This five Dollar
Silver coin was designed as a
item, which celebrates the important historical voyage of HMS Sirius. It is one coin from a set of four, five Dollar
coins, which together pay tribute to the most important voyages that contributed to or played a significant role in Australian
history. With the continent, that we now know as Australia being so difficult to reach and completely unknown, it took skills
and dedication to make the discoveries for which these voyages were responsible. They allowed Europeans to gain access to
the landmass and continued to open and educate regarding the nature of the land. Each of the coins that make up the set was
struck into a sterling silver planchet and features a beautiful
design that each depicts a different vessel. As well as HMS Sirius being commemorated in this set are the Duyfken, HMB Endeavour
and HMS Investigator. The set named 'Voyages into History' is one of the Masterpieces in Silver collection and was released
The obverse of the coin features the traditional portrait of Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth, designed by British sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley. This is complimented by the legend ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA
2002. The reverse is beautifully designed by Polish sculptor and artist
Wojciech Pietranik, who has had a long collaboration with the Masterpieces in Silver collections. HMS Sirius is depicted
and is framed with swirling lines that feature on the reverse of each
coin from this set possibly representing the wind in the ships sails. The legend VOYAGES INTO DISCOVERY, HMS Sirius and 5
DOLLARS frame the image of the ship. The four coins are packaged in a Masterpieces in Silver 2002, Voyages into History presentation
case accompanied with a replica of a navel captains sash badge.
(Royal Australian Mint Issue Vol 49, 2002)
Also included inside is a book telling the stories of each of the voyages as well as a Certificate of Authenticity.
HMS Sirius is commemorated in this series for being the flagship of the First Fleet, which brought settlers from England
to establish the first European colony on the continent. HMS Sirius departed on their voyage from Portsmouth in May 1787
and arrived 252 days later in Botany Bay, New South Wales, Australia on the 21st January 1788. She was under the command
of Captain John Hunter and carried a number if people that would fulfil important roles in the new colony. Botany Bay had
been the port at which James Cook had come ashore during his famous voyage of discovery on HMB Endeavour. However, it was
quickly established that Botany Bay would not be suitable for a penal settlement so Sirius was used to move the colony to
Sydney Clove, Port Jackson on 21st January 1788. This date is celebrated annually and is known as Australia Day
. During the early days of the settlement HMS Sirius was relied upon to bring supplies for the survival of the colony.
In 1970 the ship was wrecked on a reef off of Norfolk Island. The crew were stranded on the island for almost a year before
being rescued and returned to England. The demise of Sirius meant hard times for the young colony, which was left on the
brink of starvation with only one remaining supplies ship
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