The Treasury of the Principality of Sealand, the world’s oldest man-made micro-nation and self-proclaimed independent state located in the North Sea have announced that a Sealand commemorative coin has been issued in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the declaration of independence which occurred on the 2nd September 1967. On that day 50 years ago, four members of the Bates family, along with friends and supporters, raised the principality’s newly designed flag on the tower for the first time.
Accompanied by his wife Joan, his 14-year-old son Michael and 16-year-old son daughter Penelope, Roy Bates declared the Principality of Sealand an independent entity, claiming “Jus Gentium” or “Law of Nations” over a part of the globe that was “Terra Nullius” or “Nobody’s Land”. Joan Bates herself became the territory’s co-ruler as Sovereign Princess – on her 38th birthday.
This is the second authorized Sealand commemorative coin since 2012, and it is designed by Michael Alexander. It is struck to proof quality by the Tower Mint, UK on behalf of the Treasury of the Principality of Sealand. The reverse side of the coin depicts the very moment when Sealand’s flag was raised for the very first time and is based on a photograph taken just after the flag was raised by Princess Joan.
The commemorative text “RAISING THE FLAG, 2nd SEPTEMBER 1967” is placed just under the image along the lower edge. The text “PRINCIPALITY OF SEALAND” and the coin’s denomination of “25 DOLLARS” and “2017” are placed above the central design arranged in three lines. Michael Alexander’s initials “MAA” appear to the right of the primary design. The obverse side includes three detailed portraits of all three sovereign Princes and Princesses since independence was declared in 1967.
The top effigy is that of Sovereign Prince Roy, who ruled from 1967 until his passing in 2012. The second effigy is that of Sovereign Princess Joan who was co-ruler from 1967 until her passing in 2016. The third effigy is that of Sovereign Prince Michael who succeeded his father in October 2012 and subsequently his mother in March 2016.
Prince Michael is Sealand’s sole ruler and this is the first coin issued by the Treasury of Sealand to include his effigy. All three effigies are based on official photographs taken for the occasion of the 35th anniversary of Sealand’s independence in 2002.
Sealand’s official motto “E MARE LIBERTAS” (Latin for “From the Sea, Freedom”) is placed above the portraits with the commemorative text “50th ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE” positioned below the portraits in four lines. Michael Alexander’s initials “MAA” appear to the right of the portraits.
The coin was authorized on September 2, the 50th anniversary of Sealand’s declaration of independence, and went into production on December 5, 2017. The coin is encapsulated and presented in a custom gold-colored leatherette case imprinted with the Principality’s commemorative dates and crest on the top cover.
As with the previous 2012-dated crown, the anniversary coin is individually numbered from 001 to 300 and hallmarked, which is applied on a smooth portion of the coin’s reeded edge utilizing laser technology. A numbered certificate of authenticity corresponding to the coin’s actual number will be included. The coin is retailed directly by Sealand’s treasury and orders can now be placed with immediate dispatch and delivery.
For more information on the 50th anniversary of Independence coin, please visit their e-webshop on the Treasury’s official website, Principality of Sealand at www.sealandgov.org/shop/stamps-coins/50th-commemorative-coin.
Sealand’s important dates and events
- Roy Bates lands on Fort Roughs Tower for the first time on Christmas Eve, 1966.
- A flag, coat of arms and national motto is designed in anticipation of declaring Fort Roughs an independent state – the motto “E MARE LIBERTAS” (from the sea, Freedom) is adopted.
- Roy Bates, along with his wife Joan, declare the Tower–which is located in international waters–an independent state with himself and his wife as sovereign co-ruling Prince and Princess on September 2, 1967.
- Passports issued by the Sealand Government were first issued in 1972.
- Sealand’s first stamps were issued by the Principality’s Postal service in 1972 featuring images of Prince Roy and Princess Joan.
- The first coins issued by Sealand’s treasury were issued in 1972, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of independence. The silver coins with a face value of $10 were produced in the US and carried an elegant effigy of Princess Joan.
- In August 1978, an attempt to overthrow the Princely family by a group of mercenaries hired by a financier in Germany fails after Prince Roy overtakes the mercenaries with the help of Sealand’s own defence force. The mercenaries who held Prince Michael hostage were placed under arrest. Prince Michael is liberated by his father and Sealand’s defense force.
- West Germany sends a diplomat to Sealand to negotiate the release of their nationals as well as the Dutch nationals who took part in the failed coup – thereby also extending de-facto recognition of Sealand’s Government.
- In 1999, Prince Roy officially appoints his son, Hereditary Prince Michael, as Prince Regent in order for him to act on behalf of the Princely and co-ruling couple in matters of state and for international business involving the Principality of Sealand.
- 2012 saw the death of Sealand’s first Sovereign Prince when Roy passed away on October 9, after a rule of 45 years. He was succeeded by the Prince Regent. A memorial coin struck in sterling silver was issued in his honor
- In 2016, Sovereign Princess Joan passed away on March 15 at the age of 86 and after a rule of nearly 49 years.
- 2017 – The Principality of Sealand celebrates its 50th year of independence and becomes the world’s oldest micro-nation. A new silver proof coin is issued to celebrate this milestone anniversary.