Re-living the Dambusters’ Raid – exactly 70 years ago today

small dambusters 70th ag pnc - Re-living the Dambusters' Raid - exactly 70 years ago today

Just 495 Dambusters Anniversary Silver Coin Covers will be flown on board one of two surviving Lancaster bombers as part of tonight’s 70th anniversary memorial

16th May 2013 – the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters’ Raid – the exact moment when, on 16th May 1943, 617 Squadron set off from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire under Wing Commander Guy Gibson to destroy the dams of Germany’s Ruhr Valley with their ‘bouncing bombs’.

As part of the official Battle of Britain Memorial, 495 specially designed Dambusters’ covers will be flown on board one of just two surviving Lancaster Bombers over Derbyshire’s Derwent Reservoir, part of Derwent Dam – an area used by the pilots for training.


An Officially Approved Royal Air Force Commemoration, each cover features an original Dambusters’ stamp, postmarked with an exclusive cancellation dated 17th May, and an official 70th Anniversary Dambusters Coin struck in Solid 925/1000 Silver to the highest proof finish, its reverse enhanced with selective 24-Carat Gold-Plating.

Just 495 available

Due to the cover’s uniqueness and the fact that tonight’s flight will never be repeated, no more covers will ever be available once all 495 have been sold. The anniversary flight details on the reverse of each cover confirm it has been part of this historic Dambusters’ re-enactment.

Commemorate the Battle of Britain by securing one of these commemoratives – click here.

My top 5 sell-out stories of 2013 so far …

Less than half way into the year and a number of 2013 coins have already been making the headlines – in some cases, selling out extremely quickly. Here’s my list of top 5 sell-out coins for the year so far.

1. The Britannia ‘DateStamp’ Silver Set

new datestamp1 - My top 5 sell-out stories of 2013 so far ...With the new year came a new Britannia struck, for the first time ever, in 999/1000 Silver up from 958/1000 – bringing Britannia in line with coins like the US Eagle and Canada’s Maple Leaf and securing her position as Britain’s purest silver coin.

Featuring one of the last ‘958’ coins and one of first ever ‘999’ versions, all 495 Britannia ‘DateStamp’ Silver Sets were snapped up by collectors in just 15 days.

Other ‘DateStamp’ products are still available to buy here .

2. The Canadian Maple Leaf Premium Set

canadian maple leaf set - My top 5 sell-out stories of 2013 so far ...In January, The Royal Canadian Mint announced all 600 of its 2013 Gold Maple Leaf Premium Sets had sold out. This year’s set was all the more sought-after as it featured the 1 oz Gold coin in high relief – only the second ever struck by Canada.

Considering the demand for the rare high relief Gold coin and the rapid sell-out of the 2011 and 2012 versions and it’s no wonder the 2013 set sold out in weeks.

3. The Canadian Ice Hockey Silver $20 Coin

ice hockey1 - My top 5 sell-out stories of 2013 so far ...Continuing the trend of the previous six coins, the $20 Silver Ice Hockey Coin became the latest sell-out in the Royal Canadian Mint’s $20 silver coin series – now the fastest-selling silver coin series in the world – with all 250,000 pieces now officially sold out.

Every single coin in this series has sold out incredibly quickly – but none more so than the Polar Bear whose record 25 days beat even the Diamond Jubilee coin.  Few doubt the next one, the Wolf, will sell out quickly but can it beat the Polar Bear?

This has now sold out.

4. The Coronation Jubilee Gold £5 Crown

m4901 - My top 5 sell-out stories of 2013 so far ...This beautiful Gold £5 Coin was issued exclusively by The Westminster Collection with a tiny worldwide edition limit of just 95 pieces.

The significance of the occasion, the coin’s 22 Carat Gold content and the beauty of its designs proved popular with royalty collectors looking to mark this year’s 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation – and  investors keen to add this piece to their portfolios.

5. The 2013 Australian Silver Holey Dollar and Dump Set

new holey dump - My top 5 sell-out stories of 2013 so far ...In March, I reported that an original Holey Dollar and Dump dating back to 1813 had sold for AUS$495,000.

An intriguing coin with a fascinating story, 2013 saw The Perth Mint issue their own 200th anniversary tribute to the Holey Dollar. All 4000 sets of 2013 1oz Silver Holey Dollar and Dump sold out not long afterwards.


Interest in Iron Lady memorabilia soars

Whether you loved or loathed her, the fact of the matter is that since her death, demand for Baroness Thatcher memorabilia has rocketed.

A huge amount appeared online just 24 hours after the announcement. Ranging from the downright bizarre to the slightly comical such as toby jugs, key rings and coasters, more genuinely sought-after items such as signed copies of her memoirs, photographs and Christmas cards are also proving popular.

thatcher gold - Interest in Iron Lady memorabilia soars

The Margaret Thatcher NumisProof

Incredibly sought-after
Political memorabilia has always been in high demand and none more so than for Lady Thatcher, Britain’s first and only female PM.

Even before her death, her Northern Ireland “Battle Bus” sold for $26,000 in February this year. Last September, Christie’s sold her one of her trademark jade green wool business suits for £25,000 (they had also sold her famous, if rather unflattering, Spitting Image puppet for just over £2,000 in December 2007).

thatcher cover - Interest in Iron Lady memorabilia soars

Special one-day-only commemorative cover postmarked 17th April, the day of Lady Thatcher’s funeral

Divided opinion
And if you’re thinking the Iron Lady’s unpopularity among certain factions means less interest and less demand,  you couldn’t be more wrong.

The fact she was so controversial during her three consecutive terms as PM at No 10 – due largely to the poll tax, trade unions and the miner’s strike – has only fuelled interest further.

Available while stocks last, a selection of commemoratives, issued to mark the life of Baroness Thatcher, is now available exclusively from The Westminster Collection.