Weird Shapes Make Everything Better
OK people, we have bars, rounds, shields and even figure eight shaped coins (well I guess the shields are actually rounds), but there is a new kid on the block.
Meet the TRIANGLE coin!
What the deuce thrice?!!!
OK this coin is THE VERY FIRST triangular bullion coin. It is also THE FIRST IN A SERIES of four coins depicting famous sea wrecks! Issued by Australia’s Perth Mint, this beauty is 1oz of .999 pure silver. The coin has a limited mintage of just 20,000 and a face value of $1 AUD.
So, the front of the coin (pictured above) depicts the sailing ship the Batavia. This vessel was owned by the Dutch East India company. It was named after the colony Batavia which is modern day Jakarta, Indonesia.
In 1629, the ship was sailed off course by a couple of shady crew members looking to start a mutiny. The men had legal troubles back home. Rather than return to Holland, they hoped to commandeer the Batavia (and the treasures on board), with hopes of beginning a new life elsewhere. Instead, this ship crashed into a reef and sank off of the coast of Western Australia.
Of the 300 plus souls on board, forty died as the ship sank. The rest (which included women and children) made their way to nearby islands to await a rescue. Unfortunately, these islands lacked fresh water. A group of those left stranded set off in a long boat for Batavia (the colony) on a rescue mission. However, lack of water wasn’t the only worry for those left behind!
The original mutineers did not want to be rescued. Instead, they hoped to plunder the remaining riches from Batavia (the ship) after which they would hijack the rescue ship never to return to Holland or the Dutch colonies. These men gathered up what remained of weapons and provisions and began murdering the castaways who opposed their plan. Within two months over 100 castaways had been murdered by the lecherous crew.
When the rescue mission arrived, those responsible for the murders were put on trial. Several were hung on the spot. Two, including a cabin boy, were taken to the mainland of Australia and abandoned. Others were flogged or keelhauled and one man was broken on the wheel!
Back to the coin!
The front of the coin depicts the Batavia on her maiden voyage. Elements from the ship itself (masts, riggings, sails) frame the ship. The name of the ship and the year of her sinking are engraved onto the coin upside down. This is to hint at the sinking to come!
On the back of the coin we see a small image of Queen Elizabeth II at the apex of the triangle. Below the Queen is the wreckage of the Batavia strewn across the Australian reef. In the foreground are images of the castaways battling one another for survival as the murdering ensues.
This coin is NUTS!
I don’t know that I have any other coin that tells such a story! This is some dark 💩! Add that to the shape and mini mintage... I am super excited to see the upcoming releases. Plus, having the series limited to just four pieces makes this a very manageable collection.
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