One of the most well known and well respected explorers in history, Captain James Cook has had a fair amount of representation in the numismatic world of late. This is helped in no small amount by his history of voyages to Australasia and the amount of mints currently issuing from the reason, but even up here in his homeland, the occasion is marked.
The Royal Mint have just issued the third and last annual £2 coin is a programme that started in 2018. Each issue in the set has a common artistic style, one which is quite distinctive in its own right. In addition, each is part of a larger image which collectors can now finally hold in their hands after a long wait. You can see the three issues in the image above.
These are bi-metallic coins like all that carry the £2 denomination. Originally meant to make counterfeiting the circulating currency more difficult, we’re of the opinion here that it’s detrimental to the look of the precious metal coins, with the change in colour jarring unless the design takes it into account at an early stage. Whatever our view, these aren’t going to change, so here we are. These remain nice coins, utilising quite atmospheric looking work by Gary Breeze (perfect name for a sailing ship coin…!).
Two precious metal variants on offer. A sterling silver coin with a gilded border is the cheapest and most numerous offering, with a 22kt gold version (red gold border and a yellow gold pill) of half ounce weight making up the high-end. The edge has an inscription again, this time ‘‘OCEANI INVESTIGATOR ACERRIMVS’, which translates into the very cool title ‘The most intrepid investigator of the seas’. Available from today, the silver maintains its £67.50 price, but the gold has climbed from £845.00 to a staggering £1,055.00. That’s down to the huge rise in the price of gold, so don’t blame the mint this time. Subscribers to the series should finally get to fill the collectors box that came free with it.