This year will mark the bi-centennial anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. But, despite Napoleon’s defeat taking place a distant 200 years ago, it seems that it is still a delicate subject for the French… or is it?
In March, Belgium planned to issue a €2 commemorative Waterloo coin in honour of the historic event. However, after 180,000 coins were minted with the design, France voiced such objection that Belgium destroyed the coins to avoid upsetting their neighboring country.
But earlier this week Belgium crushed the French resistance by invoking a little-known European Union rule. It allows countries to issue euro coins of their choice, provided they are in an irregular denomination – cue a new €2.50 coin – a first in Belgium.
The coin displays the Lion Hill memorial that marks the battle, with dotted-lines indicating the position of the troops when forces led by Britain and Prussia defeated Napoleon in the countryside near Brussels.
But, ironically, it was the French who issued one of the first Waterloo Commemoratives…
Remarkably, the French State Mint issued a Battle of Waterloo Medal after Napoleon’s defeat in 1815. It was designed for sale in the British market by renowned French sculptor Emile Rogat, depicting a fallen eagle on the reverse, symbolising the French Army.
The eagle is encircled by four vultures to represent the victorious British, Prussians, Austrians and Dutch and the obverse features an official effigy of Napoleon. It became a piece of history, stored in the British Museum.
It’s a great time for collectors during huge anniversaries such as this, as there are so many fascinating coins and commemoratives issued. But perhaps it’s time France looked back at their own history before they complain again!
The ‘100 Poppies’ Coin, launched by The Westminster Collection in partnership with The Royal British Legion last October has now raised over £131,000.
Since 2008, The Westminster Collection, has created a unique commemorative poppy-themed coin each year to honour those who have sacrificed their lives in the Armed Forces. However sales of the 2014 centenary edition coin have seen the biggest donation to date, ensuring that the memories of the fallen live on – as well as the care and support offered by The Royal British Legion.
The full amount was presented to The Royal British Legion by The Westminster Collection’s Chairman, Stephen Allen, on Tuesday 14th April at a special event held at The Legion’s pop-in centre in Southampton. The money raised will help The Legion provide financial, social and emotional support to all who have served and are currently serving in the British Armed Forces and their families.
Stephen said, “though we have been working in partnership with The Royal British Legion since 2004, the Poppy Coin came about in 2008 as a way to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
“We are delighted that the partnership has continued to grow, and our special Poppy Coins each year are a way of giving back to a charity that has done so much for both the Service community and the national spirit of Remembrance over the past 94 years.”
Charles Byrne, Director of Fundraising at The Royal British Legion, said the coin acts as “poignant reminder” of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“We are so proud of our long-term partnership with The Westminster Collection, a family business which shares our commitment to supporting the entire Service community; whether it’s helping veterans to remain independent in their homes, supporting bereaved families, ensuring people have access to the benefits they deserve or offering employment advice.
“The Poppy Coin is not only a poignant reminder of those who have fought and sacrificed their lives, it also helps the Legion to carry out our vital welfare work, allowing today’s Armed Forces, veterans and their families to live on to a more hopeful future.”
SAVE £10.00 on the new new VE Day Silver Medal
Following the success of last year’s coin, The Royal British Legion have teamed up once again with The Westminster Collection to issue an official VE Day silver medal to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
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In my mind there is one mint in the world that has more artistic excellence, minting quality and a general je ne sais quoi than any other. It is the French Mint – or to give it its proper title La Monnaie de Paris.
Founded by Charles the Bald in 864, this year marks La Monnaie de Paris 1150th year of minting coins.
Over the years they have created some of the most exceptional coins and medals that I have ever seen. And they have worked with many of the very finest names in designer excellence. Names like Cartier and Baccarat.
Their pieces are exquisite. They are more than coins and medals – they are true pieces of art.
With their age-old expertise, Monnaie de Paris is responsible for the striking of circulating coins, collector coins, medals, official decorations, casts and works of art. But they only entrust the conception of their products to the greatest artists.
Of course, as a work of art you should only consider owning a piece if you love it.
Secure your own artistic masterpiece…
The Westminster Collection has managed to secure a 50 piece initial reservation for La Monnaie de Paris’ tribute to the soldiers of the First World War.
What makes this commemorative medal such an artistic masterpiece is the quality with which it has been struck from 13oz of solid bronze to its unparalleled antique finish.
The overall depth of engraving and striking creates a truly 3-dimensional piece, unlike any normal proof coin you will have seen.
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