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Give Peace a Chance celebrated 50 years later

On 1st June 1969 room 1742 of The Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada, became a recording studio.

It is there that John Lennon, alongside Yoko Ono, debuted his powerful anti-war anthem Give Peace a Chance. Written in protest against the Vietnam War and as a promotion of peace, the song was the pinnacle of the newlywed’s infamous protest “Bed In for Peace”.

It was a moment that has forever cemented a bond between John Lennon and Canada. A bond that is now marked by the release of an exclusive new limited edition coin by the Royal Canadian Mint, issued in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Give Peace a Chance.

It was unveiled yesterday by Ian Graham, International Sales Director of the Royal Canadian Mint, in front of the John Lennon Peace Monument in Lennon’s hometown – Liverpool. We were lucky enough to attend this special launch event and captured all the details as they unfolded for you.

Check out our exclusive footage below:

The Royal Canadian Mint are renowned for their innovative coins and eye catching designs but their latest coin release holds a more poignant message.

Struck from one once of .9999 or ‘four nines’ silver to a perfect proof finish, the coin features a photographic image of John Lennon and Yoko Ono during their Montreal “Bed-in for Peace”.

As one of the most famous anti-war anthems of all time, this powerful song has remained in the hearts of generations of pacifists and music fans around the world for 50 years. 

Remarkably, there are just 9,999 of these special coins being released for worldwide distribution. That’s almost certainly not enough for Canadian fans, let alone collectors across the globe.

In fact, I haven’t seen John Lennon officially portrayed on a coin since 2010. And guess what… that one sold out in a few days.

So if you’d like to GIVE PEACE A CHANCE and secure one of these for your collection then you’ll need to be quick.

Click here to secure yours now >>>

The Victorian coins that were meant to transform our currency…but were blamed for famine instead.

In 1971 the UK switched to a decimal currency, leaving the old £sd (pounds, shillings and pence) behind and introducing the decimalised coins we know today. You might even remember decimal day yourself, or using conversion charts and rhymes to learn the new currency. And if you’re like me, then you’ll probably remember the excitement of seeing the new coins in your change. 

But decimalisation actually started under Queen Victoria, when two new decimal denominations were introduced. These were coins that were blamed for sickness, famine, and the unemployment of barmaids. In fact, they were so controversial that decimalisation had to be delayed for over a century!

The Godless Florin

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1849 Victorian Florin – nicknamed the ‘Godless Florin’

The florin first appeared in 1849 with a value of 1/10th of a pound, or 10 pence. It was rumoured to have borrowed its name from a similar shaped coin from the Netherlands and was issued as a test to help the public warm to decimalised currency. However, its introduction didn’t go as well as hoped. 

The Gothic Head portrait of Victoria was used on the first florins that were issued, and it featured the monarch wearing a crown for the first time in over 200 years. Another unusual design change was the exclusion of the abbreviation “D.G”, meaning “by the grace of God”. In a society where religion was important, the coin was thought to have angered God, so it became known as the ‘Godless Florin’ and was reportedly blamed for Cholera outbreaks and famine at the time.

The Godless Florin was quickly withdrawn from circulation in 1851 and was replaced by a Gothic florin, which had the same design, but included the “D.G” inscription in an attempt to appease the public.

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Left: 1851 Victorian Florin with ‘D.G’ inscription, Right: 1849 ‘Godless’ Florin

The Barmaid’s Ruin

Attempt number two at decimalisation came in the form of a double florin, equivalent to 1/5th of a pound. It was introduced in 1887 and featured the new Jubilee Head portrait of Queen Victoria, but it was withdrawn by the end of 1890 making it one of the shortest circulating denominations in British history.

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1887 Double Florin, nicknamed ‘The Barmaid’s Ruin’

One of the features that makes the double florin stand out in history is that it was almost indistinguishable from the crown coin. Neither carried the denomination and the only difference between the two, apart from the value, was that the double florin was 2mm smaller – not something that was easy to spot by eye.

This meant that the coins were easily confused, and the story goes that crafty patrons would trick barmaids into accepting the double florin as a crown. The double florin then became known as the ‘barmaid’s ruin’, because this act resulted in barmaids losing their jobs.

The first attempts at decimalisation happened over 170 years ago, and although the double florin was withdrawn from circulation after just four mint years , the florin was much more successful, surviving until 1993 before it was demonetised. It circulated alongside the 10p coin, which was introduced in 1968 to try and help the public warm to decimalisation – this time it was finally successful!

The Victorians experienced monumental changes in culture, industry, technology, and empire in their time, but it seems they just weren’t ready for the change of their currency.


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If you’re interested…

Own a piece of history with the ‘Barmaid’s ruin’, the coin that caused barmaid’s to lose their jobs. Click here to order it today>>>

Relive the adventures of the Famous Five…

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I can still remember crawling under my bed sheets as a child at night armed with a torch, and reading, fascinated, about the adventures of Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy – the Famous Five – as they set off in their rowing boat to explore Kirrin Island and uncover shipwrecked gold, stumbling into all sorts of hijinks and thwarting crime in the process.

I still have that copy of the Famous Five’s first adventure, Five on a Treasure Island – now passed on to my children and, I hope, one day to my grandchildren.

But for me – and I’m sure for the many Famous Five lovers across the world – the joy of the “Five” novels is more than just the story. 

Part of it is, of course, the beauty of the illustrations bringing the words to life.  But it’s also the classic design of the books’ front covers, instantly recognisable and perfectly sized for a child’s hands.  Books that are cherished as collectable in their own right.

And that’s why I have been so excited over the last few months to be able to work personally on an exclusive and highly collectable representation of Five on a Treasure Island.  Something I’m confident will be passed from children to grandchildren in years to come, just like my battered family copy of the Famous Five.

Authenticity, heritage and limited edition

That’s because, for the very first time, the actual book fronts of the Famous Five novels are being faithfully reproduced on a series of Limited Edition Silver-Plated Ingots. 

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As you can see from the enclosed photos above and below, the first Ingot is a perfect limited edition recreation of the Five on a Treasure Island book cover, including the original coloured illustration that you, I, and many generations of children have grown up to love. 

Throughout the process, authenticity and heritage have been paramount.  And that’s still the case when you turn your Five on a Treasure Island Ingot over.  As you do so, you reveal the words: “There was something else out on the sea by the rocks – something dark that seemed to lurch out of the waves…  What could it be?” – the very text from one of the book’s most dramatic scenes.

Importantly, each Ingot has been struck to the very highest standards.  The ingots themselves have been specially created to match the exact proportions of the original book and are finished with fine silver-plate. 


Your invitation to SAVE £10.00 when you order today

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Today, I would like to personally invite you to own the Five on a Treasure Island Silver-Plated Ingot for JUST £9.99 – an exclusive SAVING for you of £10.00.

Since it was first published in 1942, over 100 million copies of the Famous Five series have been sold.  Today, two million copies of the books are still sold each year!  And that’s when you realise where the collectible significance of this newly released Silver-Plated Ingot lies. 

Only 9,995 ingots have been authorised

Almost certainly,that’s far from enough for all the Famous Five lovers in Britain, let alone the rest of the world.

Click here for more information and to secure yours >>>