The East India Company debuts its second annual Trade Dollar with an homage to Britannia in bullion and proof

The East India Company (EIC) launched the debut coin in a new series last year, one that draws inspiration from the old ‘trade dollar’ concept. These were coins of a set weight that were used around the world for commerce, and began in the 15th century with the Far Eastern popularity in the use of the silver dollar from the Spanish Empire. It was the Chinese, with their various designs of Dragon Dollar, that first issued a coin that replicated that Spanish currency, and the concept was picked up by the French, British, Americans, and Japanese in the 19th century.

We’ve already seen Hong Kong dealer, LPM Group, issue an excellent range of Dragon Dollar reproductions, but EIC’s range is different in execution, being full denominated coins (for Saint Helena), and carrying brand new, contemporary designs. Last year’s coin took its design from those Chinese dragon Dollars, and this year, we’re on to the biggest trading empire in history, the British.

The British Trade Dollar was widely used throughout the Far East, and carried a classic portrayal of Britannia on its reverse face, standing on a shore in full regalia, with a merchant ship in the background. EIC have chosen a different look for its contemporary interpretation. The close portrait of Britannia sits over a background portraying a wireframe globe, with an outline of the United Kingdom upon it, which is itself filled with a Union Jack design. It’s a great looking coin, especially the way Britannia’s hair transforms to waves as it flows, signifying trade by sea is protected by naval power, perhaps.

The silver one-ounce bullion coin has a mintage of just 5,000 pieces, which we consider low for the design. It’s exclusive to LPM Group. However, there are also proof versions in gold and silver, both also an ounce in weight. Each comes boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity. Mintages are also low at just 1,000 pieces, and 100 pieces respectively. These versions are more widely available, although all three are available to order now. A great release, with a subject that is hugely popular these days.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION £1 UKP £1 UKP £5 UKP
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.999 silver 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 31.1 grams 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 38.6 mm 40.5 mm 32.0 mm
FINISH Bullion Proof Proof
MODIFICATIONS None None None
MINTAGE 5,000 1,000 100
BOX / C.O.A. No / No Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
EAST INDIA COMPANY