Discovery and Achievement | The Royal Mint

Britain in the world and events that have shaped our lives.

In 1768, the infamous Captain James Cook boarded HM Bark Endeavour, bound for Tahiti and the mysterious southern lands beyond. His voyages expanded our understanding of the world beyond known horizons. He made scientific discoveries, surveyed uncharted waters and opened new trading routes. He was master of his destiny and made history his own.

In 2018, 250 years after Endeavour set sail, The Royal Mint invites you to take a closer look at the world that this intrepid explorer was living in as defined by the coinage of the era.

King George came to the throne in 1760, 16 years before Cook set out on his third and final voyage. His reign was marked by a series of conflicts around the world. British colonies were lost in the American War of Independence but closer to home wars with France concluded successfully with the defeat of Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo. With an economic crisis looming a massive re-coinage was called for to stabilise the nation’s finances. Production of new silver coins went into overdrive in a bid to restore faith in Britain’s currency.

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