Apart from its regular circulating coinage, Solomon Islands has authorised a number of mints to issue collector coins in precious metals, which are legal tender in the country but are not intended for general circulation. Many of them are in standard bullion sizes - such as one ounce of gold (abbreviated as 1 oz Au, where "Au" comes from the Latin word for gold, Aurum). These are usually dedicated to historical or general popular culture themes not related to the country itself.
This design is the first issue in the Pirate Queens series of premium bullion coins by the Royal Australian Mint, and features Anne Bonny - one of the most notorious female pirates of her time.
The reverse of the coin features a view from the front towards the pirate ship of Anne Bonny and John Rackham, with a hoisted pirate flag. Below the ship is the typical pirate sign, which is also displayed on the flag - a skull above two crossed swords.
Born in Kinsale, Ireland, in the late 1690s, Anne Bonny was the daughter of Mary Brennan, a maid, and William Cormac, a lawyer. When the affair became public, Cormac, Mary and Anne emigrated to the United States. There, Anne was to be married to a respected merchant before her 20th birthday - but she met and married the sailor John Bonny. Through him she gained her first insights into piracy and was deeply fascinated by the new world that revealed itself to her. When she finally met the pirate John Rackham in today's Nassau (Bahamas), she left John Bonny to make the seas unsafe together with Rackham. They were later joined by the equally famous female pirate Mary Read. In 1720, the pirate crew was ambushed and overpowered. Rackham was executed, whereas Anne Bonny and Mary Read were initially imprisoned due to alleged pregnancies. Mary Read died there of a fever - the fate of Anne Bonny remains uncertain to this day.
Enclosed in a circle reminiscent of a ship's helm, the reverse of the coin shows a pirate ship under sail, with a pirate flag on top of its main mast.
Overlaid on the waves below, a pirate symbol of a human skull and two crossed curved swords.
Around above left, the precious metal content 1 oz .9999 GOLD (one troy ounce of 99.99% gold). Around above right, the inscription ANNE BONNY.
The designer's initials AWB (for Adam William Ball) are below right, just above the waves.