The Royal Canadian Mint is extremely proud to contribute to the memory of fallen soldiers by issuing colored commemorative circulation coins to mark Remembrance Day. Since 2004, the RCM joins Canadians in Honouring Canada's Fallen, Veterans and Troops with the release of these 25-cent poppy coins.
The poppy became a profound symbol of wartime remembrance in many countries shortly after WWI. The association of the poppy to those killed in the war, however, dates back to the Napoleonic wars in the 19th Century, during which time the red flower suddenly bloomed in war-torn fields where countless soldiers had died. The reason this phenomenon was seen as mysterious is because the poppies bloomed in fields where the land had long been barren, as was the case in Flanders Fields, France in WWI. During the war, bombs, artillery shells, and shrapnel upturned the soil exposing dormant corn poppy seeds to the light it needed to grow. The blood-red flowers painted an almost incredulous scene as they swayed over the graves of fallen soldiers. In 1915, Canadian doctor and soldier John McCrae recorded this phenomenon in his famous poem In Flanders Fields, immortalizing the symbol of the poppy. Today, people from all parts of Canada choose to display their collective reminiscence and remember the sacrifices of fallen heroes by wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day.
The first 25-cent poppy coin was produced in 2004. The red poppy stamped on the reverse with pressurized ink and a fluorescent security coating was the world’s first colored circulation coin and quickly became a collector’s item. The coin was later named Most Innovative Circulation Coin at the Mint Directors' Conference (MDC) in Paris, France.
The second coin was issued in 2008 in association with the Royal Canadian Legion and also featured the iconic red poppy, Canada's flower of remembrance. Ninety years after the armistice of the First World War, the humble poppy endures as a powerful symbol to honor our veterans—past, present and future.
The 2010 25-cent poppy circulating commemorative coin was also developed in association with the Royal Canadian Legion to mark Remembrance Day. It shows two red poppies on either side of a Canadian soldier with his head bowed, on a maple leaf backdrop.