|Coin||Silver Ounce 2022 Pirate Queens - Mary Read|
Apart from its regular circulating coinage, Solomon Islands has authorised a number of private 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 - typically, one ounce of silver (abbreviated as 1 oz Ag, where "Ag" comes from the Latin word for silver, Argentum). These are usually dedicated to historical or general popular culture themes not related to the country itself.
This design is the third and final issue in the Pirate Queens series of premium bullion coins by the Royal Australian Mint, and features Mary Read.
Mary Read was born in London in 1685 or 1690 as an illegitimate child. Her widowed mother dressed Mary as a boy to replace her deceased firstborn and to hide the affair from which Mary was born from her in-laws. Since the benefits of living as a man did not escape Mary, she continued to dress up and call herself "Mark". In this way, she first served in the military and then signed on with a merchant ship that was captured by pirates en route to the Caribbean, whom she voluntarily followed. In 1720 she met Anne Bonny and John Rackham. Numerous myths have grown up around the adventurous love story between the two women that resulted from this encounter. 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 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 tiny 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 2022 · 2 DOLLARS ·.
Enclosed in a circle reminiscent of a ship's helm, the reverse of the coin shows a pirate ship under sail, with a skull and bones flag on top of its main mast. In the background, another ship is burning and sinking.
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 .999 SILVER (one troy ounce of 99.9% silver). Around above right, the inscription MARY READ.
The designer's initials AWB (for Adam William Ball) are below right, just above the waves.
||1 oz .999 SILVER MARY READ
Finish: Brilliant Uncirculated.
Packaging: in capsule, or 10 coins in a mint roll, or 240 coins in a masterbox.