|Coin||Gold Ounce 2021 Pirate Queens - Ching Shih|
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 second issue in the Pirate Queens series of premium bullion coins by the Royal Australian Mint, and features Chinese pirate Ching Shih - one of the most notorious female pirates of her time.
Ching Shih was born Shih Yang in 1775 in a poverty-ridden community in Guangdong Province, China. To supplement her family's income, she worked as a prostitute from an early age before marrying the pirate Zheng Yi and building a strong fleet of some 1,200 ships to sail the world's oceans. A force of 80,000 men was under her command - compared to the famous pirate Blackbeard, who commanded only a few thousand men and about 300 ships.
The obverse of the coin shows the crowned mature head of Queen Elizabeth II facing right (her effigy known as the "Fourth Portrait"). The Queen wears the "Girls of Great Britain and Ireland" diamond tiara, a wedding gift from Queen Mary (Her Majesty's grandmother) in 1947 - which she also has on the Machin and the Gottwald portraits.
In small letters below the head, the artist's initials IRB (for Ian Rank-Broadley).
Around the effigy is the monarch's legend, the date of issue and the value: ELIZABETH II · SOLOMON ISLANDS 2021 · 100 DOLLARS ·.
Enclosed in a circle reminiscent of a ship's helm, the reverse of the coin shows a Chinese pirate ship under sail, flying its flag on top of the main mast, with smoking gun barrels and cannonballs visible in the air. A large Chinese dragon is depicted in the sea below the ship
Around above left, the precious metal content 1 oz .9999 GOLD (one troy ounce of 99.99% gold). Around above right, the inscription CHING SHIH.
The designer's initials AWB (for Adam William Ball) are below right, just above the waves.
||1 oz .9999 GOLD CHING SHIH
Finish: Brilliant Uncirculated.
Packaging: in presentation box, with Certificate of Authenticity.