New Issue: Captain Cook’s ‘Voyage of Discovery’ celebrated in three-year series

The Royal Mint has embarked upon a new three-year series to mark the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook’s epic “Voyage of Discovery” aboard HM Bark Endeavour.

The son of a farm hand, Cook grew up in the historic port of Whitby, England, from the age of 17. In August 1768, he and his crew set sail on HM Bark Endeavour to commence what would become a three-year voyage of discovery. It was the first of three such journeys for the intrepid pioneer that eventually circumnavigated the world twice. His spirit of adventure helped to fill in the blanks on the world map and improve our knowledge of new places, peoples, plants – and even other planets.

The ship that carried Cook through his daring expedition was Endeavour. The term “bark” (sometimes spelled “barc” or “barque”) describes a sailing vessel with three masts. Cook’s ship was originally a coal ship, or collier, called Earl of Pembroke. It was purchased by the Navy and refitted for the voyage; robust but shallow of draught, she was able to withstand the power of the sea but navigate shallow waters.


The 2018-dated commemorative coins are available in a range of finishes. Designer Gary Breeze’s design will build throughout 2019 and 2020 to tell Cook’s story.

The 2018 £2 Brilliant Uncirculated coin has a composition of cupro-nickel (inner) and nickel-brass (outer); a weight of 12 grams; and an unlimited mintage. The 2018 £2 silver Proof coin has a composition of .925 sterling silver (inner) and .925 sterling silver Proof with .999 Fine gold (outer); a weight of 12 grams; and a mintage of 7,500 pieces. Lastly, the 2018 £2 gold Proof coin has a composition of 916.7 yellow gold (inner) and 916.7 red gold (outer); a weight of 15.97 grams; and a mintage of 1,000 pieces. Each coin has a diameter of 28.40 millimetres.

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