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1 oz. Pure Silver Coloured Coin – Aircraft of First World War: Curtiss H-12 – Mintage: 7,500 (2016)

1 oz. Pure Silver Coloured Coin – Aircraft of First World War: Curtiss H-12 – Mintage: 7,500 (2016)

$99.95 CAD
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Mintage: 7,500
Ships Jan-05-2022
Canada and US only
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Sure to be enjoyed by collectors and aviation enthusiasts! Order today!

Aircraft technology was barely a decade old when the world was plunged into war in 1914. Despite initial scepticism surrounding the use of these “flying machines,” the needs of warfare fuelled incredible advancements in aviation technology and tactics. From the early reconnaissance role of rickety canvas-over-wood planes to the spectacular dogfights between full-fledged aerial combat weapons, the aircraft of the First World War – and the Canadians who flew them – ushered in a new era of modern warfare and ultimately redefined industry and transportation in the 20th century.

Almost from the start of the war, the Royal Naval recognized the value of aircraft in searching for German surface vessels, especially warships. When German zeppelins began attacking England, the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) was given the task of searching for and intercepting these intruders over the North Sea; to this was added the role of anti-submarine patrols. 

Canadians had been enlisting in the RNAS since the start of the war, many going on to serve in the flying boats of that service. In 1917, they received a welcome addition: the Curtiss H-12. This well-armed twin-engine biplane featured open cockpits for a crew of four, and provided the basis for the British-built Felixstowe F.2 series of flying boats. Together, the H-12 and F.2 were to put into operation U-boat hunting and convoy protection tactics that would help defeat the U-boat campaign of 1917, which almost brought Britain to its knees. These same tactics would again be used in the Second World War, with Canadian airmen playing a large role in defeating the threat in both conflicts.

Celebrates the daring, pioneering spirit of Canadians who took to the sky and helped steer the course of aviation history! Order today!

Special features:
  • Last coin in an exciting 3-coin series that shines the spotlight on aircraft flown by Canadian combatants during the First World War!
  • PAINSTAKINGLY ENGRAVED IN STUNNING DETAIL WITH SELECTIVE COLOUR: Your coin presents a historically accurate depiction of a fiery encounter between a Curtiss H-12 and Zeppelin L-22 over the North Sea.
  • Celebrates the daring, pioneering spirit of Canadians who took to the sky and helped steer the course of aviation history!
  • Sure to be treasured by collectors and aviation enthusiasts for its artistic merit and historical theme, this striking coin is also a deeply meaningful gift for those whose loved ones proudly served their country abroad, whether on land or in the air.
  • ONE OUNCE OF 99.99% PURE SILVER COIN! Your coin is GST/HST exempt with a limited mintage worldwide.

About the Design:

Designed by Canadian artist David A. Oram, your coin features an engraved rendering of the fateful encounter on May 14, 1917, between a Curtiss H-12 (foreground) and the Zeppelin L-22 (background). Heavy cloud cover is evident in the engraved background, where a break in the clouds reveals the North Sea below. In the foreground, selective colour recreates the light colours of the H-12 piloted by Flight Sub-Lieutenant (later Air Marshal) Robert Leckie of Toronto, with an attention to detail that is made evident by the inclusion of the identifying number “8666” and the blue, white and red stripes and roundels used by the Royal Naval Air Service. The detailed engraving only adds to this, recreating the smooth lines of the H-12's laminated wood veneer hull and sponsons, all while capturing the finer details on the wings and the twin mounted engines in the interplane gap. With two crewmembers manning the aircraft's front and mid-ship guns, the H-12 banks away from the L-22 after opening fire. The engraved zeppelin can be seen with its rear exploding into flames, mere moments before the L-22 becomes the first zeppelin shot down by a flying boat.

Did you know? A Fiery Encounter

The Curtiss H-12 was well suited to the task of detecting and targeting enemy craft, and on the morning of May 14, 1917, Flight Sub-Lieutenant (later Air Marshall) Robert Leckie of Toronto, Ontario became the first Canadian to down a zeppelin. Piloting Curtiss H-12 No. 8666 over the waters near the Dutch coast, Leckie and his crew encountered a heavy bank of clouds to the west when they suddenly came upon Zeppelin L-22 flying at a low altitude.

With two of his crew manning the forward and mid-ship guns, Leckie took the L-22 by surprise, diving from behind the zeppelin, only seven metres from its starboard side. Firing at close-range, the H-12's incendiary ammunition pierced through the L-22's envelope and, within seconds, the airship's rear was in flames. As the H-12 banked away, the entire ship exploded in flames and its charred framing plunged to the sea. The L-22 had become the first zeppelin to be shot down by a flying boat, but it wouldn't be the last. By the war's end, Leckie was one of the most decorated of all flying boat pilots—an outstanding pilot, and one of only two airmen credited with downing two zeppelins during the First World War.

  • The Curtiss H-12 was an American-designed aircraft that had evolved from a pre-war model, the H-2; subsequent improvements and modifications to the initial Model H design led to the H-4 “America” and the H-8 prototype, and the H-16s that superseded the H-12s towards the end of the war.
  • Due to her large size, the H-12 was dubbed “Large America” by those serving in the RNAS, while the H-4 was re-named “Small America.”
  • The RNAS received 71 H-12s in 1917 but, by the war's end, only 18 remained.
  • The H-12 could reach a top speed of about 137 km/h; it was initially outfitted with two 160-horsepower engines, but the RNAS replaced these with two 275-horsepower Rolls Royce Eagle engines.
  • Operating from flying boat stations in the North Sea, the H-12 could carry enough fuel to fly for six continuous hours.
  • It was fitted with four Lewis machine guns and two 230-lb bombs, or up to four 100-lb bombs.
  • Nearly 1,000 Canadians served in the RNAS; of these, over 175 gave their lives.


Your coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell with a black beauty box.

Order your coin today!

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  • No.150240
  • Mintage7,500
  • Composition99.99% pure silver
  • Finishproof
  • Weight (g) 31.83
  • Diameter (mm) 40
  • Edgeserrated
  • Certificateserialized
  • Face value20 dollars
  • ArtistDavid A. Oram (reverse), Sir E. B. MacKennal (obverse)

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