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The Battle of Vimy Ridge - 1 oz. Pure Silver Selectively Gold-Plated Coin: First World War Battlefront Series (2017)

The Battle of Vimy Ridge - 1 oz. Pure Silver Selectively Gold-Plated Coin: First World War Battlefront Series (2017)

$112.95 CAD
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Mintage: 10,000
Canada and US only
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"In those few minutes, I witnessed the birth of a nation."
– Brigadier-General Arthur Edward Ross

Launched in the spring of 1917, the Battle of Arras in northern France was an attempt to break the bloody stalemate on the Western Front, where the Battle of the Somme had yielded few gains. One of the most important components to this Allied offensive was the capture of Vimy Ridge, a heavily fortified escarpment that provided sweeping views of the flat landscape below. The previous attempts to storm this enemy stronghold had failed—until those fateful four days in April 1917, when all four divisions of the Canadian Corps came together for the first time in history to fight as one in a methodically planned operation that became a defining moment for our nation.

Canada's soldiers emerged from the hard-fought battle as an offensive force to be reckoned with, and a surging sense of national identity—on the battlefield and at home. Nearly 3,600 Canadians were killed during the intense four-day operation, and 7,000 more wounded. Four Canadians earned the Victoria Cross for their actions at Vimy Ridge; as for Byng, the future Governor General of Canada was promoted to the Third British Army shortly after. In his place, 41-year-old Arthur Currie took up command of the Canadian Corps—the first Canadian to ever lead his nation's army in battle.

A poignant addition to your coin display. Order today.

Special features:
  • UNIQUE WITHIN THE SERIES: Selective gold plating was also used on the soldier to place added emphasis on the legacy of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in Canadian history. Your entire coin design is a heartfelt ode to Canada's combatants, whose valour and sacrifice at Vimy Ridge contributed to a pivotal moment in our nation's history.
  • COMMEMORATES THE KEY BATTLE OF VIMY RIDGE: The courage and sacrifice of the "Byng Boys" secured a morale-boosting victory that remains a seminal moment in Canadian history.
  • FIFTH COIN IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR: BATTLEFRONT SERIES: This collection commemorates key battles of the First World War that helped shape and define Canada as we know it today. Subscription still available! Order today to ensure you receive all the coins in the series!
  • OUTSTANDING ATTENTION TO HISTORICAL ACCURACY: Your coin features the effigy of King George V by T. H. Paget in selective gold plating.
  • RECREATES THE WINGED FIGURE OF "VICTORY" FROM THE VICTORY MEDAL: Patterned after a 19th century French medal, this bronze-lacquered copper medal was awarded in 1919 to all ranks of the Allied forces who served in the First World War.
  • INCLUDES SERIALIZED CERTIFICATE: The Royal Canadian Mint certifies all of its collector coins. Most of these are serialized certifications, meaning that each certificate is given a unique number, starting at 1.


Designed by Canadian artist Pandora Young, your coin transports you back to April 1917 to the countryside in northern France where Canada's soldiers launched their offensive on the heavily fortified escarpment known as Vimy Ridge. Using the battlefield as a backdrop, the design centres on a close view of a lone Canadian soldier, his face purposely omitted so as to represent any of the combatants during the Battle of Vimy Ridge (April 9-12, 1917). Selective gold plating adds a golden hue to the belted khaki jacket with detachable shoulder straps and a standup collar, which features the maple leaf insignia of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. This unknown soldier holds a steel trench helmet in his left hand; behind his left shoulder is one of the many 18-pound guns that provided the artillery fire used in the Canadians' creeping barrage. Below the soldier is the winged figure of "Victory," with selective gold plating used to recreate the bronze-hued Victory Medal awarded to Allied soldiers in 1919.

Did you know..
  • German forces had seized the seven-kilometre ridge and surrounding territory in 1914. The French had unsuccessfully tried to recapture it in May 1915 and again in September 1915, at a cost of over 100,000 casualties.
  • In preparation for the attack, sections of the enemy lines were reconstructed to give Canadians a sense of what they would encounter during the attack.
  • The extensive network of tunnels was dug at least 10 metres beneath the ground, in order to preserve them from artillery fire. The longest tunnel was almost a kilometre long; some were equipped with rail transport, electric lighting and even running water.
  • When the infantry moved out on the morning of April 9, 1917, they were well supported by nearly 1,000 artillery pieces, which made use of a new artillery fuse (the 106 fuse) that allowed shells to explode on contact.
  • During the attack, each Canadian soldier moved forward carrying up to 36 kilograms of equipment.
  • For their valorous actions at Vimy, four Canadians were awarded the Victoria Cross: Private William Milne, Lance-Sergeant Ellis Sifton, Captain Thain MacDowell and Private John Pattison.
  • The commander of the Canadian Corps, Lieutenant-General Sir Julian Byng, was beloved by Canadian troops for his style of leadership. Raised to the peerage after the war, he was titled 1st Viscount of Vimy and was later appointed Governor General of Canada from 1921 to 1926.

Byng's Boys

Under the trusted command of Lieutenant-General Sir Julian Byng, the Canadian Corps—or "the Byng Boys," as they called themselves—underwent intensive training after the hard-learned lessons of the Battle of the Somme. Taking cues from the French army, Canada's troops adopted a new offensive strategy at Vimy—one forged by careful preparation and an emphasis on logistics.

Nothing was left to chance. Troops rehearsed tirelessly, using models and maps to familiarize themselves with the terrain and enemy positions. Tunnels were dug beneath No Man's Land to facilitate the movement of troops and munitions, with some of them equipped with rail lines, water, electricity and large storage bunkers. Each soldier knew his task, for the infantry was assigned specialized roles such as grenade-throwers, riflemen and machine-gunners.

The week before the attack, Canadians launched a prolonged bombardment (dubbed the "Week of Suffering") with more than a million shells pounding enemy positions. At 5:30 a.m. on April 9, 1917, the first attacking wave of 15,000 Canadians soldiers set out, under the cover of a "creeping barrage" which saw the infantrymen advance behind a line of unrelenting artillery fire aimed just ahead of them; all advanced at a precise rate that was timed to the minute. The strategy was a successful one: the rolling artillery barrage provided cover for the infantry and kept the enemy in their bunkers; by the time gunners moved to man the machine guns, Canadian troops were already upon them.

Within a half hour, Canadians had captured part of the front line; within the hour, they had also captured a portion of the second line and by noon, most of the ridge was in Allied hands. On April 10, a frontal bayonet charge allowed them to take Hill 145—the highest point, and the site of the Canadian National Vimy Monument since 1936. Two days later, Canadians took the other high point nicknamed "the Pimple" and the enemy retreated. Coupled with the British Corps' concurrent efforts in Arras, the operations had yielded more ground and munitions than any other British-led offensive.


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

Order today.

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  • No.147829
  • Mintage10,000
  • Composition99.99% pure silver
  • Finishproof with selective gold plating
  • Weight (g) 31.39
  • Diameter (mm) 38
  • Edgeserrated
  • Certificateserialized
  • Face value20 dollars
  • ArtistPandora Young (reverse), T. H. Paget (obverse)

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