Cooks Cottage Commemorative Coin

On Saturday 17 October 2009, Cooks Cottage, Australia’s ‘oldest building’, will celebrate its 75th anniversary in Melbourne. To help celebrate this momentous occasion, the Perth Mint has arranged for the release of an absolutely stunning .999 silver proof coin. Read on for full details!

The coin…
Distinctive, eye-catching and exclusive, this official legal tender 1oz Silver Proof commemorates the anniversary of one of Australia’s most iconic architectural structures – Cooks’ Cottage.

Known as ‘the oldest building in Australia’, the family home of Captain James Cook was taken – brick by brick – from its original location in England and rebuilt in Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens in the early 1930s. A visionary tribute to the ‘Discoverer of the east coast’, the cottage was officially unveiled in 1934 as the focus of the centenary celebrations of European settlement in Victoria.

Celebrating the 75th anniversary of one of Australia’s most internationally renowned, most visited tourist attractions, this unique, one-year-only legal tender $1 coin captures Australia’s rich history within the powerful parameters of modern minting. Shaped like one of the hundreds of bricks transported from Great Ayton in Yorkshire, this flawless precious metal coin is graced with an innovative, intricately detailed design of the Cooks’ home – superbly struck in high-relief Silver Proof. An exquisite illustration of The Perth Mint’s mastery of full-colour minting techniques, the 32.7mm x 32.7mm flan is also distinguished by a vivid portrait of the legendary explorer.

A fine complement to any full-colour coin collection, the limited edition 2009 $1 Cooks’ Cottage 1oz Silver Proof forms an outstanding tribute to one of the most important figures in Australian history.

  • Taken from a tiny worldwide mintage of just 5,000 coins
  • Crafted to the pinnacle of Proof quality from 1oz of .999 fine silver
  • Struck by The Perth Mint as official Cook Islands legal tender of $1
  • Housed within a plush presentation case, within a stylish outer box
  • Accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity

The history…
When James Cook Snr built the Cooks’ family home in the Yorkshire village of Great Ayton, England, little could he have imagined that it would one day end up 12,000 miles away in Australia, standing as a monument to his famous son – Captain James Cook. Built in the 1750s, the Cook family home was put up for auction by the then owners in 1933. In an excellent state of preservation, and visited by antiquarians and historians from all over the globe, the prospective sale of the cottage attracted great attention worldwide – including from Victoria, which at that time was preparing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of European Settlement in the state.

Local author Hermon Gill instantly seized upon the idea of purchasing and relocating the cottage to Melbourne, where it would form the focal point of the centenary celebrations. Leading Victorian businessman and philanthropist Russell Grimwade (later Sir Russell), was enthusiastic when presented with the idea, and purchased the cottage for £800 on behalf of the people of Victoria.

An extraordinary, elaborate process, the cottage was carefully disassembled and transported in 253 cases and 40 barrels, with key elements safely packed within concrete. Individually identified and numbered, the components of the Cottage were shipped from Hull to Australia aboard the Dunedin. After some controversy over the appropriate location, Cooks’ Cottage was reconstructed ‘brick-by-brick’ in Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens.

Officially opened to the public on the 15th of October 1934, Cooks’ Cottage was instantly popular, with 23,000 people visiting in the first two months. In the 75 years that have since passed, hundreds of thousands more Australian and international visitors have viewed the iconic structure, marveling at the rich history inherent in one of Australia’s most famous landmarks.

The Cook Islands 2009 $1 Cooks’ Cottage 1oz Silver Proof coin is now available from Downies at official issue price!

For more information and to purchase online, please click on the appropriate link:
Australia & International

North America


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