Alderney is one of the Channel Islands (situated in the Channel between England and France), and is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey - a British Crown dependency. As such, it is not a sovereign country, but has operated as a quasi-sovereign entity since the Middle Ages. The island has issued commemorative coins since 1989, denominated in the Alderney Pound - which is a variant of the Pound Sterling and is legal tender on the islands, but not in the United Kingdom.
The British Royal Mint occasionally uses the jurisdiction of Alderney to issue commemorative coins, usually crowns-sized (i.e. modelled on the pre-decimal crown denomination, which is now continued by the commemorative £5 type. The platinum "piedfort" of this format (same diameter but double the thickness) is roughly equal to three troy ounces of platinum, and is issued quite rarely.
This coin, with mintage of just 70, marks the 70th anniversary of VE Day.
The Mint says about it:
7 May 1945 - the announcement is official, war in Europe is over and the nation erupts in celebration. Six long years of sacrifice and struggle, a nation tested to the limit, but defiant and unbowed. Pay tribute to that stoic wartime spirit once more and relive those joyous scenes 70 years ago when the country came together as one, in every street in every town, a riotous carnival of colour reclaiming freedom throughout the land.
It's 70 years since the bells rang out in every parish of this land, peals of relief and rejoicing as the bitter war in Europe finally came to an end; an epic conflict that the British people endured with unflinching strength and resolve. History has feted the wartime leaders already, so instead join the celebrations at street level and peer through the eyes of the people, with designer Lee R. Jones' stunning reverse design.
This extra special £5 coin, struck for Alderney, will appeal to history enthusiasts and collectors alike. Struck to pristine Proof standard, its euphoric reverse design perfectly captures the eruption of joyous relief as Britain's freedom was finally secured from the tyranny that threatened to engulf her. On the coin's obverse is the portrait of The Queen, who witnessed the tragic events of the war, and the relief of the nation as it ended, as a young princess. Pay tribute and reflect on this poignant anniversary with a coin worthy of the occasion.
After six long, hard years of sacrifice for the British people, war in Europe finally ended in the spring of 1945. On 7 May, German General Alfred Jodl signed the unconditional surrender that formally brought an end to hostilities. An official announcement by the Ministry of Information later that day confirmed the news and the celebrations began in earnest.
"In accordance with arrangements between the three great powers, tomorrow, Tuesday, will be treated as Victory in Europe Day and regarded as a holiday."
People poured onto the streets in their thousands, determined to celebrate in style, a nation tested to the very limit, but with its spirit unbowed. In London, crowds gathered in Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and along the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace in a riotous outpouring of relief that war was finally over. The following day, street parties took place as people everywhere shared in the joy. This commemorative coin captures that moment of relief and rejoicing to be enjoyed once more.