Downies celebrates Captain Cooks first epic voyage with high relief silver three coin set

One of the worlds foremost explorers, Captain James Cook of the British Royal Navy is famed for making three epic voyages to the Pacific Ocean. Credited with the first recorded European contact with the Hawaiian Islands and the east coast of Australia, as well as the first circumnavigation of New Zealand, Cook sailed and mapped previously uncharted regions of the globe before finally meeting his end at the hands of a Hawaiian chief in early 1779.

Having undertaken so many feats in the Australian region, it’s no surprise that the very active Antipodean numismatic scene finds his exploits worthy of commemoration. Downies latest releases ranks amongst the finest of them. A three-coin fine silver set, each weighing an ounce, depict elements of Captain Cook’s first voyage and does so using the current favourite numismatic trend – ultra high relief.

The first depicts the HM Bark Endeavour, Cooks ship, under full sail. The second is a more complex affair, depicting Cook looking through telescope with the Endeavour at anchor offshore of a palm laden beach. Titled ‘The Transit of Venus’, this refers to the passage of Venus across the Sun, like a less dramatic version of the lunar eclipse, and was the reason Cook was sent to the area. The third coin features a portrait of Cook against a map background and is titled ‘Charting the Southern Oceans’.

All three coins are packed full of detail and the quality and depth of relief looks close to CIT SmartMinting levels. The obverse design is based around an old nautical compass and at its centre carries an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. In a nice touch, the series is issued for the Cook Islands and makes a highly coherent package. Packaging looks to be of a high quality. A rectangular wooden box holds the trio and a themed certificate of authenticity, and the whole is wrapped up in a similarly themed shipper

Available to order now, the set sells for $449.00 AUD and is limited to 500 units. As this one is subtitled ‘First Voyage 1768-1771’ and Cook undertook two others to the region, it’s possible that if this set is successful there may be two others. On this evidence we think that’s a good thing.



A pivotal figure in Australian history is brought to life in this terrific set, at the 250th anniversary of the voyage that put him in the history books. This breathtaking tribute to Captain James Cook is underpinned by limited availability, superb presentation and, most of all, exquisite Ultra High Relief quality. Good enough to give away – if you can bear to! – the tremendous 2018 Captain Cook Silver High Relief 1oz Proof Set is destined to delight the select few lucky enough to own it.

The depth and detail in the superbly balanced motifs is exceptional. The designs seem to leap from the face of the coins! In addition to the Ultra High Relief strike, the design found on each coin is enhanced by multiple finishes – creating a stirring depiction of the tale of Captain Cook’s iconic first Voyage of Discovery that, quite simply, must be seen to be believed.

James Cook was largely unknown when appointed to command the HMS Bark Endeavour on an expedition to the Pacific in 1768. The stated objective of the mission was to sail to Tahiti to observe the Transit of Venus – but that was only part of the story. Cook also received some additional, secret orders: find the fabled Great South Land. Cook completed his astronomical observations in 1769 and set sail for home. His ship needed repairs, so he stayed close to the coastline – Australia’s coastline! Cook and his party subsequently claimed the east coast for Britain, charting 2,000 miles of the continent in the process.

Thanks to the cutting-edge Numismatic techniques employed throughout this set, the magnificent reverse designs on each Proof allow you to relive three key milestones of that first voyage in incredible detail. You can almost feel the wind pushing against the Endeavour’s sails as she sets off in her full glory in 1768. A much gentler clime awaits in balmy Tahiti as you witness his observations of Venus: calm seas and palm trees dotted in the background give a tremendous sense of perspective. And arguably the most triumphant moment of Cook’s career – quite literally, putting Australia on the map – is superbly realised through the stark contrast of glassy, mirror-like surfaces and sharply-hewn, fine details. Individually, each Proof is a tremendous work of modern minting. But together? That’s when the magic truly happens.

A luxurious presentation case provides the perfect environment from which to view these incredible legal tender issues, which fit comfortably within its plush interior despite each coin’s generous 38.60mm diameter. An individually serial-numbered Certificate of Authenticity accompanies your set. This set is strictly limited to just 500 worldwide – a status confirmed by your individually-numbered Certificate. With so few available, prompt action is a must.


DENOMINATION $5 Cook Islands x 3
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams x 3
DIAMETER 38.60 mm x 3
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high relief
MINTAGE 500 sets
BOX / COA Yes / Yes