BLACK FLAG (2019-) by the Perth Mint

Who doesn’t love a pirate coin? We’ve seen quite a few in the bullion world, most notably the New Zealand Mint’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ series, based on the Disney film franchise, and ‘Pirate Queens’ from the Royal Australian Mint. Both of those are now defunct, so it falls to the Perth Mint’s ‘Black Flag’ to keep the skull and crossbones flying.

Launched in 2019, it debuted with one-ounce silver and gold variants, as well as a five-ounce silver coin, all with a brilliant uncirculated finish. In 2022, they added an attractive one-ounce antiqued silver version, but there’s been no attempt to go back and issue the first three releases in that finish, at least at the time of writing.

Each design focuses on the ship, rather than the pirate, even though the latter’s name is also inscribed in the border. The artwork is of a high standard, with a good variety given the subject. Mintages are low across the board, so a good one for the collector as well. As we write in January 2024, the fifth in the series has just debuted, and it appears to be ongoing. The series is exclusively distributed by US dealer, APMEX.



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 Blackbeard’s 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.


Bartholomew Roberts (17 May 1682 – 10 February 1722), was a Welsh pirate who raided ships off the Americas and West Africa between 1719 and 1722. He was the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy as measured by vessels captured, taking over 400 prizes in his career. It was in early June 1720 that Roberts, in his sloop Fortune, went raiding along the Newfoundland coast, eventually capturing 22 merchant vessels in the harbour of Trepassey. One of the captured ships, a brig from Bristol, was taken over by the pirates and fitted with 16 cannon and was used to replace the Fortune. In July, he captured a small fleet of French ships and moved his flag to one of them after fitting it out with 26 guns. She became known as the Good Fortune, but after repair and refitting, she was renamed Royal Fortune. Roberts had a passion for the name, and this wasn’t the last ship of his to carry it.

Next was a 52-gun French warship which headed over to Africa for new raiding grounds. In April 1721 at Cape Verde, the latest Royal Fortune was found to be unsound, so Roberts moved to Sea King, which was promptly renamed, yes you guessed it, Royal Fortune. The fourth vessel to carry the name was the former HMS Onslow, captured off the coast of Liberia.

This was to be the ship that the legendary Black Bart was to die on. Along with his two other ships, he was spotted by the HMS Swallow, with her veteran captain, Chaloner Ogle. Drawing one of Robert’s ships away on a ruse, then destroying it, the Swallow returned and battered the Royal Fortune into submission. The pirates were captured and met various fates from prison to death. Captain Chaloner Ogle became the only man in the Royal Navy to get a knighthood for action against pirates. Bartholomew Roberts was buried at sea by his crew as per his wishes.


Ching Shih (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.


Moody sailed in the Caribbean as early as June 1718 in his ship Rising Sun, which had been called Resolution before it was captured by pirates, “mounted with 36 guns and having on board 130 men, white and black”. Moody sailed alongside Richard Frowd and another pirate, looting ships in the vicinity of St. Christophers. They alternately burned, stranded, and looted the ships they captured.

In December 1718, they took several ships near St. Thomas, holding their captains hostage and threatening to burn the ships if the islanders refused to resupply the pirates. Governor Hamilton was forced to request an additional warship from England, “the man of war that is on this station not being capable of doing any service against that vermin”.

In early 1719 Moody sailed for Sierra Leone on the African coast. As reported by captured sailor William Snelgrave, in the Cape Verde vicinity a group of Rising Sun’s sailors attempted a mutiny, led by Thomas Cocklyn. Moody put Cocklyn and 25 others ashore and denied them shares of plunder. Moody’s remaining crew resented his treatment of Cocklyn and returned the favour, forcing Moody and 12 of his supporters into a small boat and setting them adrift, where they were presumed to have been lost at sea. (Source: Wikipedia)

THE FANCY (2023)

Henry Every, (20 August 1659 – Disappeared: June 1696), was an English pirate who operated in the Atlantic and Indian oceans in the mid-1690s. Dubbed “The Arch Pirate” and “The King of Pirates” by contemporaries, Every was infamous for being one of very few major pirate captains to escape with his loot without being arrested or killed in battle, and for being the perpetrator of what has been called the most profitable act of piracy in history. Although Avery’s career as a pirate lasted only two years, his exploits captured the public’s imagination, inspired others to take up piracy, and spawned works of literature.

Every began his pirate career while he was first mate aboard the warship Charles II. As the ship lay anchored in the northern Spanish harbour of Corunna, the crew grew discontented as Spain failed to deliver a letter of marque and Charles II’s owners failed to pay their wages, and they mutinied. Charles II was renamed the Fancy and Every elected as the new captain.

Every’s most famous raid, on 7 September 1695, was on a 25-ship convoy of Grand Mughal vessels making the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, including the treasure-laden Ghanjah dhow Ganj-i-Sawai . Joining forces with several pirate vessels, Every found himself in command of a small pirate squadron, and they were able to capture up to £600,000 (£97.1m in 2024) in precious metals and jewels. This caused considerable damage to England’s fragile relations with the Mughals, and a combined bounty of £1,000—an immense sum at the time—was offered by the Privy Council and the East India Company for his capture, leading to the first worldwide manhunt in recorded history. Every himself eluded capture, vanishing from all records in 1696; his whereabouts and activities after this period are unknown. (Source: Wikipedia)


SILVER 1oz (PRE-2022)


SILVER 5oz (2023)

GOLD 1oz (PRE 2022)

It’s a very basic obverse design, with just the old Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, and surrounding inscriptions covering the issue details, and the composition. The 2023 coins add the ‘1952-2022’ inscription under ‘IRB’ to denote it as a memorial obverse to the Queen.


2019 ISSUE


The gold coin is the only version to get packaging over and above a standard capsule. The initial 2019 coin came in an octagonal cardboard box of neat design, but dubious quality. Made of cardboard, it doesn’t appear to be particularly well implemented.

Fortunately, this was changed in 2020 for an all-new wooden box, which is clearly of a much higher quality. This has remained in use since then.


$1 TVD (Tuvalu) 31.1 grams of 0.9999 silver 40.9 mm B / UNC 15,000
$1 TVD (Tuvalu) 31.1 grams of 0.9999 silver 40.9 mm Antique 1,500
$5 TVD (Tuvalu) 155.5 grams of 0.9999 silver 60.6 mm B / UNC 500
$100 TVD (Tuvalu) 31.1 grams of 0.9999 gold 32.6 mm B / UNC 100