Following on from their hugely popular Southern Sky and Northern Sky series of domed, silver astronomy coins, the Royal Australian Mint launched a domed gold coin in February this year that expanded the concept in a different direction. Eschewing colour and direct representations of the night sky, that coin chose instead to feature a look at the Eastern Hemisphere as depicted on an eighteenth century map.
This second coin heads off to the Western hemisphere and goes back even further in time, to 1626 for its inspiration. The New and Accurate Map of the World by John Speed is considered a landmark work, despite many errors (California is an island!). The original work is full of details and artwork, such as portraits of Ferdinand Magellan, Oliver Vander Noort, Thomas Cavendish and Sir Francis Drake, an astronomical table and lengthy notes. The coin obviously can’t fit everything in, so is concentrated around the view of the New World. It has maintained much in the way of period detailing and the whole thing is very well realised and full of cool touches.
The obverse is of course, centred around the ubiquitous effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, without any additional adornment, but at least the necessary issue inscriptions are placed here away from the reverse face. Very nicely packaged in a quality wooden box, this one-ounce fine gold coin comes with a certificate of authenticity and just 750 will be available. A pricey piece at $2’795.00 AUD, it’s nevertheless a fine looking issue and should fine plenty of buyers amongst collectors of classic designs. Available now.