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Commems Collection Canadian: 2004 Poppy Dollar

 
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 Posted 06/15/2021  10:13 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
The Royal Canadian Mint (R C M) issued a pair of similarly-themed silver dollars in 2004 and 2008; the pair shared a basic commemorative design, but differed in an important way: the 2004 design was struck in standard relief, while the 2008 silver dollar was struck in ultra-high-relief (per the R C M). In this post, I'll take a look at the 2004 silver dollar, in a follow-up, I'll discuss the 2008 coin.

2004 was the 90th anniversary of the start of World War I. The Great War was initiated when Austria declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914, a month after the assassination of Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914; the assassination was carried out by a Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip, in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Due to a variety of existing European alliances, Austria's declaration soon brought much of Europe into the conflict. Four years of bloody war followed, with approximately 20 million dead as a result (the dead were split roughly 50 / 50 between military personnel and civilians).

The commemorative reverse of the 2004 silver dollar depicts a poppy flower superimposed on a maple leaf. A ribbon with the bilingual (English/French) inscription "REMEMBER / SOUVENIR" is presented below the flower. The design is the work of Cosme Saffioti.

The poppy flower seen on the coin reflects the long-lasting impact of the WWI poem - In Flanders Fields - by Canadian Medical Officer John McCrae. Included in the vivid imagery it presents, the poem describes the red poppy flowers that grew on the battlefield despite its scarring by the fighting that took place during the Second Battle of Ypres. As a result of the publication of McCrae's poem and its subsequent widespread popularity, the poppy grew to become an international symbol of remembrance of military veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of their country. IMO, it is a fitting design element for a coin meant to honour and remember.

The coin was a Special Edition proof silver dollar struck on a 0.9999 fine silver planchet; the coin has a diameter of 36.07 millimeters and weighs 25.175 grams. Per the Mint's Annual Report for 2004, the SD had total sales of 24,527 units; it had a mintage limit of 25,000. The SD's original issue price was $49.95 CAD.

I consider the coin to be one of the more meaningful and history-rich in my SD collection.




Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
Edited by commems
06/15/2021 10:39 am
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 Posted 06/15/2021  10:49 am  Show Profile   Check SPP-Ottawa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add SPP-Ottawa to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great write up!
"Discovery follows discovery, each both raising and answering questions, each ending a long search, and each providing the new instruments for a new search." -- J. Robert Oppenheimer

Content of this post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses...0/deed.en_US

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 Posted 06/15/2021  11:14 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Good story as always, thanks.
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 Posted 06/16/2021  10:31 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Here's a link to my 2008 Ultra-High-Relief Poppy Dollar post:

- 2008 UHR Poppy Dollar.


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 Posted 06/16/2021  10:32 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@All: Thanks for the positive feedback - always appreciated!


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 Posted 06/25/2021  4:33 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In addition to the silver $10 collector coin, the Mint also struck a circulation coin in 2004 with the Poppy design. It was touted as the world's first colourized circulation coin. The Mint described the coin as incorporating an "innovative fluorescent security coating and a red poppy stamped in pressurized ink." As I'm not a Canadian resident who experienced the coin in circulation, I can't attest to how well/poorly the added colour fared after handling. Anyone else able to relate firsthand experiences?

A total of 28.5 million coins were produced for circulation. To make the coins available across Canada as close to simultaneously as possible, the 25-cent pieces were distributed nationwide via a partnership with Tim Hortons vs. the Mint's regular regional distribution systems. The coins were to be given out in change. The launch date for the coin was October 21, 2004.

From the Mint's press release for the coin's launch:

"The Mint felt very strongly about dedicating the world's first colored circulation coin to Canada's war veterans," said David C. Dingwall, President and C.E.O. of the Royal Canadian Mint. "The self sacrifice and courage symbolized by the poppy is universally understood by all Canadians and it also epitomizes Canada's pride of place in world history. I want to thank the Royal Canadian Legion for allowing us to use the poppy image, and to congratulate our Mint production team for making this world first possible. More importantly, I hope that the poppy coin will inspire Canadians to support the Legion's 2004 Poppy and Remembrance Campaign, which helps provide needed services and support for our veterans."

Also from the release:

"To meet the engineering and design challenges entailed in producing the world's first-ever colored circulation coin, the Royal Canadian Mint perfected a high speed coloring process that will generate 30 million coins. The process ensures that the color adheres to the metal and is resistant against wear from daily use or from exposure to common household products and detergents. With normal wear and tear, the color should remain for one to three years, but can be removed with harsh chemicals or friction. A permanent poppy has been struck on the coin, which will retain its full value, even if the red color has been removed."

Coins without colour are often seen on eBay and are described as "error" coins. These pieces are most likely either regular colourized coins from which the colour has been removed, or are pieces from the Test Token Set released by the Mint - the Set included the poppy 25-cent coin with colour and a token that shared the poppy design but without colour (the token, however, does not feature a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II as it is not an official coin).

The distribution via Tim Hortons was not without issue. There were reports of purchases being required even though advertisements for the coin's availability claimed that no purchase would be necessary. And many stores put limits of one per customer in place, regardless of how many cups of coffee were purchased. So, good intentions by the Mint failed to be completely realized. Eventually, however, the coins became available through local banks via the normal distribution channels.

A small fraction of the Mint's production was embedded in a custom First Day of Mintage (FDM) folder, with 9,928 of the FDM packages being sold. As the product had a limit of 10,000 units, it was technically a "sell-out" after returns and damaged/unsaleable products were taken into account. The coin in the package was struck on July 15, 2004 - the first day of production for the coin. The FDM folder had an issue price of $19.95 CAD.

Here's the First Day of Mintage Folder in my collection:

2004 Poppy FDM Folder - Front Cover


2004 Poppy FDM Folder - Inside Left Panel


2004 Poppy FDM Folder - Inside Right Panel


2004 Poppy FDM Folder - Back Cover




Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 06/25/2021  9:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Dcadon to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
As far as longevity goes for the 2004 poppy coin I was still finding them in the 'coffee bin' at work up until Retirement in 2013. Those that were still circulating were fading badly by that time.

Commens, you forgot to mention that in the USA they were deemed a 'Spy Quarter'. You can read about it here: https://www.seattletimes.com/nation...in-warnings/
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 Posted 06/25/2021  10:43 pm  Show Profile   Check SPP-Ottawa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add SPP-Ottawa to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That 25c was also part of a 2004 'Test Token' set.

Then, in 2005, a painted version was included as part of a bookmark with an epoxy seal.

Also in 2005, it was featured in the Mint Report with selective gold plating.
"Discovery follows discovery, each both raising and answering questions, each ending a long search, and each providing the new instruments for a new search." -- J. Robert Oppenheimer

Content of this post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses...0/deed.en_US

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 Posted 06/26/2021  12:23 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Commens, you forgot to mention that in the USA they were deemed a 'Spy Quarter'.

@Dcadon: I didn't forget it, I purposefully didn't include it due to its mythic nature!

Thanks for sharing the link, however, as it does make for an interesting/humorous story.

Here'e the line from the original 2006 report:

"On at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006, cleared defense contractors' employees traveling through Canada have discovered radio frequency transmitters embedded in Canadian coins placed on their persons."

The Defense Security Service issued a statement in January 2007:

"A statement in the 2006 Defense Security Service Technology Collection Trends in the U.S. Defense Industry report which claimed radio frequency transmitters were discovered embedded in Canadian coins is not true.

"This statement was based on a report provided to DSS. The allegations, however, were found later to be unsubstantiated following an investigation into the matter.

"According to DSS officials, the 2006 annual report should not have contained this information. The acting director of the DSS directed an internal review of the circumstances leading up to the publication of this information to prevent incidents like this from reoccurring."


Folks should note that the 2004 Poppy quarter is not mentioned in the report, just a generic "Canadian coins" reference.

The general media at the time took the original tidbit, sensationalized it, and created multiple versions that fit the story they wanted to hype. I've always put the stories in the "urban myth" category - there were just too many inconsistencies across the articles published at the time and it was all just too "fantastic" to convince me it was real. In the end, of course, it proved not to be.


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Edited by commems
06/26/2021 12:25 pm
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 Posted 06/28/2021  10:08 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Oh my!

Thank you for helping keep the record straight.
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