The New Zealand Mint launched a new series of antique silver coins called Journeys of Discovery starting in June last year. Celebrating the great explorers of human history, the debut coin depicted the epic explorer of Asia, Marco Polo. The second coin featured another of the worlds most famous explorers, Christopher Columbus, with a third being released just a short while ago with Vasco de Gama as its subject. With this being the fourth release in eight months, and with coins being priced at $145.00 USD, we can guess that the series is proving quite popular, with more to come.

Magellan is a good subject for the coin, having a fascinating adventure which ultimately cost him his life. The coin continues the design style used on the first three, so collectors of the series will have no complaints. Likewise the innovative packaging which comprises a cool wooden box in a mini sack, meant to echo those used to transport goods around the world for centuries, remains. The coins are of the school of realism, in  contrast to the more stylistic artwork of most of the recent flux of 2oz antique-finish coins on the market, and all the better for it. As we’ve noted before, they look almost like a woodcut sculpture, and collectors of historical coins might find them very appealing. Available to order now.

FERDINAND MAGELLAN

Portuguese navigator and explorer Ferdinand Magellan (1480 – 1521) is recognised as the man who, in the early 1500’s, led a fleet of Spanish ships on what is regarded as the ‘first circumnavigation of the world’.

Born in 1480 into a noble Portuguese family, Ferdinand Magellan became a court page in Lisbon following the early death of his parents. He became a skilled sailor and navigator at early age, taking part in the Portuguese expeditions to India and Africa.

After a disagreement with the King of Portugal in 1517, Magellan successfully enlisted the support of the Spanish royalty for an expedition to reach the Moluccas in Indonesia by sailing westward. King Charles I of Spain wanted a share in the valuable spice trade which at this point in time was controlled by the Portuguese through their eastwards route around Southern Africa.

In September 1519 Magellan left Spain commanding a fleet of five vessels. In spite of bad weather, an attempted mutiny, disease, a lack of provisions and unknown waters, Magellan managed to cross the Atlantic Ocean to the southern end of South America, straights which now bear his name. Magellan then sailed into a body of water he named the ‘Peaceful Sea’ (the Pacific Ocean), making his way to the Philippines where he was tragically killed on 27 April 1521, after becoming involved in a local dispute between two rival chieftains.

In spite of not making it back to Spain, Ferdinand Magellan’s ambitious expedition proved that the globe could in fact be circumnavigated by sea.

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MINTS DESCRIPTION

REVERSE: This intricate antique-finished, fully and high-relief engraved coin depicts the moment Magellan became fatally involved in a tragic local dispute, in the Philippines on 27 April 1521.

OBVERSE: This features the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

PACKAGING: This Ferdinand Magellan 2 oz Silver Coin is presented in a timber treasure chest with a uniquely numbered certificate of authenticity. This in turn sits within a draw string sack, modelled on those used to transport materials to trade around the globe on great Journeys of Discovery throughout history.

SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$5 NEW ZEALAND 0.999 SILVER 62.2 g 41.0 mm ANTIQUE 2,000 YES / YES
NEW ZEALAND MINT