2GBP Coin to Mark the 250th Anniversary of Cook’s Voyage of Discovery

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August 23, 2018 – The Royal Mint has embarked upon a new three-year series to mark the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s epic Voyage of Discovery aboard HM Bark Endeavour. The commemorative coins are available in a range of finishes.

Great Britain / 2 GBP / yellow gold .916 (inner), red gold .916 (outer) / 15.97g / 28.4 mm / Design: Gary Breeze (r) / Mintage: 1,000.

The son of a farm hand, Captain James Cook grew up in the historic port of Whitby from the age of 17. In August 1768, Cook and his crew set sail on HM Bark Endeavour, commencing what would become a three-year voyage of discovery. It was the first of three such journeys for the intrepid pioneer, during which he would circumnavigate 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.

Great Britain / 2 GBP / silver .925 (inner), silver .925 proof with fine gold .999 (outer) / 12 g / 28.4 mm / Design: Gary Breeze (r) / Mintage: 7,500.

The ship that carried Captain James 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, able to withstand the power of the sea but navigate shallow waters which was perfect for the journey ahead. 

Designer Gary Breeze’s puzzle design on the obverse of these commemorative coins will build over three years to tell Captain Cook’s story.

The commemorative coins are available from The Royal Mint website.

If you want to learn more about James Cook and his voyages watch this video produced by The British Library.