The Royal Mint has released a commemorative £2 coin for purchase as it says ‘thank you’ to the wartime generation on the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
The coin has been created in association with the Imperial War Museum to “capture the spirit and stoicism of the wartime generation and the gratitude of those that followed”, the Royal Mint said in a statement.
The £2 coin and an accompanying historic set of coins used in the Second World War era are available to buy, and the Royal Mint plans to release the new coin into circulation if there is enough demand.
The Mint will also strike a limited edition of 750 sovereigns featuring Benedetto Pistrucci’s iconic St George and the dragon design on the anniversary of the day this Friday.
The £2 coin – featuring smiling faces and the word “Victory” against a backdrop of rays redolent of search lights – was designed to symbolise the first steps towards peace and recovery after the war.
“Iconic images of VE Day serve to remind us of the magnitude of events,” the coin’s designer Dominique Evans said.
“Millions came together in the streets to celebrate the end of the war in Europe, inspiring me to put people at the very heart of this coin. The rays evoke search lights, a familiar sight in the skies during wartime, except here they represent rays of hope.
“VE Day is still a piece of living history. I hope the coin enables people to capture the poignancy of this landmark anniversary, one remembered by those who were there and celebrated by the generations that followed.”
Clare Maclennan, the Royal Mint’s divisional director of commemorative coins, said it was hoped the coins would help unite the nation amid trying times caused by the coronavirus.
“Our VE Day commemorative coin was inspired by a shared sense of community and loyalty,” she said.
“During these challenging times that the nation finds itself in, we may be unable to join with our loved ones to mark this national milestone, but it feels especially important that we come together to protect the older generation that sacrificed so much for us.”
Imperial War Museum senior curator Stephen Walton said: “The events of May 1945 initiated and defined the world we live in today. The costliest conflict in human history was nearing its end, and a new era of hope, optimism and social transformation was beginning.
“Much anxiety and many challenges remained, but the determination prevailed that, out of an unprecedented global catastrophe, a better human society should emerge and there is no doubt that the relevance of this vision is as strong now as it was then.”
A donation from each coin purchased will be made to Imperial War Museums.