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CUTTY SARK Ships That Changed The World Silver Coin 1$ Tuvalu 2012


The fifth, and final, release in the charming series 'Ships that Changed the World', features the Cutty Sark. The clipper Cutty Sark was built in 1869 at Dumbarton, Scotland. It was destined for the tea trade, then an intensely competitive race across the globe from China to London. Struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver under the authority of the Government of Tuvalu.

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The Cutty Sark
The ship is named after a short chemise or undergarment called a sark. The famous Scottish Poet Robbie Burns created a character called Nannie Dee in his work ‘Tam o’ Shanter’ (1791). In the poem, Ms Dee wore a paisley linen sark that she had worn as a child and had outgrown, which explains why it was too short, or cutty. The erotic vision of Ms Dee dancing in such a short undergarment caused the central character, Tam, to cry out, “Weel done, cutty-sark!” This became a popular catch-phrase of the time and thus the ship was named.
The most famous race of the Cutty Sark took place against Thermopylae in 1872. Both ships started together but Cutty Sark lost her rudder after passing through the Sunda Strait. The captain continued to race with an improvised rudder, yet she was beaten by only one week.
In 1890, she was taken out of the tea races and re-sized for general cargo transport. The Cutty Sark’s history of this period includes tales of tyranny, mutiny, murder, suicide and cholera.
In later years, the ship recovered her reputation for speed by winning the wool race ten years out of ten (and beating Thermopylae every time they met). She posted Australia-to-Britain times of as little as 67 days, and in one instance, outsailed the fastest steamship of her age.
In the end, clippers lost out to steamships, which could pass through the recently opened Suez Canal and deliver goods more reliably. In 1916, she was dismasted off the Cape of Good Hope, sold, re-rigged and renamed Maria do Amparo. In 1922, she was restored to her original grandeur and used as a training ship in Greenhithe, Kent, England.
In 1954, the Cutty Sark was moved to a custom-built dry-dock at Greenwich and was preserved as a museum ship as part of the National Historic Fleet, Core Collection. Whilst undergoing conservation in 2007, the Cutty Sark caught fire and was badly damaged, yet she is expected to be restored to her former glory.

  • CountryTuvalu
  • Year2012
  • 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
The coin’s reverse depicts a representation of the Cutty Sark in full sail set against a coloured globe map and the inscription CUTTY SARK. The design also incorporates The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark. The coin’s obverse depicts the Raphael Maklouf effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II the 2012 year-date and the monetary denomination.