel helmet placed on top as a final memorial.
To commemorate the Armistice Centenary, The Royal Canadian Mint have issued a remarkable new coin that honours each and every fallen soldier.
Struck in the shape of a WWI Brodie Helmet, it is more deeply curved surface than any other concave or convex-shaped coin I’ve seen before. The design is so unique in fact, that the Mint have kept the minting technique a closely guarded secret.
Although the original helmet would have been cast from Steel, this coin has been struck in the very finest .9999 or “four nines” silver, this is the purest grade of silver available. The Royal Canadian Mint is one of the very few Mints in the world with enough minting expertise able to strike coins with this incredible high relief finish. It’s an exceptional feat of craftsmanship.
What’s more the attention to detail is outstanding, each coin has been given a final antique finish and there are even engraved cracks and markings which complete the helmet’s battle-worn appearance. A reminder of the hardships endured by those who fought.
The amount of 2018 Silver ‘Helmet-Shaped’ coins available is very low. A worldwide edition limit of just 6,500 has been set by the Mint, but of course many of these won’t even make it out of Canada. Without any doubt, this has to be one of the most collectable issues ever struck.
The First World War will always be known as one of Man Kind’s darkest hours but poignant issues like this one allow us to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
If you’re interested…
We have just 500 WWI Lest We Forget Silver ‘Helmet-Shaped’ coins available for UK collectors, but to get one you’ll have to act quickly.
Revealed for the first time today, Royal Mail are set to release 15 new Harry Potter stamps, to celebrate the global-success of the hit film series, filmed in the UK, and featuring a star studded cast brimming with home-grown talent.
Scheduled for release on 16 October 2018, the new stamps feature some of the most popular characters including Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny and Neville Longbottom, and five Hogwarts professors contained on a Special Miniature Sheet. Also appearing on the stamps are portkeys and the most iconic modes of transport – the Hogwarts Express, Hagrid’s bike, the Knight Bus and the Triwizard Cup.
Some Special Features on the stamps include the official Harry Potter font denoting the ‘1st’ Class service. There’s also a little extra magic and intrigue to both the stamps and the Miniature Sheet which can be seen under UV light…
Here’s your first look at the new stamps alongside a bit of info about each one…
Hermione is considered by many at Hogwarts to be the brightest witch of her age. On her many adventures with Harry and Ron, it is often thanks to Hermione’s educated mind, grasp of logic and quick thinking that the trio safely escapes.
The Hogwarts Express train is used by pupils of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The steam train runs between King’s Cross station in London and the village of Hogsmeade, from where the children reach Hogwarts by boat. Access to the train by wizards and witches can only be gained by running at speed through a brick wall to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.
On his 11th birthday, Harry Potter learns that he has been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry and his friends, Ron and Hermione, brave the challenges of school life while facing the increasing threat of the dark forces led by Lord Voldemort. As Voldemort returns to power, Harry realises that only he can stop the Dark Lord.
Flying Ford Anglia
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the Weasley twins and Ron ‘borrow’ the car to rescue Harry through his bedroom window in the Dursleys’ house. Later on, having missed the Hogwarts Express, Harry and Ron take the car on a precarious journey to Hogwarts.
From the moment they meet on the Hogwarts Express train, Ron becomes Harry’s best friend. Ron supports Harry on all of his risky adventures – often at the wheel of the Flying Ford Anglia – even when it means facing his worst fear: spiders.
Riding a flying motorbike formerly owned by Sirius Black, Hagrid and Harry endure a hazardous journey while being pursued by Lord Voldemort and several Death Eaters in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.
Younger sister of Ron Weasley, Ginny spends much of her first year at Hogwarts writing in Tom Riddle’s diary and unknowingly doing the Dark Lord’s bidding. In her fourth year, Ginny joins Dumbledore’s Army and eventually makes her feelings for Harry known.
The Triwizard Cup is a trophy awarded to the winner at the end of the third and final task of the Triwizard Tournament. When Harry Potter competes in the Triwizard Tournament, a Death Eater turns the Cup into a Portkey to instantly transport the winner to the graveyard where Lord Voldemort is waiting.
Neville Longbottom is known as a good-natured but accident-prone boy with an aptitude for Herbology. As the Dark Lord rises to power, Neville bravely joins Dumbledore’s Army and ultimately plays an integral role in the destruction of Lord Voldemort.
Described by its conductor as “Emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard”, the Knight Bus appears in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It collects Harry and his trunk from the side of the road after he flees Privet Drive following an altercation with Mr Dursley’s sister.
If you’re interested…
You can reserve all of the new Harry Potter stamps right now on a limited edition Collector Card – professionally framed and ready to hang. Click here for details >>>
Last month I had the honour of meeting all 9 Red Arrows pilots at the Bournemouth Air Festival to present them with a very special gift…
A lifelong fan of the Reds, I was delighted to be given the chance of personally presenting them with the Official 2018 Red Arrows Signature Medal.
Struck in 5oz of Pure 999/1000 Silver, the medal features the intricate engravings of all 9 Red Arrows pilots’ signatures, and has been fully endorsed by the team.
What’s more, their medal is one of JUST 450 that have been issued for worldwide distribution, with the last number in that edition being presented to the Reds.
And so they didn’t have to share, I also brought along an extra 9 Official 2018 Red Arrows Silver 1oz Medals, for each of the team to take home.
Each signature on the 5oz Silver Medal is meticulously engraved above their team number. To complete the piece, each member’s iconic Hawk jet with the RAF roundel at the centre is highlighted in vivid colour, surrounded by an altimeter inspired pattern – the most fitting piece to present to the Reds today.
If you’re interested…
You have the opportunity to own the Official Red Arrows Signature 5oz Silver Medal. This is a rare chance to own an item so closely and personally linked to the Red Arrows themselves and we only have a few remaining so you’ll have to act quickly to secure yours. Click here for more information and to order yours now >>>