A LIMITED edition of coins commemorating the famous mutiny on HMS Bounty have been announced by the Royal Australian Mint.

The events of 1789 in the South Pacific have become the stuff of folklore and Hollywood, with differing interpretations of both Captain Bligh and his nemesis Fletcher Christian.

Unveiling the limited edition $5 and $1 coins were head of research at the Australian National Maritime Museum Dr Nigel Erskine and Royal Australian Mint coin designer Adam Ball.

Dr Erskine said the release of the Mutiny on the Bounty coins was testimony to the continuing fascination with Captain William Bligh (a future New South Wales governor), with a new major exhibition entitled Bligh – Hero or Villain opening at the museum in July.

“In an era that witnessed the American War of Independence, the French Revolution and the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte, William Bligh’s story would have been largely unremarkable had it not been for a mutiny aboard his ship, the Bounty, that made his name a household word and his actions the subject of fierce controversy that followed him for the rest of his life,” Dr Erskine said. 

Mr Ball said it was “a privilege to design and sculpt the Mutiny and Rebellion coin series”.

“Using state-of-the-art software and hardware often used in the video games industry and film industry, I was determined to capture this part of our history as creatively as possible with the sense of capturing a moment in history as if it were being photographed using the extremely high fidelity that this technology can achieve,” Mr Ball said.

The Mutiny coins are now available for purchase.

Similar coins are to be released commemorating The Rum Rebellion and Eureka Stockade in coming months.


The coins are legal tender and can be purchased from the Mint’s website. 

Royal Australian Mint general manager of sales, marketing and distribution, Mark Cartwright said these special coins marked key moments in Australian history.

“This unique and artistically detailed coin series acknowledges historical events and people from Australia’s tempestuous colonial era, a time that resulted in mutiny and rebellion but contributed to eventual egalitarian democracy and rule of law in our nation,” Mr Cartwright said.