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Canada National War Finance Committee Medal (1946). Awarded to J.E. Laurin. Struck in Bronze Salvaged from WWII.

Canada National War Finance Committee Medal (1946). Awarded to J.E. Laurin. Struck in Bronze Salvaged from WWII.

345.00

78mm. 380.2 grams. This massive award medal, 3/8” thick, was commissioned for presentation to members of the National War Finance Committee. The NWFC was set up in January 1942 to raise funds for the war effort through the issuance of Victory Loans (government bonds). It was enormously successful, raising more than $1 billion by the end of the war in 1945. According to Barry Renwick’s article “The National War Finance Committee Medallion” in the May 2002 issue of the CN Journal, there were roughly 60 members of the committee in planning and administration, and up to 400 full-time employees. According to Renwick, “the RCM report for 1946 states 2500 lbs of salvaged bronze were processed as struck for preparation of 955 medallions for the year.” The “salvaged bronze'“ was recovered from naval, army, and air force equipment used during WWII. Examples were made with both English and French inscriptions. The dies were prepared by Royal Canadian Mint Master Engraver Thomas Shingles, who held that position from 1943 until his death in 1965. His work dominated Canadian coinage during that time.

The National War Finance Committee Medal is much scarcer than the reported production total would suggest, with scant auction appearances. Indeed, Geoffrey Bell noted in the 2017 Fall Coin Expo Sale that he had only seen two examples of this medal in 45 years. Bank of Canada Governor Graham Towers’ example is permanently impounded and on display in the BOC Museum.

This particular example displays original bronze-gold colour and excellent preservation. It was never cleaned, as far as we can tell, and the only mark is a rim nick at 7 o’clock on the obverse. The obverse shows the Canadian Coat of Arms at the centre with emblems from the nine different Victory Loan campaigns incuse around the borders. The reverse inscription reads:

Presented to J.E. Laurin in recognition of service to the National War Finance Committee. This plaque is struck from metal obtained from Canadian naval, army and air equipment in use 1939 - 1945.

A fantastic Canadian medal, beautifully designed and carefully struck, with considerable historical significance. We have been unable to determine any background information on the recipient, J.E. Laurin, but the NWFC archives at the Bank of Canada may contain valuable information.

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