Perth Mint kicks off its new Pirate-themed bullion coin series with Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge

Today sees a new bullion coin series appearing from the Perth Mint and distributed by US mega-dealer APMEX. Continuing  a recent trend diversifying the subjects away from animals to a wider selection, the subject of choice here is the fascinating world of pirates. Called Black Flag after the iconic pennant which pirates of the classic age often sailed under, it will look at some of the most famous pirates and their equally famous vessels.

First out of the gate is none other than Blackbeard and his flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge. A great design showing the ship under full sail looking a little worn out, you can even see the custom flag that Blackbeard used to identify his ship and thus send fear into his victims. A border holds title and composition details, along with a couple of neat skull & crossbones symbols. The obverse carries the usual effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank Broadley. We’d expect the series to move over to the Jody Clark effigy next year, although that remains unconfirmed at present as this is issued for Tuvalu and not Australia.

As well as a good design, the coin has very limited mintages to enhance their appeal. The popular 1oz silver format is capped at just 15,000 pieces – very low for a Perth Mint issue. These come encapsulated and can be bought by the tube. A 1oz gold variant rounds out the selection, and this has a positively microscopic mintage of just 100 pieces. Despite it being a bullion coin and not a proof, it comes boxed with a certificate of authenticity, a nod to its rarity.

Both will be available from APMEX today and with a cool design, interesting subject and tight mintage, we can see these being a coin to watch. Graded versions are also available in limited quantities if that’s your thing. Can’t wait for the next one.

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BLACKBEARD & THE QUEEN ANNE’S REVENGE

Born around 1680, Edward Teach went to sea at an early age as a sailor on privateer ships during Queen Anne’s War before settling on the Bahamian island of New Providence. He joined the crew of Captain Benjamin Hornigold in 1716 and spent the next two years as a pirate called Blackbeard before being tracked down by forces of the Governor of Virginia, Alexander Spotswood, and killed on 22 November 1718.

Hornigold had retired in 1517, leaving Teach to operate as a Captain in his own right. He’d captured a French merchant vessel called La Concorde in 1717, outfitting it with 40 guns, and after renaming it Queen Anne’s Revenge, set off to make his fortune. Relying on a fearsome reputation, enhanced by his thick black beard and a reported habit of tying lit fuses (slow matches) under his hat. He was actually more of a calculating pirate than a violent one, there being no record of him harming or murdering captives in his care. In Blackbeards case, the image did most of the work for him.

Like Blackbeard, the Queen Anne’s Revenge met an early end. The 200 ton vessel was run aground at Topsail Inlet, now known as Beaufort Inlet in North Carolina after just a year as Blackbeard’s flagship. The former slave trading ship remains there as a protected wreck from which many artifacts have been recovered. The vessel, and her captain, are popular players in the world of today’s popular culture.

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SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $100 TVD (Tuvalu) $1 TVD (Tuvalu)
COMPOSITION 0.9999 gold 0.9999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 32.6 mm 40.6 mm
FINISH Bullion Bullion
MODIFICATIONS None None
MINTAGE 100 15,000
BOX / COA Yes / Yes No / No