Battles That Changed History goes nautical with Nelson and the pivotal Battle of Trafalgar

Battles That Changed History by the New Zealand Mint is the successor series to the very popular Warriors of History range. Done in the same style – antiqued finished with a coloured figure – we see no reason that these shouldn’t prove equally as popular. Now on the third release, the focus has turned to one of historys most pivotal naval battles, up there with Salamis, Lepanto, Jutland and Midway for the effect it had on the course of major powers and their effect on general civilisation.

The series style continues here with a coloured image of Admiral Horatio Nelson in the foreground. The antique-finished background depicts a scene from the battle of three warships in close combat. It’s another in what is turning out to be a good looking series for the history coin collector. The obverse showing the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II is also antiqued.

The small wooden chest packaging is used again and there’s a serialised certificate of authenticity included, all wrapped up in a themed shipper. Price is back at $80.00 USD and the mintage remains at 5,000. A series I like personally, just like Warriors of History and Numicollects History of the Crusades. Available later today from their webstore or from several of our sponsors.



The Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) was a naval engagement fought by the British Royal Navy against the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies, during the War of the Third Coalition (August–December 1805) of the Napoleonic Wars (1796–1815).

Twenty-seven British ships of the line led by Admiral Lord Nelson aboard HMS Victory defeated thirty-three French and Spanish ships of the line under the French Admiral Villeneuve in the Atlantic Ocean off the southwest coast of Spain, just west of Cape Trafalgar, near the town of Los Caños de Meca. The Franco-Spanish fleet lost twenty-two ships, without a single British vessel being lost. It was the most decisive naval battle of the war, conclusively ending French plans to invade England.

The British victory spectacularly confirmed the naval supremacy that Britain had established during the eighteenth century and was achieved in part through Nelson’s departure from the prevailing naval tactical orthodoxy. Conventional practice, at the time, was to engage an enemy fleet in a single line of battle parallel to the enemy, to facilitate signalling in battle and disengagement, and to maximise fields of fire and target areas. Nelson instead divided his smaller force into two columns directed perpendicularly against the enemy fleet, with decisive results.

During the battle, Nelson was shot by a French musketeer; he died shortly thereafter, becoming one of Britain’s greatest war heroes. Villeneuve was captured along with his ship Bucentaure. Admiral Federico Gravina, the senior Spanish flag officer, escaped with the remnant of the fleet and succumbed months later to wounds sustained during the battle. Villeneuve attended Nelson’s funeral while a captive on parole in Britain.


COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
DIAMETER 40.00 mm
FINISH Antique
BOX / COA Yes / Yes