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24/07/2020

Gloster Gladiators chosen for silver coin marking 75th anniversary of World War II

On 27 July 2020, the Malta Coin Centre (MCC) of the Central Bank of Malta will launch a numismatic coin issue in silver marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The obverse of the coins features the coat of arms of Malta, while the reverse depicts three Gloster Gladiator bi-planes in flight over the Maltese islands. The artist – Noel Galea Bason – chose these legendary aircraft, dubbed Faith, Hope and Charity, as they epitomise Malta’s unequal fight against the might of the Axis forces, and remain one of the enduring symbols of Malta’s wartime experience.

World War II broke out on 1 September 1939 following the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany. Malta, which formed part of the British Empire, remained relatively unaffected until Italy declared war on Britain on 10 June 1940. Malta suffered the first air-raid the following day. This was the start of a three-year ordeal during which Malta endured more than 3,000 air-raid alerts in the course of which some 16,000 tons of bombs were dropped on the islands. Malta was incessantly bombed, isolated and almost starved into submission. Nevertheless, the people and defenders of Malta prevailed in the face of adversity, death, loss and privation.

World War II, with its legacy of death, genocide and devastated landscapes, was the most destructive in human history. The war in Europe came to an end on 8 May 1945 and in Far East and the Pacific Ocean on 15 August 1945.

The coins, which have a face value of €10, are limited to 2,000 pieces and were minted by the Royal Dutch Mint. Each coin is struck in 0.925 silver, has a weight of 28.28g, a diameter of 38.61mm and is finished to proof quality.

To avoid disappointment, customers are encouraged to pre-order the coins, which will be sold for €65, as from today from the MCC's e-shop. Alternatively, one may visit the MCC counter at the main building of the Central Bank of Malta, Castille Place, Valletta, which is open Mondays to Fridays from 8am to noon, excluding public holidays.

For further information, the public is kindly requested to contact the MCC via email or by calling on (+356) 2550 6006/7/8.

WWII Coin

When Malta suffered the first air-raid, on 11 June 1940, the island was bereft of fighter aircraft
save 
for three naval Sea Gladiator bi-planes – later dubbed Faith, Hope and Charity –
that had been taken over by the Royal Air Force. These puny ‘few’ epitomised Malta’s
unequal fight against the might of the Axis forces.
Photo: Heritage Malta.

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