2008 Silver One Ounce Proof Coin Pair HMAS Sydney II Kormoran
Obverse: Elizabeth II to right, legend around
Reverse: Depictions of HMAS Sydney II and Kormoran
Both of the items in this set have the following technical specifications:
Diameter: 40.60mm | Weight: 31.1035g | Purity: 99.90 | ASW: 1.00 ozt
Issued to honour the discovery of this valiant ship after 67 years of being lost under the ocean.
Following a deadly engagement with the German raider HSK Kormoran November 1941, the famous Royal Australian Navy cruiser HMAS Sydney II was lost with 645 officers and crew in the Indian Ocean. Her fate proved baffling until the Finding Sydney Foundation announced on 16 March 2008 that it had located the wreck approximately 207km off the Western Australian coast.
The HMAS Sydney II and her 645 crew members were lost at sea during WWII, when they were fired upon by the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran, on November 19th, 1941. In open ocean South West of Carnarvon (West Australia), the Sydney spotted an unidentified merchant vessel and closed requesting identification. The HSK Kormoran, a disguised German raider, eventually opened fire and a battle ensued from which neither ship survived.
Debate raged for many years regarding the exact circumstances of the Sydney II's loss, and her likely resting place. At the time of the ship being sunk, it was the pride of Australia's naval fleet, and was carrying out troop ship escort duties between Australia and South East Asia. Because of Sydney’s apparent superior firepower, there was disbelief that Kormoran could have sunk her. In some quarters this led to suspicion of foul play.
Memorabilia related to the Sydney and the Kormoran has long remained popular with collectors, this set is a fitting tribute to the ship and men that were lost.
This Coin, Medallion and Badge Set was released by the Perth Mint to celebrate the discovery of the wreck of the HMAS Sydney II by the Finding Sydney Foundation, announced on March 16th, 2008, some 207km off the Western Australian coast. The story of the HMAS Sydney II is widely regarded as "Australia's most enduring maritime tragedy."
The first coin’s reverse depicts HMAS Sydney II, a 6,830 tons modified Leander class cruiser with an illustrious battle record. The ship’s image is accompanied by the inscription HMAS SYDNEY II 19 NOVEMBER 1941 ~ 16 MARCH 2008, which highlights the 67 years she lay undiscovered on the seabed, and The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark.
The coin is accompanied by a medallion struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality. The medallion’s reverse portrays the disguised German raider, HSK Kormoran, which struck Dutch colours and hoisted the German Naval Ensign before surprising HMAS Sydney II with heavy gunfire. As well as The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark, the reverse includes the inscription HSK-8 KORMORAN 19 NOVEMBER 1941~12 MARCH 2008, a reference to the date on which her wreckage was discovered by the Finding Sydney Foundation. The medallion’s obverse depicts a diagrammatic representation of the ships’ courses during the fatal engagement. As well as the inscription DISCOVERY OF HMAS SYDNEY II ~ HSK-8 KORMORAN, the design includes the coordinates of their positions on the seabed as determined by the Finding Sydney Foundation:
* HMAS Sydney - 26° 14’ 37” S 111° 13’ 03” E
* HSK Kormoran - 26° 05' 49.4" S 111° 04' 27.5" E
The set also includes a blue enamel and gold-plated reproduction of HMAS Sydney II’s badge, and a gold and silver-plated replica of the Kriegsmarine’s Auxiliary Cruiser Badge.
The coins, case, outer shipper, and certificate are all included and remain in excellent condition.
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