475 years after Sir Francis Drake’s birth, Pobjoy Mint celebrates his life

New coins issued on behalf of British Virgin Islands
By , Coin World
Published : 10/15/15
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To mark the 475th anniversary of the birth of Sir Francis Drake, Pobjoy Mint is releasing new coins on behalf of the British Virgin Islands Government.

One design is being issued in two versions, a Brilliant Uncirculated copper-nickel $1 and a Proof .925 fine (sterling) silver $10 coin. 

The reverse of each coin features a map in the background, outlining the British Virgin Islands, with an image of the ship Defiance positioned as though heading through what is now known as the Sir Francis Drake Channel. A cameo portrait of Drake is also shown above his channel. 

Considered one of the greatest sea captains of all time, Drake was born in Devonshire, England, around 1540 and first took to the seas at the age of 12 or 13. 

He would become a successful privateer and talented navigator. He was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I, as a privateer, to sail to the Americas. Drake was the first to pass from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast of South America. 

In 1577, Queen Elizabeth selected him to head an expedition that was to sail around the world. After achieving this, he returned to England and was knighted aboard The Golden Hind in 1581. In 1588 Drake was appointed Vice Admiral of the Navy that would destroy the Spanish Armada.

Drake set sail for the final time in 1595 when he embarked on a voyage to the Caribbean on board Defiance. He was sent to attack Spanish settlements in the West Indies but died on the journey home. He was buried at sea in a lead coffin.

The obverse of the coin carries an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley.

Both of the coins weigh 28.28 grams and measure 38.6 millimeters in diameter.

The $1 coin has an unlimited mintage and retails for $16.95.

The $10 coin is limited to a mintage of 10,000 pieces and retails for $89. 

To order these coins, visit the Pobjoy Mint website.

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