Description

The first voyage of James Cook was a combined Royal Navy and Royal Society expedition to the south Pacific Ocean aboard HMS Endeavour, from 1768 to 1771. It was the first of three Pacific voyages of which Cook was the commander. Departing from Plymouth-Dock (Devonport) in August 1768, the expedition crossed the Atlantic, rounded Cape Horn and reached Tahiti in time to observe the transit of Venus. Cook then set sail into the largely uncharted ocean to the south, stopping at the Pacific islands of Huahine, Borabora and Raiatea to claim them for Great Britain, and unsuccessfully attempting to land at Rurutu.

In September 1769 the expedition reached New Zealand. Cook and his crew spent the following six months charting the New Zealand coast, before resuming their voyage westward across open sea. In April 1770 they became the first Europeans to reach the east coast of Australia, making landfall at Point Hicks, and then proceeding to Botany Bay.

The expedition continued northward along the Australian coastline, narrowly avoiding shipwreck on the Great Barrier Reef. In October 1770 the badly damaged Endeavour came into the port of Batavia in the Dutch East Indies, her crew sworn to secrecy about the lands they had discovered. They resumed their journey on 26 December, rounded the Cape of Good Hope on 13 March 1771, and reached the English port of Deal on 12 July. The voyage lasted almost three years.

250 years later, The Royal Mint issued a series of three £2 coins, released each year from 2018 to 2020, will explore Captain Cook’s voyage of discovery in real time. The coins carry three intriguing designs by sculptor Gary Breeze, which combine to create a single, complete image that tells the story of Captain Cook’s voyage.

Presented in unique puzzle-style packaging. The first time Captain Cook has been celebrated on a UK coin.

Obverse

The fifth crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the George IV State Diadem and drop earrings.

The George IV State Diadem, officially the Diamond Diadem, is a type of crown that was made in 1820 for King George IV. The diadem is worn by queens and queens consort in procession to coronations and State Openings of Parliament. The piece of jewelry has been featured in paintings and on stamps and currency. It can be seen in the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace.

ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FIDEI DEFENSATRIX means Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith.

Engraver: Jody Clark

ELIZABETH II·D·G·REG·F·D·2 Pounds·
J.C

Reverse

Depicts the stern of Captain Cook’s famous ship, HM Bark Endeavour, leaving Plymouth. The ensign and the UK flag are visible alongside the distinctive signature of Cook and the number 250 to mark the anniversary.

Captain James Cook (1728– 1779) was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. Cook made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand. Cook was attacked and killed while attempting to kidnap the native chief of Hawaii during his third exploratory voyage in the Pacific in 1779.

HMS Endeavour, also known as HM Bark Endeavour, was a British Royal Navy research vessel that Lieutenant James Cook commanded on his first voyage of discovery, to Australia and New Zealand, from 1769 to 1771.

Engraver: Gary Breeze

1768-2018
PLYMOUTH SOUND
250
GB
CAPTAIN JAMES COOK

Edge

The most intrepid investigator of the seas.

OCEANI INVESTIGATOR ACERRIMVS

Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Bi-Metallic
Ring Cupronickel
Center Nickel Brass
Weight 12 g
Diameter 28.4 mm
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Mint
Royal Mint

Related coins

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5th portrait, Silver Proof Coin

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