World Coins

Australian silver shipwreck series continues with ‘Zuytdorp’

The Royal Australian Mint remembers the “Zuytdorp,” a Dutch East India Company ship that wrecked off the Australian coast, on a new 1-ounce silver $1 coin.

Images courtesy of American Precious Metals Exchange.

Australia may not come to mind when you think of shipwrecks, but the continent that’s a country has a history of nautical narratives worth exploring.

The Royal Australian Mint continues delving into this rich topic with the third issue in the Shipwreck series of 1-ounce .999 fine bullion $1 coins. The 2020 triangular-shaped dollar depicts the Zuytdorp, a Dutch East India Company ship that disappeared in 1712 and left a mystery in its wake.

Disappearing act

The Zuytdorp departed from the Netherlands on Aug. 1, 1711, heading for Batavia. The crew was suffering heavily from scurvy and reportedly lost many sailors as it approached South Africa and the Cape of Good Hope.

Once it departed the Cape of Good Hope, the Zuytdorp was never seen above the waves again.

In 1927, the wreckage of the ship was discovered off the rocky cliffs along Western Australia’s coast, to the north of Perth.

The Zuytdorp wreckage site was described as a silver carpet, according to JM Bullion, because of the debris field of silver coins from the wreck. The Zuytdorp had carried newly-minted silver coins from Zeeland, Netherlands.

The 2020 RAM coin has a mintage limit of 20,000 pieces, each individually packaged in a unique, triangular protective capsule.

The obverse carries the Jody Clark effigy of Queen Elizabeth II at the top point of the triangle, with a scene of carnage playing out beneath as survivors struggle to come ashore the rocky coastline.

The Zuytdorp is seen sailing along the waters on the reverse.

The coin is available from two distributors at varying premiums above the precious metal value, ranging from as little as $8.99 to $10.99 per coin over spot price.

To order the coin, visit or

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