When the North abandoned the navy yard at Norfolk, Virginia, early in the American Civil War, it scuttled several wooden ships including the frigate Merrimack. Raised by the Confederates, the hulk was rebuilt as an ironclad ram with sloping sides capable of deflecting enemy shells harmlessly into the sea.
Renamed the Virginia, she steamed into Hampton Roads where she sank the blockading U.S. fleet’s Cumberland and ran Congress aground. On the second day of battle, however, she encountered the Union Monitor, a completely new design of ironclad.
The invention of Swedish engineer John Ericsson, Monitor’s extremely low profile meant that she had no more than 18 inches of armoured deck visible above the water line. On top sat a revolving turret housing two large guns.
The ships fought for several hours, mostly at close range. Neither landed a decisive blow, their armour-plating proving effective. Although the outcome was inconclusive, the battle was nevertheless extremely significant as history’s first-ever encounter between two ironclad warships.
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 depicting a battle scene.
The coin’s obverse depicts the Raphael Maklouf effigy of Her Majesty Queen Eliabeth II, the 2010 year-date and the monetary denomination.
The Perth Mint will release no more than 5,000 of these coins.
|Silver Content (Troy oz)||1|
|Monetary Denomination (CID)||1|
|Fineness (% purity)||99.9|
|Minimum Gross Weight (g)||31.135|
|Maximum Diameter (mm)||40.60|
|Maximum Thickness (mm)||4.00|