The Birmingham Mint produced a set of 24 proof silver medals between 1973 and 1976, with each one displayed in a red small hardback book. The series is entitled “Discovery in Silver”. Each book contains a potted history of nine pages describing the achievements of the individual shown on the medal. The set starts with Henry the Navigator (1394-1460) and ends with Alfred Wallace (1823-1913).
Each medal is hallmarked in Birmingham 1973-1976. Captain Cook’s was minted in 1975. The
medal’s diameter is 45 mm (1¾ in) and weight is 615 gm (1¼, troy oz). The obverse shows Endeavour in full sail. Around her it says “Captain James Cook RN, 1728 - 1779”. On the reverse is a kangaroo, below which it says “James Cook: English Explorer - Charted Australasian coasts; circumnavigated Antarctica; mapped Bering Strait when seeking N.W. Passage.”
Other seafarers on the medals are Diaz, Columbus, Vasco de Gama, Magellan, Cabot, Frobisher, Drake, Baffin, Dampier, Hudson and Champlain. The other medals show land explorers.
This medal does not appear in Klenman’s book.1
Originally published in Cook's Log, page 30, volume 35, number 2 (2012).
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