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1 oz. Pure Silver Coloured Coin – Aircraft of First World War: Sopwith Triplane – Mintage: 7,500 (2016)

1 oz. Pure Silver Coloured Coin – Aircraft of First World War: Sopwith Triplane – Mintage: 7,500 (2016)

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

The First World War fuelled the development of aviation technology. In 1916, the Sopwith Triplane took to the air: a nimble one-seater that was the first triplane to be mass-produced as a fighter plane. It delivered an exceptional rate of climb and visibility, which took Canada's famed Black Five pilots through some of the greatest dogfights from May to July 1917. This exhilarating coin takes you high above the village of Passchendaele, where incredible engraving and colour bring every detail of the famed Sopwith into view.

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

Special features:
  • Second coin in an exciting new 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 displays a faithful depiction of two Sopwith Triplanes, made famous by the all-Canadian Black Flight pilots.
  • 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.
  • 99.99% PURE SILVER COIN! Your coin has no GST/HST and a limited mintage worldwide.

About the Design:

Designed by Canadian artist David A. Oram, your coin features a detailed, engraved depiction of two Sopwith Triplanes flying above the Messines Ridge in June 1917. The use of selective colour recreates the distinctive appearance of the Black Maria flown by Flt. Lt. Raymond Collishaw of Nanaimo, B.C., while at rear is the engraved depiction of the Black Roger flown by Flt. S. Lt. Ellis Vair Reid of Belleville, Ont. The Sopwith Triplane's reputation for exceptional manoeuvrability is on display as the Black Maria completes a sharp turn; this allows for a closer view of the plane's markings, wing construction, even its .303-caliber Vickers machine gun atop the fuselage. The parting of the clouds reveals the tragic devastation of the Ypres area below, where there is little left of the village of Passchendaele save for the ruins of its church and the road that curves through the blast-scarred fields.

Did you know...The All-Canadian Black Flight

When No. 10 Naval Squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) was revamped in early May 1917, 13 of its 15 pilots were Canadian. The most famous of the Squadron's three flights was "B" Flight, led by Flt. Lt. Raymond Collishaw. The five Canadian pilots of the Flight distinguished themselves by painting the engine cowling and front of the fin of their triplanes black and giving each one a name: Collishaw flew the Black Maria, William Melville Alexander flew the Black Prince, John Edward Sharman named his the Black Death, Ellis Vair Reid's was the Black Roger and Gerald Ewart Nash's was the Black Sheep.

In the aftermath of "Bloody April" in 1917, the Black Flight and their triplanes helped reverse the tide of the air war over the Flanders region during the battle at Messines Ridge and the start of the battle of Passchendaele. They scored three-quarters of the squadron's 80+ victories from mid-May to the end of July, many of which were claimed against top notch German opposition – Manfred von Richthofen's Flying Circus. Collishaw's own 34 victories helped earn him the Distinguished Service Cross and the Distinguished Service Order; by the war's end, his total of 60 victories made him the RNAS's top ace, Canada's second top-scoring ace, and the third highest of the British Commonwealth.

  • The Sopwith Triplane was nicknamed the Tripe or the Triplehound and was used in combat by the Royal Navy Air Service (RNAS) – specifically the Nos. 1, 8, 9 and 10 Naval Squadrons.
  • The prototype was first flown on May 28, 1916; it was capable of reaching top speeds of 187 kilometres per hour and a range of 450 kilometres.
  • Only 150 Sopwith Triplanes were built, but it inspired the design for others – including Germany's Fokker F.1, which became the famous DR. 1 Triplane.
  • The Black Flight fought some of the enemy's top aces including Jasta 11, the unit made famous by Rittmeister Manfred von Richthofen (aka The Red Baron), as well as the other squadrons that comprised von Richthofen's Flying Circus.
  • Raymond Collishaw scored 34 of his 60 victories in a Triplane; William Melville Alexander scored 11 of his 22 victories in the Triplane; Ellis Vair Reid scored all 19 of his flying the Tripe; John Edward Sharman scored 7 of 8; and Gerald Ewart Nash scored all 6 in the Triplane.
  • The Sopwith Triplane's limited endurance and light armament limited its time at the front, as did the time-consuming nature of any repair work; by August of 1917, the arrival of the Sopwith Camels made the Triplane obsolete and it was gradually retired from the front line.


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

Order your coin today!



  • No.150238
  • Mintage7,500
  • Composition99.99% pure silver
  • Finishproof
  • Weight (g) 31.83
  • Diameter (mm) 40
  • Edgeserrated
  • Certificateserialized
  • Face value20 dollars
  • ArtistDavid A. Oram (reverse), Susanna Blunt (obverse)

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