The year was 1066 and a pivotal battle between two European powers that would help shape the history of the continent, and for that matter the world, was about to take place near a coastal village in England. To commemorate this conflict, the Perth Mint is now offering The Battle of Hastings 1066 1oz Silver Proof Coin as the third coin in its successful Famous Battle coin series.
Harold II, King of England, had just returned from crushing a Norwegian Viking invasion when he heard news of a Norman force near the village of Hastings. Eager to show his people of his ability to protect them under all circumstances, he rushed with what men he could find to meet the threat. Advisors had pleaded with King Harold to delay in order to give his battle weary soldiers a rest and to muster additional troops. Harold refused and marched at once with a force estimated at 7,500.
Coming to a stop near the estimated 8,400 strong Norman army, Harold took a position to defend the country. The Norman army, under the command of Duke William, assumed a classic attack posture and initiated the battle by volleying arrows towards the English. Utilizing a tactic known as a shield wall, the English had few fatalities from the arrows. Incorrectly assuming his arrow attack was more successful, William ordered his infantry to attack.
With the battle truly underway by now, the hand to hand combat was resulting in large casualties on both sides. William then ordered his cavalry into the melee. Used to experiencing little resistance, the horses of the cavalry balked at the massive English Army, which was still holding strong. Things appeared to be going well for the English, who were now breaking ranks to pursue retreating Normans.
At this point, the battle took a turn for Normandy. William re-organized his troops and ordered his archers to fire beyond the shield wall, into the heart of the English force. This had an immediate effect and caused multiple fatal wounds to the English, including their commander, King Harold II.
Without their commander, the English lines fell and many tried to run in retreat. Once assured of his victory, William marched towards London and eventually forced them to accept him as the new King of England.
The Battle of Hastings Silver Coin Specifications, Price and Order Details
The Battle of Hastings 1066 coin is composed of 1 troy oz of 99.9% pure silver. It has a diameter of 40.60 mm and a thickness of 4.00 mm.
A presentation case and a Certificate of Authenticity stating the limited mintage of only 5,000 accompany the coin.
The obverse or "heads" side of the proof coin contains an image of Queen Elizabeth II, as required of all legal tender issued under the authority of the government of Tuvalu. The inscriptions "Queen Elizabeth II," "Tuvalu," "1 Dollar" and "2009" are also seen.
The reverse depicts a segment of the famous Baveaux Tapestry, which shows the battle scene in color. Showcased as well is a Norman knight, a Norman helmet and a Saxon long-handed axe. "The Battle of Hastings 1066" is inscribed as well as the Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark.
The coin is available from around the world for AUS $81.36 (~$66 US) and directly from The Perth Mint page (and CoinNews affiliate link):
The Mint indicates quantity orders may be restricted "due to the popularity of the series."
The Battle of Thermopylae and the Battle of Cannae were the first battles commemorated in the series. The Battle of Balaclava and the Battle of Gettysburg are to be featured in the future.
About the Perth Mint
The Perth Mint, wholly-owned by the State Government of Western Australia, is the official issuer of the Australian Federal Government’s Gold and Silver Bullion Coin Program. The Mint opened in 1899 in response to the discovery of rich gold deposits in Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. It was Australia’s third branch of Britain’s Royal Mint – the others being the Sydney Mint and the Melbourne Mint (both closed).
The Perth Mint remained under Britain’s jurisdiction until 1 July 1970, when ownership transferred to the State Government of Western Australia.
In 2003, The Perth Mint officially opened an 8,400 square metre state-of-the-art manufacturing facility next door to its original limestone building. Dominating the Mint’s heritage precinct, these two important buildings are powerful symbols of more than 100 years of minting excellence in Western Australia.