2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the first documented European landing on Australian soil. To mark this occasion the Perth Mint is issuing the Dirk Hartog Australian Landing 1616 - 2016 1oz Silver Proof High Relief Coin.
Dirk Hartog was a Dutch explorer and sailor under the employment of the Dutch East India Company who made landfall on an island just off the western coast of Australian, modern day Shark Bay. The Island is today known as Dirk Hartog Island. He recorded the event by writing that they discovered "various islands, which were, however, found uninhabited."
Before resuming his original journey to Batava(present-day Jakarta) he nailed a pewter plate to a post in order to document his arrival at the islands. The plate was inscribed as such :
"1616 On 25 October arrived the ship Eendracht, of Amsterdam: Supercargo Gilles Miebais of Liege, skipper Dirch Hatichs of Amsterdam. on 27 she set sail again for Bantam. Deputy supercargo Jan Stins, upper steersman Pieter Doores of Bil. In the year 1616"
then in 1696, eighty years later, the Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh again landed on the island and by chance came across the pewter plate, today known as the Hartog Plate. He then replaced it with one of his own and took the original back to Amsterdam. Today the plate is preserved by the Rijksmuseum.
The reverse of the high relief coin depicts a view of Hartog's ship the Eendracht(the Unity or Solidarity in English) as seen through a telescope. A compass rose is slightly offset to the left of the ship's main sails. The legend appears to the right of the coin and reads : “DIRK HARTOG FIRST LANDING OCTOBER 1616” along with a small map of Australia. “1oz 9999 SILVER” appears just above the horizon to the left of the ship, with the “P” mintmark of the Perth Mint to the right.
The high relief proof coin is denominated as $1 and bears a right facing portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse along with the date and country of issue(2016, Australia).
The coin has a limited mintage of 3000 units and is shipped in a special presentation case. According to the Perth Mint the coin’s high relief reverse and obverse are minted on concave surfaces to ensure the optimum flow of metal is achieved by the strike of the die.
The coin is available from the Perth Mint and is suggested to retail for AUS $99.00