This 2016 $20 fine silver coin is the third and final coin in the Aircraft of the First World War Series. The coin artistically creates a striking contrast using a near flawless proof finish and selective colour. The coin pays tribute to the Curtiss Model H-12 flying boat, which was flown by Canadian aircrew serving in the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) during their anti-submarine and anti-zeppelin patrols over the North Sea. The coin weighs just over one ounce of pure silver, and has a limited mintage of 7,500 coins. As a pure silver coin struck by the Royal Canadian Mint, this item is HST/GST exempt.
The design by Canadian artist David A. Oram features an engraved rendering of the fateful encounter on May 14, 1917, between a Curtiss H-12 in the foreground, and the Zeppelin L-22. Heavy cloud cover is evident in the engraved background, where a break in the clouds reveals the North Sea below. In the foreground, selective colour recreates the light colours of the H-12 piloted by Flight Sub-Lieutenant (later Air Marshal) Robert Leckie of Toronto, with an attention to detail that is made evident by the inclusion of the identifying number “8666” and the blue, white and red stripes and roundels used by the Royal Naval Air Service. The detailed engraving only adds to this, recreating the smooth lines of the H-12’s laminated wood veneer hull and sponsons, all while capturing the finer details on the wings and the twin mounted engines in the interplane gap. With two crewmembers manning the aircraft’s front and mid-ship guns, the H-12 banks away from the L-22 after opening fire. The engraved zeppelin can be seen with its rear exploding into flames, mere moments before the L-22 becomes the first zeppelin shot down by a flying boat.
The coin is engraved with the word "CANADA," the date "2016" and the words "Curtiss H-12". The back design features an effigy of King George V, by Sir Edward B. MacKennal, as used on Canadian coins in the First World War period.