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Royal Canadian Mint

Gold-Plated Victoria Cross Proof Set (2006)

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From the cascabels of Russian cannons that were captured during the Crimean war (1854-1855), a great military honor is forged. It is the Victoria Cross the highest military decoration that is the awarded. For most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.

Instituted by Queen Victoria in 1856, a total of 1,351 Victoria Crosses have been awarded to the British and commonwealth military forces. Ninety-four of them have been awarded to Canadians for acts of bravery carried out prior to and during the South African war (1899-1902); 70 First World War (1914-1918); and 16 during the Second World War (1939-1945).

The Victoria Cross is one of the most recognized military medals in the world. It features a cross pattee with the royal crown surrounded by a lion guardant and a scroll inscribed with for valour. The date of the act is engraved within a raised circle n the reverse. The cross is suspended from a straight bar which have the rank, unit and name of the recipient engraved on the back. In 1993, a special Canadian version was instituted. It is identical to the original with the exception that the inscription on the scroll is in Latin (pro valour).

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