Perth Mint Australia

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HAMPTON ROADS Naval Battle 1862 Silver Coin 1$ Cook Islands 2010


Great Naval Battles is a compelling series of five 1oz silver proof coins for those fascinated by the development of naval warfare. Like previous releases examining the Battle of Salamis 480BC and the Battle of Trafalgar 1805, the third coin marks an historic naval encounter.

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The Battle of Hampton Roads, often referred to as the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack (or Merrimac), was the most noted and arguably most important naval battle of the American Civil War from the standpoint of the development of navies. It was fought over two days, March 8–9, 1862, in Hampton Roads, a roadstead in Virginia where the Elizabeth and Nansemond Rivers meet the James River just before it enters Chesapeake Bay. The battle was a part of the effort of the Confederacy to break the Union blockade, which had cut off Virginia's largest cities, Norfolk and Richmond, from international trade.
The major significance of the battle is that it was the first meeting in combat of ironclad warships. The Confederate fleet consisted of the ironclad ram CSS Virginia (the Merrimack) and several supporting vessels. On the first day of battle, they were opposed by several conventional, wooden-hulled ships of the Union Navy. On that day, Virginia was able to destroy two ships of the Federal flotilla and threaten a third, USS Minnesota, which had run aground. The action was halted by darkness and falling tide, so Virginia retired to take care of her few wounded — which included her captain, Flag Officer Franklin Buchanan — and repair her minimal battle damage.
Determined to complete the destruction of the Minnesota, Catesby ap Roger Jones, acting as captain in Buchanan's absence, returned the ship to the fray the next morning, March 9. During the night, however, the ironclad USS Monitor had arrived and had taken a position to defend Minnesota. When Virginia approached, Monitor intercepted her. The two ironclads fought for about three hours, with neither being able to inflict significant damage on the other. The duel ended indecisively, Virginia returning to her home at the Gosport Navy Yard for repairs and strengthening, and Monitor to her station defending Minnesota. The ships did not fight again, and the blockade remained in place.
The battle received worldwide attention, and it had immediate effects on navies around the world. The preeminent naval powers, Great Britain and France, halted further construction of wooden-hulled ships, and others followed suit. A new type of warship was produced, the monitor, based on the principle of the original. The use of a small number of very heavy guns, mounted so that they could fire in all directions was first demonstrated by Monitor but soon became standard in warships of all types. Shipbuilders also incorporated rams into the designs of warship hulls for the rest of the century.

Each coin is housed in a presentation display case and superbly illustrated shipper, accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

The program comprises five coins:

  • Battles of Salamis – 480 BC
  • Battles of Trafalgar – 1805
  • Battles of Hampton Roads – 1862
  • Battles of Jutland – 1916
  • Battles of Midway – 1942
  • CountryCook Islands
  • Year2010
  • Face Value1 Dollar
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)999/1000
  • Weight (g)31.1 (1 oz)
  • Diameter (mm)40.6
  • QualityProof
  • Mintage (pcs)5.000
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)Yes
During the American Civil War, the first-ever clash between two ironclad warships took place on Hampton Roads, a body of water at the confluence of the Elizabeth and James Rivers. On the Confederate side was Virginia, a wooden frigate previously known as USS Merrimack, which had been sunk and then rebuilt as an ironclad ram. On the second day of the battle, she encountered the Union Monitor. A completely new design of ironclad, her extremely low profile meant that she had no more than 18 inches of armoured deck visible above the water line.
The coin’s reverse portrays a representation of USS Monitor, the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy. The design, which includes The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark, also features a coloured section representing the battle with Virginia.
The coin’s obverse depicts the Raphael Maklouf effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2010 year-date and the monetary denomination.