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Friday, 29 January 2016

256) The legend of the Mutiny on the "H.M.A.V. Bounty" is interwoven with the heritage of Pitcairn Islands: An Uncirculated Coin set from the Pitcairn Islands depicting the Bounty’s icons/relics issued in 2009 (minted by the New Zealand Mint): Also includes One Ounce and Half Ounce Silver Bullion coins depicting the Bounty issued by Niue Islands, minted by New Zealand Mint in 2017:

256) The legend of the "Mutiny on the H.M.A.V. Bounty" is interwoven with the heritage of Pitcairn Islands: An Uncirculated Coin set from the Pitcairn Islands depicting the Bounty’s icons/relics issued in 2009 (minted by the New Zealand Mint):
Also includes One Ounce and Half Ounce Silver Bullion coins depicting the Bounty issued by Niue Islands, minted by New Zealand Mint in 2017:

About Pitcairn Islands:

The Pitcairn Islands Group is a non-sovereign British Overseas Territory (BOT), which comprises the islands of Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno. The total land area of the four islands is about 47 sq. km or 18 sq. miles. Pitcairn Island is the second largest of the four islands and is approximately 3.20 km (or 2 miles) long and 1.6 km (or 1 mile) wide with its capital Adamstown located above Bounty Bay and accessed by the aptly named road called “The Hill of Difficulty”.

 Pitcairn is the only inhabited island with a population of around fifty to sixty individuals, who are descended from the four main families of mutineers of HMS Bounty and their Tahitian (Polynesian) companions.

The Island is a small volcanic outcrop situated in the South Pacific at latitude 25.04 South and Longitude 130.06 West. The Islands are approximately 2170 km (or 1350 miles) East South-East of Tahiti and West over 6600 km (or 4100 miles) from Panama.

The Island’s Administrative headquarters are situated in Auckland, New Zealand about 5310 km away.

Early history:

The Polynesians were the earliest known settlers who lived on Pitcairn and Henderson Islands, as well as, Mongareva Island, some 400 km (or 250 miles) to the North-West for several centuries, trading among themselves and helping the small populations in Pitcairn and Henderson Islands to survive through inter-connected canoe voyages till the natural resources on these islands got exhausted. A civil war broke out in Mongareva and the inter-island trade broke down, causing the small populations on Henderson and Pitcairn to eventually die out.

Roughly hewn stone gods still guard the sacred sites of these early Polynesian settlers. Also, carved in the cliff faces are representations of animals and humans. In addition, earth ovens, stone adzes, gouges and other artefacts of Polynesian workmanship, have endured to the present day, reminders of the early settlers from a time gone by.

On 26.01.1606, Ducie and Henderson Islands were discovered by a Portuguese explorer Pedro Fernandez de Queiros, sailing for the Spanish Crown. He named the Islands “La Encarnacion” (meaning “The Incarnation”) and “San Juan Bautista” (meaning “Saint John the Baptist”) respectively.

On 03.07.1767, Pitcairn Island was reached by a British sloop HMS Swallow. The Island was named after Midshipman Robert Pitcairn a crew member who was the first to sight the Island.

In 1790, nine of the mutineers from the HMAV Bounty (HMAV stands for “His/Her Majesty’s Armed Vessel”) or HMS (HMS stands for His/Her Majesty’s Ship) along with six Tahitian men, eleven women and a baby girl settled on Pitcairn Islands after sailing there in the “Bounty” which was anchored in present day Bounty Bay. The Bounty was stripped of all her contents including pigs, chickens, yams and sweet potatoes which were laboriously hauled up the aptly named “Hill of Difficulty” to the “Edge” which was a small grassy platform over-looking the Bay.

Then fearing that if any European vessel sighted the ship on this remote island, retribution would follow, the Mutineers ran the Bounty aground, set fire to it and sank it, so that no trace of the ship would be visible from the Sea. (The wreck of the ship HMS Bounty is still visible underwater and was discovered by a National Geographic team in 1957). Interestingly, even today all supplies must still be transported up the steep road on the Hill of Difficulty.

The settlers survived by building their houses, fencing and cultivating their grounds, fishing, catching birds and constructing pits for entrapping hogs but there were also incidents of alcoholism, murder, disease etc. amongst them that, allegedly, took the lives of most of the mutineers and Tahitian men.

By 1800, most of these settlers had either been murdered because of infighting or died due to disease etc. leaving only one male survivor John Adams, (who had since become a Christian missionary, in a community of ten Polynesian women and twenty-three children. Gradually, the remaining settlers grew reconciled to their lives.

In 1808, the little colony was discovered by an American Sealer and later in 1814, by two ships HMS Briton and “Tagus” who found the Islanders very hospitable. Pitcairn now became a regular stop for the British Navy and merchant ships sailing from India, Australia to South America or to England made regular stops. They brought with them generous supplies and bartered stores for provisions. Housing on the Island too improved and clothes and living became more European in character.

On 17.01.1819, Henderson Island was rediscovered by a British East India Company (BEIC) ship, the “Hercules”.

On 26.01.1824, Oeno Island was reached by an American whaler “Oeno” and was named after the fishing vessel.

In 1838, Pitcairn Island became a British Colony.

By mid-1850s, the Pitcairn population had swelled to 193 and the British government provided them assistance to shift the entire colony to Norfolk Island. However, about 44 of them returned to Pitcairn Island within a period of five years. The second half of the Nineteenth century brought an end to European rivalry in the Pacific and naval visits to Pitcairn Island gradually diminished and with it the supplies became scarce again.

In 1914, the opening of the Panama Canal placed Pitcairn on the direct run to New Zealand. Several tourists came on luxury liners on a regular basis keen to have mementos of the Island, made famous by the Mutineers of the “Bounty”.

By 1937, the population was the highest at 233, but has gradually fallen to the present levels due to emigration to New Zealand.

In 1940, postage stamps were issued for the first time and Philatelists now wanted stamps and postcards showing images of the “Mutiny on the Bounty” and the ship’s relics, thereby boosting Pitcairn’s public revenue and the economy.

The Square, which is in the heart of Pitcairn, today houses the Courthouse, with a Verandah running along its entire length on one side of the Square and outside on a plinth stands Bounty’s anchor, which was recovered in 1957 by the National Geographic team exploring the wreckage of the Bounty. The Hall serves as a meeting place for official meetings and for social gatherings and public functions. The internal walls are decorated with historical and official portraits and memorabilia.

The Bounty’s Bible is now kept in a new Museum.

The story/legend of the Mutiny on the Bounty:

The Voyage of the “HMAV Bounty” (or His Majesty’s Armed Vessel Bounty) or “HMS Bounty” (His Majesty’s Ship Bounty):

On 23.12.1787, the 33 year old Commander William Bligh set sail aboard the newly refitted Royal Navy’s vessel – the “HMAV Bounty” with a total crew of 46. The ship had no other officers on board other than its crew, as it was on a merchandise mission, chief among whom was Acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, who was also a protégé of Bligh.

The ship’s sole purpose was to sail to the Pacific Island of Oteheite (Tahiti) and prepare breadfruit plants (Artocarpus altilis - which grows on a tree of mulberry) for transportation to the West Indies.

For a full month Bligh attempted to navigate the “Bounty” round Cape Horn, but was foiled by unfavourable weather conditions. He then turned her East and headed for the Cape of Good Hope.

On 26.10.1788, after 10 months at sea, the “Bounty” reached Tahiti.

Bligh and his crew lived ashore for five months, preparing a total of 1015 breadfruit plants. During this time, his crew socialised with and became conversant with the customs and culture of the local people and some crew members made local friends, while some even had themselves tattooed in the local traditions. While based ashore, many crewmen were treated for sexually transmitted diseases, including Christian who formed a close association with a Polynesian woman, Mauatua, to whom he gave the name “Isabella” after a former sweetheart from Cumberland.

Bligh was aghast at his men’s profligacies, warned and scolded them several times, including Christian, but still expected them to do their duties diligently.

On 05.01.1789, three crew members deserted the ship taking a small boat with them. One of the deserters left a list of names including Christian and Heywood that Bligh interpreted as being possible accomplices in a desertion plot, but he was counselled by his crew who assured him that it was a farfetched idea. The three deserters were found after three weeks and on their return to the ship were flogged.

With its cargo of breadfruit carefully packed and ready for transportation, “HMS Bounty” eventually left for the West Indies on 04.04.1789.

The Mutiny:

Three weeks into the West Indies leg of the Voyage, Acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian and several other men mutinied, entering Bligh’s cabin and dragging him onto the deck.

Of the 42 men on board, aside from Bligh and Christian, 18 joined the mutiny, 22 stayed loyal to Bligh and 2 remained neutral.

Bligh was ordered into HMS Bounty’s 23-foot open launch along with 2 midshipmen, the surgeon’s mate and the ship’s clerk. Several other men voluntarily joined Bligh rather than remaining abroad, in fear of being considered de facto mutineers under Articles of War. The launch could not hold all the loyal crew members, so four were detained on the Bounty for their useful skills and they were among the 16 who were later set ashore in Tahiti.

The Aftermath:

On the part of Captain Bligh:

Without charts or compass, Bligh managed to navigate the HMAV Bounty’s overcrowded launch on an epic voyage, by following the Sun and Stars positions, equipped with only a sextant and a pocket watch, to the Portuguese settlement of Timor a phenomenal 3,618 nautical miles away after a 47 day long voyage.

Bligh then returned to Britain and reported the mutiny to the Admiralty on 15.03.1790. He went through a Court Martial and was absolved of any deficiencies in handling the situation and his equanimity under extreme duress in the voyage of the HMS’s overcrowded launch was greatly appreciated. His stoicism became the stuff of legend and he became famous all over the maritime world. Bligh became the toast of the Royal Navy and he was feted as a hero. Shortly thereafter he published “A Narrative of the Mutiny on board His Majesty’s Ship “Bounty” and “The Subsequent Voyage Of Part Of The Crew, in the Ship’s Boat, from Tofoa, One of the Friendly Islands, to Timor, a Dutch Settlement in the East Indies”.

 A copy of the consolidated version of Bligh's Narrative of the Mutiny & his subsequent journey all the way back to England "Mutiny on Board HMS Bounty" in my personal library.

Lieutenant Bligh rose through the ranks to become a Captain. In 1805, he was appointed Governor of New South Wales. In 1808, he faced the "Rum Rebellion" which led to the mutiny of British soldiers and Bligh was forcibly deposed and imprisoned for two years. On his release, he returned to England, where he was cleared of all blame and the instigator, one Major Johnston was cashiered. Bligh was promoted to Vice Admiral and in 1814, became a Vice Admiral of the Blue.

On the part of Acting Lieutenant Christian:

In September 1789, after returning to Tahiti briefly and setting 16 men ashore (who had voted to settle in Tahiti), Fletcher attempted to build a settlement on the Island of Tubuai but the mutineers met with hostility from the natives.

Thereafter, Fletcher stopped briefly at Tahiti where he married Maimiti, the daughter of one of the local chiefs on 16.06.1789.

Some time thereafter, Fletcher brought on board the Bounty a party of Tahitians, mainly women, for a social gathering. With the festivities under way, he cut anchor and the Bounty sailed away with her “captive guests”, some of whom were elderly women, who were set ashore on the nearby island of Mo’orea.

Ultimately, Fletcher Christian, 8 other crewmen of the Bounty who had mutinied, 6 Tahitian/Polynesian men and 14 women set sail in HMAV Bounty, (some of the Polynesians against their will),  hoping to elude the Royal Navy.

 After passing through both Fiji and Cook Islands, they eventually landed on Pitcairn Islands on 15.01.1790.

The Pitcairn Islands are halfway between New Zealand and South America and were the first “historic” port of call for the Bounty mutineers following the infamous mutiny. Interestingly, the sailors and their cohorts had “rediscovered” the Islands which had been mislaid on Admiralty Charts.

 Fearing discovery from the Royal Navy and to prevent possible escape, the HMAV Bounty was stripped of all its assets and razed by fire on 23.01.1790 in what is presently called Bounty Bay.

On the part of the British Authorities:

The Royal Navy sent a ship “HMS Pandora” to the South Pacific to find the mutineers and bring them to justice. 14 of the 16 mutineers who were set ashore at Tahiti were captured by the Pandora’s company and confined in a cramped 18’ x 11’ x5’8” wooden Cell on the Pandora’s quarter deck. During the return voyage, the Pandora ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef. Three prisoners were immediately let out of the Prison Cell to help at the pumps. Finally as the ship was foundering and taking on water, orders were given to release the remaining 11 prisoners from the cell. The armourer’s mate went into the Cell to knock off the prisoner’s irons, but before he could finish his job, the ship sank very quickly. Eventually 4 of the prisoners and 31 of the crew died in the wreck. Other prisoners were saved by a bosun’s mate who unlocked the Cell before the ship went down.

Of the 10 surviving prisoners eventually brought home despite the Pandora’s foundering, 4 were acquitted, owing to Bligh’s testimony that they were non-mutineers that Bligh had to leave on the Bounty because of lack of space in the long boat, 2 were convicted because, while not participating in the mutiny, they were passive and did not resist. These two were subsequently pardoned by the King. 1 was convicted but excused on a technicality while the remaining 3 were convicted and hanged.

 There were several allegations/newspaper reports that those accused who were from well to do rich families got off lightly, but the poor ones paid with their lives.

Mutineer’s fate at the Pitcairn Island Settlement:

In 1808, the American seal-hunting ship Topaz visited Pitcairn and found only one mutineer, John Adams still alive along with nine Tahitian women. Adams (who had now become a Christian missionary) and Maimiti (Christian’s wife) gave conflicting accounts to the Topaz and subsequent ships that visited the Island of how Christian and the other mutineers had been killed due to infighting between the mutineers and the Tahitian men who had been forcibly brought to Pitcairn Island. Some mutineers were said to have committed suicide or fallen off a cliff while in an inebriated condition or died due to natural causes or that one had gone insane and was murdered.

Nothing conclusive was found and it was rumoured that Christian’s and the mutineer’s deaths were faked. In the absence of any evidences to the contrary, the Missionary Adam’s word had to be taken at its face value and the authorities had to let the matter be as it they were – consigned to the unsolved cases files. In fact, some Bounty historians still believe that Christian and some of the mutineers returned to England incognito and that Christian helped to inspire Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”.

 In any case, the Mutineers who had settled in Pitcairn Island had been “punished” enough having been driven from their homes in the UK and having to live the lives of fugitives under extremely difficult and basic conditions. (Even today those of their descendants who have not migrated to New Zealand  live under almost similar basic conditions,  with Internet speeds limited to what they were decades ago, almost cutting them off from gaining access to the Web and their main contact with the rest of the World being mainly through shipping lines).

In Literature and Films:

Arthur Quiller-Couch’s short story “Frenchman’s Creek” (also made into a movie) portrays Bligh humorously as a competent but tactless Surveyor sent to a small fishing village in Cornwall during the Napoleonic wars.

A fantasy novel “Tongues of Serpents” touches upon the situation in Sydney in 1810 when Bligh returned from Tasmania to be made Governor of New South Wales. Some other stories are “Pitcairn’s Island”, “After the Bounty” etc.

Some popular movies are – “The Mutiny of the Bounty” (1916), “In the Wake of the Bounty” (1933), “Mutiny on the Bounty” (1935 and 1962), “The Bounty” (1984).

I have seen the 1962 and 1984 versions of the “Mutiny on the Bounty” and found them quite interesting.

Pitcairn Islands Currency – Pitcairn Islands Dollars and Cents:

The New Zealand dollar is circulates in the Pitcairn Islands. Although, the Pitcairn Islands dollar can be legally exchanged as tender, it is not a true currency in a strict sense of the term and is not used as a circulation coinage. Its usage is mostly limited to Commemorative Coin sets for Numismatists and the Bounty legend enthusiasts, the sale of which are a major source of income for the Island Nation.

Commemorative Coins:

From 01.01.2007, the Pitcairn Islands Office has introduced a collectible coins programme for people interested in the Pitcairn Islands history, particularly its interwoven heritage with the “HMAV Bounty”.

The programme commenced with a commemorative coin for Queen Elizabeth II’s 80th birthday and has included several issues highlighting historical, cultural and international events and natural history relevant to Pitcairn. Some of the Commemorative issues include – Year of the Rat (2008), Bounty (2008), Lunar Year of the Ox (2009), Brilliant Uncirculated Coin Set (2009), Captain Bligh (2010), Humpback Whale (2010), Christian and the Bounty Coins (2011), Year of the Rabbit (March 2011), Alice in Wonderland (March 2011), Grand Coconut Crab (2014).

While the bulk of Pitcairn Islands coins are minted in New Zealand, several bullion commemorative coins have also been minted by the Royal Mint UK and other private mints like the Pobjoy Mint UK under orders of the Pitcairn Government.

This set of Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) Coins issued for the first time in 2009:

Pitcairn Islands issued its first denominational coin set in 2009, in the denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and $1 and $2 pieces in Proof and Uncirculated Coin Qualities in both packaged sets or in rolls.

The legend inscribed on this Brilliant Uncirculated Coin Set:

The story of the Pitcairn Islands is one that is inter-woven with the story of the HMAV Bounty.

When Fletcher Christian along with 8 Mutineers and 19 Polynesian men and women first settled the Island, their connection with the Bounty could not be completely set aside. Even though the charred remains of the Bounty lie beneath the waters of Bounty Bay, the relics of the ship have survived to the present day and have become icons of the Island and its present inhabitants. Each of the coins contained in the Brilliant Uncirculated Coin Set depicts one of these icons/relic on its Reverse.

This Brilliant Uncirculated Coin Set has been minted by the New Zealand Mint on behalf of and released with the approval of The Office of The Commissioner for Pitcairn Islands and also has the Royal approval from Buckingham Palace.

The mintage of this set is limited to 20,000 pieces worldwide.

The front of the case containing the coin album is marked “The PITCAIRN ISLANDS BRILLIANT UNCIRCULATED SET 2009” and shows an impression of the HMS Bounty at full sail.

The impression of the Bounty at full sail shows the longboat in the centre in which Captain Bligh and his loyal men were put to sea by the mutineers

An image of the Bounty as it has been recreated in the 1970s also shown at full sail

The Cover of the Coin album containing the Brilliant Uncirculated Coin set issued in 2009

The Reverses of the six coin set each depicting a relic from the “HMS Bounty” as they appear in the coin album – sideways

The Reverse of the $2 coin is inscribed “H.M.A.V. BOUNTY HELM”.

The specifications of the 2 Dollar coin are:

Metal Composition/Alloy: Copper plated Bronze; Diameter/Size: 35.0 mm Weight: 20.50 gms; Edge: Milled with alternate segments.

The Reverse of the $1 coin is inscribed “BOUNTY CANNON”

The specifications of the 1 Dollar coin are:

Metal Composition/Alloy: Copper plated Bronze; Diameter/Size: 32.0 mm Weight: 17.30 gms; Edge: Fully Milled.

The Reverse of the 50 Cents coin is inscribed “PITCAIRN LONGBOAT”. Notice how finely the coin engraver has put the reflection of the manned Longboat in this coin giving the impression that the Sun is beating upon it from the right hand side.

The impression of the Pitcairn Longboat is of the last wooden longboat launched on the Island and it was also depicted in a commemorative stamp series.

The specifications of the 50 Cents coin are:

Metal Composition/Alloy: Nickel plated Bronze; Diameter/Size: 28.0 mm Weight: 9.30 gms; Edge: Milled with alternate segments.

The Reverse of the 20 Cents coin is inscribed “BOUNTY BIBLE”.

The specifications of the 20 Cents coin are:

Metal Composition/Alloy: Nickel plated Bronze; Diameter/Size: 25.0 mm Weight: 7.30 gms; Edge: Unmilled.

The Reverse of the 10 Cents coin is inscribed “BOUNTY BELL”

The specifications of the 10 Cents coin are:

Metal Composition/Alloy: Copper Plated Bronze; Diameter/Size: 22.0 mm Weight: 5.80 gms; Edge:  Fully Milled.
 The Reverse of the 5 Cents coin is inscribed “BOUNTY ANCHOR”

The specifications of the 5 Cents coin are:

Metal Composition/Alloy: Copper plated Bronze; Diameter/Size: 19.0 mm Weight: 4.30 gms; Edge: Unmilled.
 The Obverse of each coin depicts an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, Sovereign of the Commonwealth and Pitcairn Islands, with the year of issue “2009” and the name of the issuing country “Pitcairn Islands”. The effigy of the Queen has been designed by Robert Maklouf.

The Obverses of the coin as they appear in the coin album – sideways. Inscribed in the centre is "The Obverse of each coin bears the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Sovereign of the Commonwealth and Pitcairn Island. In the far right background is a silhouette of the Bounty anchored at Sea, while three mutineers contemplate setting up a settlement on this Island. 

The Back page of the Coin Album shows the Mint of issue as - New Zealand Mint

The Back of the case in which the coin album is contained

Pitcairn Islands Philatelic Bureau:

The Pitcairn Islands Philatelic Bureau based in Wellington, New Zealand also sells Mint and cancelled stamps, Miniature sheets of stamps, First Day Covers (FDCs) in addition to Annual Collections, Post Cards, Guide Books, Telephone Cards, Flags and coins.

The above is the top periphery of the Envelope in which the Pitcairn Islands 2009 Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) Set was received in India. It is postmarked Pitcairn Islands Post Office 13.01.2016" and has the inscription “AIR MAIL” and is quaintly called “Bounty Post” (written in old Calligraphic English), which shows the Bounty at full sail. The postage stamp is denominated in $4.40 (New Zealand dollars) and depicts Henderson Lorikeet (or “Vini stepheni”). “ER II” (meaning “Queen Elizabeth II”) and the Bounty Emblem are affixed on the left hand periphery of the stamp.

The Stephen’s Lorikeet (Vini stepheni) also known as the Henderson Lorikeet is a species of parrot in the Psittaculidae family, endemic to Pitcairn Islands. It is in IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species and its current status is “Threatened – Vulnerable”. Pitcairn Post through this stamp issue is participating in the drive to increase the population of this Species and have it marked under the Least Concern Category.

The bottom of the Envelope depicts the Emblem of the Pitcairn Islands Philatelic Bureau which incorporates the Coat of arms of the Pitcairn Islands.

Some Postcards issued by the Pitcairn Philatelic Bureau titled “The Spirit of the Bounty”:

The Coat of Arms of the Pitcairn Islands:

           A depiction of the Coat of Arms of Pitcairn Islands
The Coat of Arms of the Pitcairn Islands was adopted on 02.04.1984. It was granted by Royal Warrant dated 04/11/1969.

The Coat of Arms features a shield depicting the anchor and Bible from the HMAS Bounty. These represent the ancestral history of the islanders, most of whom descended from the sailors who mutinied on the Bounty in 1789.

The design of the shield is green and blue representing the island rising out of the ocean. The helmet and crest are a flowering slip of Miro and a Pitcairn Island wheelbarrow.
Posted on 11.11.2016:
 A wooden model of the ship HMS Bounty from the collection of Seema Goves. The inscription alongside the model reads "H.M.S. BOUNTY 1787".

Posted on 08.04.2017:
The following half ounce and one ounce Bounry bullion coins on the “HMS Bounty” have been issued by Money Metals Exchange (MME), a US precious Metals dealer through an exclusive arrangement with the New Zealand Mint. The Bounty coins have been minted exclusively for the South Pacific Island Niue (pronounced “NEW-ay”), a self-governing State in free association with New Zealand. Its citizens are New Zealand citizens, and New Zealand conducts most diplomatic relations on its behalf.
 An image of the replica of the HMS Bounty II, which was exhibited around the world prior to its sinking during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Shown alongside is the image of the Half Troy Ounce Silver One Dollar coin
 The Reverse of the Silver One Dollar coin depicts the HMS Bounty at full sail, sailing away from the viewer as seen from the wind patterns on its sails and main mast flag. The vessel is circumscribed by an eight-point  compass, which reads clockwise from the lower left, giving the weight and fineness of the metallic composition as “HALF TROY OUNCE .999+ FINE SILVER”
 The Obverse of the Silver One Dollar Coin shows a portrait of “Queen Elizabeth II” designed by Ian Rank-Broadley, whose initials “IRB” appear below the Queen’s neck. The issuing country’s name “NIUE” (Island) appears on the top periphery. The denomination of the coin “ONE DOLLAR” is engraved on the centre right periphery. The year of issue “2017” is at the lower periphery.
 The Reverse of the Silver Two Dollars coin depicts the HMS Bounty at full sail, sailing away from the viewer as seen from the wind patterns on its sails and main mast flag. The vessel is encircled by an eight-point compass, which reads clockwise from the lower left, giving the weight and fineness of the metallic composition as “ONE TROY OUNCE .999+ FINE SILVER”
 The Obverse of the Silver Two Dollars Coin shows a portrait of “Queen Elizabeth II” designed by Ian Rank-Broadley, whose initials “IRB” appear below the Queen’s neck. The issuing country’s name “NIUE” (Island) appears on the top periphery. The denomination of the coin “TWO DOLLARS” is engraved on the centre right periphery. The year of issue “2017” is at the lower periphery.
 Other Particulars:
The One Ounce Bounty coin has the same content and purity as the Silver American Eagle coin, except that it retails at a far lower premium. It is also priced lower than the Australian Kangaroo, Austrian Philharmonic, British Britannia, Canadian Maple Leaf, Chinese Panda etc. coins of the same purity and content. The Half-Ounce Bounty coin is likewise priced lower than its contemporary issues.

(The above Brilliant Uncirculated Coin Set depicting relics from the Bounty issued for the first time in 2009, is from the collection of Jayant Biswas, who has received it from the Pitcairn Islands Philatelic Bureau based in Wellington, New Zealand only last week. Images scanned and post researched and written by Rajeev Prasad)


British Crown Dependencies:

1) Specimen Banknotes from the States of Jersey

2) Coinage and Currency from the States of Jersey

3) Currency & Coinage of the Bailiwick of Guernsey

4) Currency & Coinage of Gibraltar : An Overseas Territory of Great Britain

5) Coinage of Gibraltar: (A British Overseas Territory): An Uncirculated Decimal Coin Collection Set minted by the Tower Mint, UK in 2010
6) The Isle of Man: An Uncirculated Decimal Coin Collection Set minted by Pobjoy Mint, UK in 2015

7) The Centenary of the ill-fated Titanic (15.04.1912 - 15.04.2012): An Alderney Five Pound Coin Commemorating the Maritime Legend

8) "Man of Steel": A Superman Movie: A set of stamps brought out in 2013 by Jersey post, the States of Jersey, commemorating Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill who played Superman in the Movie

9) Coins & Currency of Bermuda

10) The Bailiwick of Jersey - Presently circulating coinage - Pounds and Pence 

11) St. Helena & Ascension Islands: An Uncirculated Coin Set from 2003 

12) The Legend of the "HMAV Bounty" is interwoven with the heritage of the Pitcairn Islands: An uncirculated coin set from Pitcairn Islands in 2009 depicting the icons/relics of the Bounty minted by the New Zealand Mint 

Famous Battles

1) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Exile to St. Helena: (Part I): A One Crown Commemorative coin issued by the Ascension Island (minted by Pobjoy Mint UK) 

2) Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo and Napoleon's Exile to st. Helena: (Part II) 1) A 5 GBP Coin issued by the Royal Mint UK. 2) A"Drie Landen Zilverset" ( ot the "Three Lands Silver set") containing coins issued by the Royal Dutch Mint including coins of Netherlands, Belgium and UK

3) Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain by issuing a 50 Pence coin by the Royal Mint UK

Gold Coins:
1) Gold Sovereigns issued in 2013 & 2014 by MMTC-PAMP in India under licence from the Royal Mint, UK, carrying the "I" Mint Mark

2) Gold Half-Sovereigns minted by MMTC-PAMP in India in 2014 under licence from the Royal Mint UK bearing the "I" Mint Mark 

Silver Coins:

1) A 20 Pound Silver coin minted for the first timr by the royal Mint UK: reverse design carries the famous St. George slaying the dragon design found on Gold Sovereigns 

British India Coinage:

 1) East India Company Quarter Anna Copper Coin which is one of the first issues under the Coinage Act 1835

2) Victoria Coinage: When she was Queen and afterwards Empress

3) Edward VII: King & Emperor  Coinage

4) George V King Emperor Coinage

5) George VI: The last of the British India Emperors Coinage 

Other British Royalty: 

1) Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations (1952-2012): A Five Pound Commemorative coin issued by the Royal Mint, UK

2) Commemorating Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953: A Five Pound Coin minted by the Royal Mint UK in 2013, depicting the Imperial State Crown

3) The Royal Coat of Arms of the UK: Great British 2012 Coin Set (Uncirculated) issued by the Royal Mint UK

4) Prince George's Christening Ceremony celebrated with coins issued by the Royal Mint UK in 2013

5) The British Empire:  A Case of Numismatic "segregation": (Guest Post by Rahul Kumar)

6) 1) The Portrait Collection: Various Portraits of Queen Elizabeth II on Coinage 2) The Fourth & Final Circulating coinage of the Portrait designed by Ian Rank-Broadley and the First Edition of the portrait of the Queen made by Jody Clark

 British Coinage:

1) The contribution of the Great British One-Pound coins in keeping alive the historical legends/emblems/heritage of the UK (1983 onwards)

2) Transformation of a Five shilling Coin (Crown) into the UK Twenty-five Pence & then the Five Pound Coin

3) Transformation of the Two Shilling Coin (Florin) Coin into the UK Ten Pence

4) The 350th Anniversary of the Guinea: A Two Pound Coin issued by the Royal Mint UK celebrating the milestone

 Commemorative British Coinage:

 1) Commemorating the Bicentenary of Charles Dickens: A Two pound coin celebrating his literary contributions during the Victorian Era

 2) Commemorating 50 Years of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - presently called the World Wide Fund for Nature by issue of a Fifty Pence coin by the Royal Mint, UK

3) Coins commemorating London Olympics & Paralympics (2012)

4) Commemorating 150 Years of the London Underground : Two pound Coins minted by the Royal Mint UK, showing the "Roundel" logo and a train emerging from a tunnel 

5) Commemorating the 100th Birth anniversary of Christopher Ironside with his" Royal Arms" design on a 50 Pence coin issued by the Royal Mint, UK 

6) 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta - the Universal Guidepost to Liberty and Freedom

Inspirations from Scottish History: 

1) The Legend of King Bruce & the Spider on Banknotes

Banknotes from Scotland:
1) Commemorating Sir William Arrol and his creation the Forth Rail Bridge by issues of Britain's first ever 5 Pound Polymer Banknote

Links on French Polynesian (Tahiti) Currency Posts: 

1Coinage of the French Polynesian Island of New Caledonia ("Nouvelle Caledonie" in French) - the CFP Franc.

2Financial Institution for issuing uniform currency/coinage for French Overseas territories in the Pacific & French Southern Territories of Antarctica "The Institut d'emission d'Outre-mer" (IEOM) for French Polynesia (Tahiti), New Caledonia, Wallis-et-Futuna, and the erstwhile New Hebrides (present day Vanuatu) 

3) 2014 Emission of Banknotes for French Polynesia (Tahiti), New valedonia, Wallis-et futuna and the erstwhile New Hebrides (present day Vanuatu) 

Links to Posts on Australia, New Zealand and countries and Overseas Territories of the South Pacific on this blog:

1) Bank of Papua New Guinea: 36th Anniversary Celebrations (1973-2008): A Commemorative Uncirulated Coin Set consisting of a 2 Kina Banknote & a 2 Kina Coin

2) Papua New Guinea: An uncirculated coin set brought out in 1995 commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Independence 

 3) Currency & Coinage of the Soloman Islands: Dollars and Cents

4) New Zealand: New Banknote "Seventh Series" issued under Project "Brighter Money" from 2015 onwards

5) Coinage of the French Polynesian Island of Caledonia (or Nouvelle Caledonie) the CFP Franc  

6) French Institution for issuing uniform currency/coinage for French Overseas Territories in the Pacific and the French Southern Territories of Antarctica: The Institut d'emmission d'outre Mer (IEOM)

7) Currency & Coinage of Samoa: Tala and Sene 

8) Currency of the South Pacific Island Country of Fiji 

9) Coinage of New Zealand: A commemorative coin set issued in 1979 

10) Currency and Coinage of Australia: Dollars and Cents 

11) The Australian Emblem or the Coat of Arms 

12) The story of the Australian Penny 

13) The Legend of the Mutiny on the Bounty: A Commemorative Coin Set from the Pitcairn Islands depicting relics from the Bounty issued in 2009 

14) An Australian $5 coin issued in 1996, commemorating Australia's greatest cricketing legend - Sir Donald Bradman 

15) New Series/Generation of Australian Banknotes being introduced from 01.09.2016 onwards starting from $5 issues 


  1. Sir, I really wonder how you are able to peep into the remote corners of the world.
    I went up to the Marine Museum at Auckland on 27-01-16 but didn't enter due to time constraints. I am sure that some of the items belonging to the history as narrated by you might be available there.

    1. Thank you for your extremely encouraging comment. It is just that we have read these stories while we were in College. Luckily Jayant collects coins and currency notes from all over the World for his collection & lends them to me to write the stories as I remember them or research them.He also helps me with my collection and my hobby.

  2. Jayashree Mukherjee has commented:
    "Very interesting."