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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.
In 1769 a rare astronomical event (it takes place in a pattern that repeats itself every 243 years) was due to take place – the Transit of Venus. Captain Cook and his crew (including British naturalist Joseph Banks, British astronomer Charles Green and Swedish naturalist Daniel Solander) left Rio De Janeiro bound for Tahiti. Here they built an observatory to study this phenomenon. Scientists hoped these studies would finally enable them to calculate the size of the Solar System. With his work on the island complete, Cook turned his attention to the sealed orders in his possession. His next mission was revealed. It was time to start the search for the fabled southern continent (Terra Australis Incognita or unknown land of the South) that scholars had speculated about for centuries.
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.
• center: 0.925 sterling silver
• ring: 0.925 sterling silver plated with fine gold
The fifth crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the George IV State Diadem and drop earrings.
ELIZABETH II·D·G·REG·F·D·2 POUNDS·
Depicts the mast of the HM Bark Endeavour below a celestial image of the Transit of Venus.
1769-2019 CAPTAIN JAMES COOK
The most intrepid investigator of the seas.
OCEANI INVESTIGATOR ACERRIMVS