World Coins

Capt. Cook’s ship HMS ‘Resolution’ on silver, gold coins

Capt. James Cook’s HMS “Resolution” is featured on new coins from Niue, including this Proof 1-ounce silver $1.

Images courtesy of Talisman Coins.

Capt. James Cook in 1773 led the first persons in history to cross the Antarctic Circle, a scene brought to life on two 2023 coins from Niue. 

The Proof .999 fine silver dollar and Proof .9999 fine gold $100 coin depict the HMS Resolution as it sails the icy Antarctic waters on Jan. 17, 1773, when Cook and his crew made the first recorded crossing of the Antarctic Circle, becoming the first Europeans to lay eyes on the unspoiled wonders of that pristine icy wilderness. Cook came within about 75 miles of the Antarctic coast before retreating in the face of field ice.

Cook was a British explorer, cartographer and naval officer famous for three voyages of discovery he made between 1768 and 1779 to the Pacific Ocean, and to New Zealand and Australia in particular.

Cook’s legacy

During these voyages, he made the first recorded European contact with eastern Australia at what would become Botany Bay, paving the way for British settlement.

He led the first Europeans to visit the Hawaiian Islands (which he named the Sandwich Islands), and made the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.

In 1779, during Cook’s third exploratory voyage in the Pacific, tensions escalated between his men and the natives of Hawaii, where an attempt to kidnap a chief led to Cook’s death.

Cook died at the age of 50, but he left a legacy of scientific and geographic knowledge that influenced his successors well into the 20th century.

Coin designs

Both coins share the same design, and both feature color accents. The reverse shows the HMS Resolution, as noted earlier. The legend CAPTAIN COOK CROSSES THE ANTARCTIC CIRCLE indicates the theme.

The obverse carries the public seal (coat of arms) of the island nation of Niue. The slogan ATUA NIUE TUKULAGI translates as “God, Niue Forever.” The date of issue and denomination also appear, while inscriptions indicate the metal, weight and purity.

Specifications, pricing

The coins are presented inside a clamshell-style case, lined with black velvet and satin, and protected by a full color outer cardboard box.

An individually numbered certificate of authenticity is included.

The dollar coin weighs 31.135 grams and measures 38.6 millimeters in diameter.

It has a mintage limit of 750 pieces, and retails for $129.95 each, with quantity discounts available.

The gold coin weighs 31.135 grams and measures 38.6 millimeters in diameter. It has a mintage limit of 99 pieces, and retails for $3,199.95 each.

To order, or learn more, visit the distributor’s website,

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