The Royal Australian Mint’s ‘Pirate Queen’s’ bullion series continues with the legendary Ching Shih

It didn’t take long for the Royal Australian Mint to replace it’s neat inverted triangular shipwreck series with something equally nautical, as in July of this year they debuted the first ‘Pirate Queen’s’ bullion coin. That debut featured the well-known Anne Bonny, and was a good-looking coin, showing a classic Caribbean pirate ship under full sail.

That same basic design template is employed again for the second coin, which showcases a Chinese pirate legend, Ching Shih, who at her peak, personally commanded a fleet of 24 vessels, although the overall pirate fleet exceeded 400 ships. These numbers dwarf anything seen in the Western Hemisphere during the golden age of piracy there. Like the Bonny coin, it shows a typical ship under sail, although nicely embellished with a traditional Chinese mythological creature.

The silver coin has the vessel coming towards the viewer with a Phoenix swooping overhead, beautifully framing the ship. The gold, has the ship sailing away, with a dragon in the foreground partly submerged in the sea. Both are very pretty, but like the Bonny coin, there’s little to associate it with a specific individual In contrast, the APMEX coin for the same subject, that has her in a prominent position in the design.

The same two formats as before, both a troy ounce in weight. The 0.999 silver version has a mintage of 10,000 units, while the 0.9999 gold, which comes boxed with a C.O.A., is limited to just 100. As before, it’s exclusively distributed by German dealer EMK and is available to order now.


Ching Shih (born Shih Yang 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. (WIKIPEDIA)

DENOMINATION $2 (Solomon Islands) $100 (Solomon Islands)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 40.0 mm 38.74 mm
MINTAGE 10,000 100
BOX / C.O.A. No /No Yes / Yes