At the forefront of the Royal Australian Mint’s new found interest in the limited bullion coin market, ‘Australian Shipwrecks’ is an example of how to do it right. An Australian coin with annually changing designs on BOTH faces, a unique shape, and an unusual subject, are all hallmarks of something fresh and different, and that is indeed the case here.
Each issue is themed around a famous shipwreck from Australia’s early colonial past, and there seems to be plenty of subjects to choose from. We’ve had the Batavia and the Vergulde Draeck, and this third issue features the Zuytdorp. The design ethos remains consistent and quite unusual. The usually staid obverse of an Australian bullion coin is packed with an image of the shipwreck in progress, with the neat details in the foreground, including the depiction of coins that seem to fill the holds of all these ships, appropriately enough.
The reverse face again has an representation of the ship under full saile, surrounded by a period border of profile figures and floral-adorned ribbons. You could almost imagine it being lifted off of the Dutch Ducat range. The upside-down inscriptions are meant to be read by turning the coin upside-down and thus turning the ship under sail into a ship sinking – a neat touch. All told, a very well thought out design.
As before, just a one-ounce 0.999 silver and an identical weight of 0.9999 gold make up the range. The former is limited to 20,000 pieces, while the latter tops out at a tiny 250. Both are available from Hong Kong based dealer, LPM Group later today, and from the usual dealers worldwide.