|Coin||Silver Five Ounces 2021 The Red Flag Fleet - Ching Shih|
The Tuvaluan Dollar is the currency of Tuvalu - a small nation in the Pacific Ocean. Tuvalu has never had banknotes of its own, and has been issuing coins since 1976; these circulate together with coins of the Australian Dollar, which is also legal tender in the country, and to which the Tuvaluan Dollar is pegged.
The Australian Perth Mint issues a large variety of non-circulating legal tender coins under the authority of Tuvalu. Some of these are in the silver five-ounce format (abbreviated as 5 oz). Strictly speaking, they are not bullion as they are priced at a premium and are targeted at collectors who appreciate them for their artistic merit and collectable value and not just for their precious metal content.
This coin is the third release in the popular pirate-themed Black Flag series of premium bullion coins, and features Ching Shih and The Red Flag Fleet.
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: QUEEN ELIZABETH II 5oz 9999 Ag 2021 TUVALU 5 DOLLARS.
The inscription around the rim also incorporates the precious metal content: five troy ounces of 99.99% silver (Ag is abbreviated from Argentum. the Latin word for silver).
The portrait of the Queen has a mirror finish; the rest of the surface is frosted.
The reverse of the coin shows pirate captain Ching Shih on board her ship, with a cutlass in her hand, and two Chinese pirate ships under sail in the background.
Around above, the inscription THE RED FLAG FLEET. Separated from this by two skull-and-bones motifs, around below BLACK FLAG: CHING SHIH 5oz .9999 Ag.
The Perth Mint's P mint mark is on the right. The designer's initials LB (for Lucas Bowers) are low on the sash across Ching Shih's shoulder, above the base of the cutlass.
||THE RED FLAG FLEET BLACK FLAG: CHING SHIH 5oz .9999 Ag
Silver Content (Troy oz): 5.000
Finish: Brilliant Uncirculated, frosted surfaces.
Pirate-themed Tuvalu coins issued in the Black Flag series:
- 1 oz Gold, Queen Anne's Revenge - Blackbeard, 2019
- 5 oz Silver, Queen Anne's Revenge - Blackbeard, 2019
- 1 oz Silver, Queen Anne's Revenge - Blackbeard, 2019
- 1 oz Gold, The Royal Fortune - Black Bart, 2020
- 5 oz Silver, The Royal Fortune - Black Bart, 2020
- 1 oz Silver, The Royal Fortune - Black Bart, 2020
- 1 oz Gold, The Red Flag Fleet - Ching Shih, 2021
- 5 oz Silver, The Red Flag Fleet - Ching Shih, 2021
- 1 oz Silver, The Red Flag Fleet - Ching Shih, 2021
- 1 oz Gold, The Rising Sun - William Moody, 2022
- 5 oz Silver, The Rising Sun - William Moody, 2022
- 1 oz Silver, The Rising Sun - William Moody, 2022
There is also a different silver coin featuring Ching Shih, issued for the Solomon Islands by the Royal Australian Mint.