Posted on August 19, 2019
There’s a new collection of silver and gold for sale from the Royal Australian Mint. This stunning new series offers the first-ever triangular bullion coins with four planned designs featuring the famous shipwrecks of Australia. The first in this series focuses on the Batavia wreck, the flagship of the Dutch East India Company. On its maiden voyage, the Batavia met with disaster off the coast of Australia and offers both 1 oz silver and 1 oz gold choices.
The 2019 Australian Shipwreck Batavia Coins are the first release in the four-coin Shipwreck Series from the Royal Australian Mint. The release includes a 2019 1 oz Australian Shipwreck Batavia Silver Coin with a total mintage of 20,000 coins and unique, triangular protective capsules. Also available is the 2019 1 oz Australian Shipwreck Batavia Gold Coin with a limited mintage of 250 coins, triangular protective capsule, and a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. Both of the coins in this release have the same obverse and reverse design fields, both of which are unique to this individual Batavia release.
On the reverse side of the 2019 Australian Shipwreck Batavia coins is the image of the Batavia as it was when it left the dry docks in Amsterdam. Here, you can see the flagship Batavia as it looked when it left the docks to head out to sea on its maiden voyage. The triangular-shaped coin includes upside down inscriptions on the reverse include “1629,” “1 oz .999 Ag.” Or “1 oz .9999 Au,” and the word “Batavia.” These inscriptions are engraved on the coin upside down so that you view the ship in its full glory, but when you tip the triangular coin to read the engravings right side up, you’ll find the ship as it appears in its final resting place: capsized at sea.
The obverse side of the coin has its own unique design. At the top of the coin is a depiction of the obverse of a traditional circular coin with the right-profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Below it, there is a depiction of the scenes that played out as the survivors of the Batavia’s shipwreck scramble to safety on shore.
The Batavia was the flagship of the Dutch East India Company and built in the Dutch Republic in 1628. The ship left Amsterdam on its maiden voyage on October 29, 1628, and set sail for the capital of the Dutch East Indies, the city of Batavia. As the Batavia rounded the Cape of Good Hope off the coast of Africa, it stopped to resupply and set sail for the city of Batavia, now known as Jakarta. The ship would never make it to its final destination.
Two members of the crew, the first mate and a junior officer, wanted to escape their lives and potential persecution in Amsterdam for their religious belief. As a result, the two attempted to launch a mutiny and recruit other members of the crew and passengers on the ship to join the movement. The two leading officers in the mutiny altered the ship’s course away from Batavia. Part of the reason for their mutiny was the fact that the ship was laden with silver and gold to trade for spices in Batavia.
The ultimate fate of the Batavia was nothing short of horrendous. On June 4, 1629, less than one year after it was built, the Batavia struck a reef on the Houtman Abrolhos off the coast of Western Australia. The survivors scrambled to shore and tried to find food and fresh water. 40 people died as the ship capsized and sunk on the reef. As the mutineers struggled to take control in the aftermath, another 100 people were murdered by the mutineers. The mutiny was eventually put down by the captain and loyal crew members after the latter group returned from a search for fresh water. The remaining survivors were eventually taken to the city of Batavia.
The Royal Australian Mint is the singular sovereign mint for the nation of Australia. Located in the federal capital city of Canberra, the mint was founded in 1965. Although the Perth Mint also produces bullion coinage for Australia that has legal tender status, the Royal Australian Mint is the only producer of circulation coins in addition to bullion coinage. The Royal Australian Mint’s founding was significant as it marked the formation of the first-ever Australian mints outside the Royal Mint of England branches on the continent: the Sydney Mint, Melbourne Mint, and Perth Mint.
The Royal Australian Mint’s first issue in the Shipwreck Series with the Batavia imagery is now available for presale from JM Bullion. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at 800-276-6508, chat with us live online, or email us directly. You can also follow us on Facebook and check-in on the blog each Friday.