Re-issue of the Canadian Victory Nickel
The Royal Canadian Mint has re-issued the wartime Victory nickel to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. About 60 million of the new Victory nickel coins went into circulation on May 4, 2005.
The Victory nickel was originally designed to promote the Canadian war effort during World War II and was in circulation from 1943 to 1945.
Design of the Canadian Victory Nickel
The original Victory nickel design was by Mint Master Engraver Thomas Shingles.
The V symbol on the Victory nickel has a double meaning. It serves as both a representation of Winston Churchill's V for Victory sign and of the Roman numeral V for five cents.
The flaming torch in the centre of the design represents sacrifice.
The original World War II Victory nickel had 12 flat edges so it could be differentiated from a penny when it tarnished. It also included the Morse code for "We Win When We Work Willingly" along the outer edge of the coin. The new Victory nickel has a plain round edge.
Canada and World War II
Victory in Europe Day, or VE-Day, was officially celebrated on May 8, 1945. Hitler had committed suicide on April 30 and on May 7 the Germans signed an unconditional surrender. It would be another four months before the atomic bomb and victory in the Pacific marked the end of World War II.
The Canadian sacrifice in World War II was significant. About 1.1 million Canadian men and women served in World War II, about ten percent of Canada's population at the time. Over 42,000 were killed, 54,000 wounded and 9,000 taken as prisoners of war.