Black flag pirate bullion coin series back with a third release – the legendary Red Flag Fleet of Ching Shih

A bullion coin series that collectors seem to eagerly await is now seeing its 2021 issue added to it. The ‘Black Flag’ range, struck by the Perth mint and distributed by APMEX, looks at every young lads dream job, being a famous pirate. With Blackbeard and Black Bart featuring on the first two coins, they looked for something different this time.

Third time out and the series has headed across the world to a lesser known pirate, but one that is probably more impressive than all the others – Ching Shih. At one time controlling a fleet of 1,800 ships, and even giving the Imperial Navy a bashing, it’s fair to say this was a setup a little more expansive than the Caribbean pirate fleet could even imagine.

A great looking coin, showing us Ching Shih in pirate garb, with a pair of Chinese Junks in the background. There’s more going on here than the previous pair (images at bottom), but it nevertheless fits in well. The obverse of the coin is just a simple effigy of Queen Elizabeth II – the older Ian Rank Broadley work.

As usual, a one-ounce gold coin with a 100 mintage tops the range and there are a pair of silver coins backing it up. A one-ounce coin (15,000 pieces) and a five-ounce (500 pieces) will be the popular choices. Available to order now, you can get it from APMEX, of course, or from others like LPM.


Ching Shih (born Shih Yang 1775–1844), was a Chinese pirate leader who terrorized the China Seas during the Jiaqing Emperor period of the Qing dynasty in the early 19th century. She commanded over 1800 junks (traditional Chinese sailing ships) manned by 60,000 to 80,000 pirates – men, women, and occasionally children. Her ships entered into conflict with several major powers, such as the East India Company, the Portuguese Empire, and the Qing government.

In January 1808, the Chinese government tried to destroy her fleet in a series of fierce battles. However, Ching Shih inflicted several defeats on the Chinese navy, capturing and commandeering several of their ships. The government had to revert to using fishing vessels for battle. At the same time that the government was attacking her, Ching Shih faced a larger threat in the form of other pirate fleets.

In September and November 1809, Ching Shih and Cheung Po Tsai fleet suffered a series of defeats at the hands of the Portuguese Navy at the Battle of the Tiger’s Mouth, eventually coming to the realization there was no way they would be able to hold out forever. In their final battle at Chek Lap Kok in 1810, they surrendered to the Portuguese Navy on 21 January and later accepted an amnesty offered by the Qing Imperial government to all pirates who agreed to surrender, ending their career and allowed to keep the loot that same year. (WIKIPEDIA)

DENOMINATION $100 TVD (Tuvalu) $1 TVD (Tuvalu) $5 TVD (Tuvalu)
COMPOSITION 0.9999 gold 0.9999 silver 0.9999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 31.1 grams 155.5 grams
DIMENSIONS 32.6 mm 40.6 mm 65.0 mm
FINISH Bullion Bullion Bullion
MINTAGE 100 15,000 500
BOX / COA Yes / Yes No / No No / No