Sep 302014
 

The Adventure of the Gloria Scott, by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 56 short stories featuring detective Sherlock Holmes.

The story of the Gloria Scott came to light after Sherlock spent a month with his university friend, Victor Trevor. During his stay, Sherlock exercised his powers of deduction to uncover a secret from the family’s past.

Gloria-Scott_1oz-silver-coin

Dedicated to Sherlock Holmes and the story of the Gloria Scott, this very limited coin is from the popular Famous Ships That Never Sailed series.

In his youth, Victor’s father was convicted of fraud and sent to Australia aboard a ship called the Gloria Scott. Whilst on route, he discovered a conspiracy among some of the prisoners to take over the ship. Several crew members died as a result of the ensuing revolt, and the instigator of the takeover, Jack Prendergast, wanted to murder all of the Gloria Scott’s remaining crew to cover his tracks.

Victor’s father and several other prisoners did not wish to partake in cold-blooded murder, so they asked to be set adrift in a small boat, to make their own way to Australia.

Not long after the small boat had departed, the Gloria Scott exploded. Victor’s father and the others adrift on the small vessel rowed back to search for survivors. They found only one, a man named Hudson.

Once they reached Australia, the drifters changed their names and embarked on a new way of life as free men, before eventually returning to England. Victor’s father had lived a safe and peaceful existence until Hudson turned up on his doorstep, attempting to blackmail him and other members of the mutinous crew. When he received a letter informing him that Hudson had told the police about the Gloria Scott, Victor’s father suffered a stroke and died.

Gloria-Scott-coin_display-caseStruck by The Perth Mint from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality, this coin’s reverse portrays a representation of the Gloria Scott sailing, with Sherlock Holmes sitting onshore smoking his pipe.

Presented in a wooden case moulded in the shape of a book, no more than 3,000 Famous Ships That Never Sailed – Gloria Scott 2014 1oz Silver Proof Coins will be released.

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Aug 042014
 

The Year of the Horse is in full stride and among the new releases featured in August’s Bulletin are three inspiring coins featuring Australian horses and horsemanship.

The Land Down Under – 2014 Australian Stockman

The latest 1/4oz pure gold and 1oz pure silver releases from this iconic series immortalise the mounted stockmen who pioneered Australia’s unforgiving outback. Both designs portray wonderful designs of a stockman riding his horse.

The Australian Stock Horse 2014 5oz Gold Proof Coin

This truly magnificent release is dedicated to the Australian Stock Horse, known for its calm temperament, strength and courage, qualities that helped it thrive in the challenging conditions of the bush.

Other superb new releases in August comprise:

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Jul 232014
 

The correct answer to our latest Mystery Coin competition is:

Ships That Changed The World – Cutty Sark 2012 1oz Silver Proof Coin.

Cutty_Sark

Cutty Sark‘s name derives from Robert Burns’ famous poem Tam O’ Shanter about a farmer called Tam who is chased by a witch dressed only in a ‘cutty sark’ – an old Scottish name for a short nightdress. The witch was portrayed as a figurehead on Cutty Sark’s bow.

The famous ship was badly damaged by fire in 2007 while undergoing conservation, but has since been restored and was reopened to the public in Greenwich, London in April 2012.

Built in 1869, Cutty Sark was one of the fastest clippers to transport tea from China to London. But with the growing success of steam ships on the shorter Suez Canal route, she turned to the trade in wool from Australia, where she held the record time to Britain for 10 years.

Congratulations to the following winners who submitted correct answers on Facebook or email (via the blog post):

  • Stephen Grieshaber
  • Harbeen Kaur
  • Heidi Layland
  • Vicki Emanuel
  • Steve Garlesky

If you didn’t win this time, please watch our Facebook page and blog for another Mystery Coin competition in the not too distant future.

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Dec 052013
 

The Charlotte medal in silver is believed to have been engraved on board the First Fleet transport Charlotte as she lay at anchor in Botany Bay before sailing into Port Jackson and unloading her cargo of convicts at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788.

Inscribed with an account of the voyage from England and an image of the Charlotte, it is acclaimed as Australia’s first colonial work of art, and furthermore, as a unique record of the arrival of the settlers who founded modern Australia.

Charlotte_medal_silver

ANMM Collection Purchased with the assistance of the Australian Government through the National Cultural Heritage Account

The 74mm wide medal is believed to have been made from a surgical dish by convicted thief Thomas Barrett at the behest of John White, the ship’s surgeon. White wanted a memento of the historic landing and chose Barrett for the task after he’d displayed remarkable skill at forging coins during the arduous sea voyage.

Alas, Barrett lasted little more than a month in the convict colony, meeting his fate at the end of a hangman’s rope for stealing beef and peas. Not only was he responsible for the historic silver medal, but also a smaller copper version, thought to have been commissioned by White’s personal servant, William Broughton.

Charlotte_medal_copperr

Image courtesy of Noble Numismatics and Ian M. L. Armstrong.

Material for the second medal could have come from copper sheathing used to protect the ship’s hull. The finished piece measured 47mm in diameter and featured an abridged form of the inscription on the silver medal, but no ship.

Sailed the Charlotte of London from spit head the 13 of May 1787. Bound for Botany Bay in the Island of new holland Arriv’d at Teneriff the 4th June in Lat 28.13N Long 16.23 W depart’d it 10 Dec arriv’d at rio janeiro 6 of Aug in Lat 22.54 S Long 42.38 W depart’d it the 5 of Sept arriv’d at the Cape of good hope the 14 Octr in Lat 34.29 S Lon S 18.29 E depart’d it th 13 of Nov and made the South Cape of New Holland the ‘8 of Jany 1788 in Lat 43.32 S Long 146.56E arrived Botany Bay the 20 of Jany the Charlotte in Co in Lat 34.00 South Long 151.00 East distance from Great Britain miles 13106.

The silver Charlotte medal belonging to surgeon John White, who returned to England, remained unknown until it appeared in the famous collection of the Marquess of Milford Haven. Details were published in 1919 in the first volume covering his collection of naval medals.

William Broughton remained in the colony, rising to become an official of significant stature in the Government of New South Wales. His copper Charlotte medal was discovered during the 1940s on the site of a farm in Camden with which he was associated.

According to rare coin specialist Noble Numismatics, if the silver Charlotte medal is one of the most significant and rare items associated with the First Fleet, then the copper Charlotte medal must rank as equal in rarity and significance.

Where are the Charlotte medals now?

The Australian National Maritime Museum (with help from the National Cultural Heritage Account) made the winning bid at auction of $750,000 for the silver Charlotte medal in 2008. It is can be seen on display in the Museum, which is located in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

The copper Charlotte medal is currently for sale via Noble Numismatics.

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Sep 032013
 

DemeterThe third vessel in the Famous Ships That Never Sailed series is The Demeter of Bram Stoker’s gothic horror story ‘Dracula’. The legendary tall ship sailed the ‘undead’ Count to England in what became a final and terrifying passage for her crew.

Struck from 99.9% pure silver in proof quality, the coin’s reverse portrays a representation of The Demeter and the cliff top Whitby Abbey surrounded by vampire bats. With a mintage of 3,000, the Tuvalu legal tender coin is beautifully presented in a wooden case in the shape of a book, accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

For your chance to win this stunning coin, simply rearrange the following letters to solve the anagram

Clue: Home of vampires!

SlainNavyTar

How to enter: Email your answer to anagram@perthmint.com.au. Mark your reply or subject line ‘September 2013 Anagram Competition’ and include your name, telephone and membership number, or the Twitter username you use to follow @perthmint. Entries close on 30 September 2013. Eligible entrants will be included in the free draw and the winner will be notified by telephone or email. (T&Cs)

Last month’s winner: Jeffrey Beck from Nevada, USA.

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Jun 042013
 

Secret orders to search for the fabled ‘Great Southern Continent’ accompanied James Cook on his epic first voyage to the South Pacific of 1768–71.

The idea of one huge southern land mass was first suggested by the ancient Greeks. Ptolemy, for one, thought that with all the land in the Northern Hemisphere, there had to be an equivalent in the Southern Hemisphere to act as a counterweight.

Mercator_World_Map

Terra Australis occupies a large part of the Southern Hemisphere in Rumold Mercator’s map of 1587.

Over time, European explorers ventured further south, discovering new lands often assumed to be parts of the hypothetical continent. In many famous cases, map-makers represented these discoveries alongside purely speculative representations of Terra Australis Incognita – the ‘unknown south land’.

Even in the 18th century, much of the Southern Hemisphere still remained a mystery.

Alexander-Dalrymple

A fellow of the Royal Society, Alexander Dalrymple believed fervently in the existence of a great southern continent.

By then, Scottish hydrographer Alexander Dalrymple had become one of the idea’s main proponents. In the process of translating Spanish documents captured in the Philippines in 1762, he had found Luis Vaez de Torres’ testimony proving a passage south of New Guinea.

His views prompted the British Government, already fuelled by imperial ambition and hopes of laying claim to a bounteous new territory, to plan an expedition to the region under Dalrymple’s leadership.

As we know, Cook, one of the leading navigators and cartographers of the era, was ultimately entrusted by the Admiralty to find the much anticipated prize.

Having observed the transit of Venus in Tahiti, Cook opened his confidential instructions and headed west to map the complete coastline of New Zealand before revealing to the world the existence of the east coast of Australia.

That it was not part of Terra Australis as the Greeks had hypothesized was confirmed by Matthew Flinders’ circumnavigation of the continent in 1801 – 03. Doubtful that another land mass to the south existed, Flinders called for the name to be applied to what he saw as the next best thing: “Australia”.

By the time Antarctica was sighted, a land Cook missed despite crossing the Antarctic Circle in 1773, the name had already stuck to it northerly neighbour.

James_Cook_Coins

The Land Downunder Gold and Silver Coin Series celebrates James Cook, the brilliant navigator venerated in Australia as the first European to chart the continent’s east coast.

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