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Captain James Cook and the Search for Antarctica. James C. Hamilton. 2020


Whilst many medals have been struck to commemorate Captain Cook, his voyages and his exploits, none are more prized by collectors and museums than his "Resolution and Adventure" medal.

Struck in 1772 and distributed during the second and third voyages throughout the islands of the Pacific Ocean, these medals are now exceedingly rare. The Resolution and the Adventure appear on one side of the medal, with the head of George III on the other.

2000 were struck in base metal (copper and brass) and just over 100 in silver. The silver medals did not accompany Cook on his voyages, but appear to have been distributed in England. Two were struck in 24 carat gold.

Most of the few surviving base metal medals show significant signs of wear or corrosion, and several are now in the possession of museums. Very few specimens remain in private hands.

Whilst there has been some documentation of known specimens published internationally, as yet there is no up-to-date record of the known surviving specimens.

A prominent numismatist, Mr Peter Lane, of Adelaide, South Australia, possesses a superb example of this medal. It is a specimen left at Bruny Island, Tasmania.

Peter Lane is President of the Numismatic Society of South Australia and is a Council Member of the Numismatic Association of Australia. He is now undertaking a study of all known specimens of the medal, wherever they can be located.

Peter plans to produce a publication which should be of great interest to many people.

Anybody possessing such a medal, or any relevant information, should write in or email the Captain Cook Study Unit.

John Hope

Originally published in Cook's Log, page 966, volume 16, number 4 (1993).

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I have what looks like a Resolution and Adventure Medal
By Stephen Kannangara on 1/28/2020 3:33:35 AM Like:0 DisLike:0
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The day I went 18 year old, my friend gave the silver medal 1772 with the two ship one. In the 1981 my collection of coin and my 18 year old birthday present were stole here in Denmark were I live. The medal was bought in Conwall in 1976. I remember a scratch on James Cook cheek. It took a year to find out what kind of medal is was. The Royal Danish museum in Copenhagen told me...and if I want, they like to have it the their collection. I still miss it, because of the memories I have about my youth. Hope you can use my telling from Denmark
By Allan - Denmark on 2/18/2016 8:05:04 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
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Tracy, the medal which you describe was one of a set of a 100 issued as the Mountbatten Medallic History of Great Britain. These sets were isued in 1974. Each medal is silver and is encased in plastic as you describe. They are sold as a set, but occasionally you can find them for sale as indiviual items. One is currently for sale on e-bay at an asking price of £35.
By Cliff Thornton on 10/31/2015 11:44:32 AM Like:0 DisLike:1
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Hi there, I have been given a coin by a lady that has hundreds of bits of memorabillia from the endeavour ship.Its all silver (presuming its not just metal), and on one side is a picture of captain cook surrounded by the words "captain cook navigator extroardinary. The other side has a picture of what looks like his shield and an anchor,, and has quite alot of writing explaining who he was, when he was born and when he died, and that he discovered hawaii and also that he was killed by natives. Round the edge I think there is silver hallmark,, too small to see with the naked eye and then the date 1583. This is encased n a see through casing. Can you please tell me what you think? Do you think it was just a bit of cheap memorabillia bought from a tourist shop, or do you think it's worth something. It does weigh a little heavy. I would appreciate your advice. Thank you
By Tracy Grams on 10/19/2015 12:03:42 AM Like:0 DisLike:1
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Nadine, your Royal Society Medal is quite valuable. Its value lies between several hundred pounds and several thousand pounds depending upon its condition. Its value is also enhanced because it comes with a provenance back to your relative who was a member of the Royal Society.
By Cliff Thornton on 8/12/2015 11:05:00 AM Like:0 DisLike:0
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I have the Royal Society Medal by Lewis Pingo. I wonder if that is worth anything. It was gicen to my Gt x 5th G Grandfather who was a member of the RS.
By Nadine on 8/11/2015 3:44:57 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
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Gene, the records of the Royal Society show that it received a total of 291 silver medals from Messrs. Pingo. 100 were received on 8 May 1784, and a further 161 on 9 June. These silver medals were sold to members of the Society for a guinea each. The profits arising from their sale were used to pay for the 500+ bronze medals which were presented free, one to each member.
By Cliff Thornton on 7/15/2015 10:50:39 PM Like:0 DisLike:0
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In reading about the Resolution and Adventure medals, the quantity of silver medals produced varies widely (106, 142, and 160). Richard Smith quotes an invoice from Boulton to Banks for only 36 silver medals. He also quotes an earlier letter from Boulton to Banks and talks about on 32 silver medals. What is the source(s) of the larger production numbers? Do we really know how many were made? Perhaps 36 were made at the time and other later on? Any help would be appreciated.
By Gene Anderson on 6/28/2015 4:27:30 AM Like:0 DisLike:0
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Peter, you can get a rough idea of the worth of your medal by Googling "Resolution and Adventure medal" and checking on the hits at auctioneers and coin dealers.
By Cliff Thornton on 5/26/2015 9:50:59 AM Like:0 DisLike:0
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I saw one on the TV show Pawn Stars.
By Alex on 5/22/2015 1:48:59 AM Like:1 DisLike:0

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