Scottsdale debut their EC8 bullion coin program for the second year with Rum Runner

One of the bullion highlights last year was Scottsdale Mint’s all-new EC8 coin program. A series of issues, one for each of eight Caribbean nations, each of which highlighted a facet of that islands national character. We’re pleased to see that not only was the program successful enough to return in 2019, but that it has also done so with all new designs. We thought that if it came back it would be with rehashed designs, but all credit to Scottsdale for investing the time to differentiate.

No changes to the formats or mintages from last years coins (which you can see in our comprehensive Coin Series Profile). The bullion coin is available as a 1oz 0.999 silver (25,000 mintage) or 1oz 0.9999 gold (2,500) variant, and in addition to those there are a pair of proof commemorative versions with similar weights, but far smaller mintages. The proof coins have colour highlighting – something we’d personally do without, but it isn’t overpowering – and come in neat boxes with a coloured shipper and a certificate of authenticity. The bullion variants ship in capsules on customized Scottsdale Mint branded skin boards of five, although dealers will sell them individually. The gold BU coins will ship in Scottsdale Mint’s Certi-Lock® packaging.

The first coin is for Antigua & Barbuda, just as in 2018. The subject, Rum Running, remains the same, but the design is all new. Depicting a pirate overseeing the landing of his booty, we like it a touch more than the 2018 effort. The common obverse is unchanged from last year and is the same across all four variants. We should see the other seven coins issued as the year goes on, in what will likely be another release-packed year for Scottsdale.  All of the these small island nations share a currency and a central bank.The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is the official issuer of the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, which is legal tender in the territories of all eight members. Yet to come are Anguilla, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Scottsdale Mint, in partnership with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), is pleased to continue the EC8 program with the release of the second issue in the “Rum Runner” series from Antigua & Barbuda.  The coin’s image depicts an 18th century pirate overseeing his crew as they onload some of the finest rum in the world from Antigua & Barbuda.  Manufactured and distributed by Scottsdale Mint, each coin is struck in .999+ silver and .9999+ gold and weighs one troy ounce.

The silver “Rum Runner” BU coins will ship in capsules on Scottsdale Mint skin boards of five (5) coins.  The gold “Rum Runner” BU coins will ship in Scottsdale Mint’s Certi-Lock® packaging.  The silver color commemorative and gold color commemorative “Rum Runner” coins will ship in capsules inside custom boxes.

HISTORY OF CARIBBEAN RUM RUNNING

The relationship between Rum and the Caribbean can be traced back to 1493 when Columbus first visited Antigua. Keen on the tropical climate and virgin soil, he decided it was the perfect place to offload his cargo of sugar cane trimmings from the Canary Islands. For nearly 150 years’ locals cultivated the plant for molasses, honey, and sugarcane juice.  In 1632 the English colonized Antigua and Barbuda and brought with them their fermentation and distillation abilities – dramatically altering the intended use of the sugar cane plant.

Like any frontier, alcohol had to be imported and was expensive as a result. The invention of rum and the subsequent demand for this cheaper and abundant libation turned sugar cane into the island’s staple crop nearly overnight. Rum became so profitable that other cash crops like tobacco, indigo, and ginger were replaced with sugar; the new economic backbone of the islands.

The first large sugar estate was established in 1674, and competition for rum sales – as well as the security that armed ships provided – quickly heated up.  The Caribbean island governors concocted a plan to offer discount pricing on rum to the Royal Navy in hopes of gaining protection from the pirates of the Caribbean.  As it were, pirates were making a killing – literally and figuratively – by capturing the prized cargo of lesser vessels and running the spoils (rum) to the heavily taxed colonies in North America and West Indies.

GALLERY

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SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $2 East Caribbean $2 East Caribbean $10 East Caribbean $10 East Caribbean
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.999 silver 0.9999 gold 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 31.1 grams 31.1 grams 31.1 grams
DIAMETER 38.6 mm 38.6 mm 38.6 mm 38.6 mm
FINISH Brilliant uncirculated Proof Brilliant uncirculated Proof
MODIFICATIONS None Colour None Colour
MINTAGE 25,000 2,500 2,500 500
BOX / COA No / No Yes / Yes No / No Yes / Yes
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