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HMS Astrea Featured on New Coin in British Virgin Islands Ship Series

HMS Astrea Featured on New Coin in British Virgin Islands Ship Series

  • Available as a shaped $1 coin produced in Virenium
  • Very low issue limit of 1,950

The Pobjoy Mint is thrilled to announce the third coin in our new series featuring ships connected to the British Virgin Islands.

The third coin in the collection features Royal Navy HMS Astrea, a 32-gun frigate of the British Royal Navy. The design on the coin shows a side profile of the ship sailing.

Originally named Pelican, the full rigged ship was launched in 1781, over 240 years ago, and is famously known for its participation in the American War of Independence and the Napoleonic Wars.

Astrea (or Astraea) was built at East Cowes, Isle of Wright. After having been rigged and fitted out she was commissioned in Portsmouth on October 1, 1781. A total of 220 men and officers made up her roster, and she was finally ready to do her duty in the Royal Navy.

Astrea had not been in commission long when she saw action for the first time. The American War of Independence was still lingering on and in its wake hostilities had broken out between Britain and the major powers on the continent. In December 1782, Astrea played a relatively minor role alongside a small British fleet in the fight and subsequent capture of the 40-gun American frigate South Carolina.

Her first real triumph didn’t happen until the 10th of April, 1795 when she captured the larger 42-gun French frigate La Glorie during the French war. At the time, Astrea was commanded by Captain Lord Henry Paulet and she carried a crew of 212 men, whereas La Glorie carried a crew of 280 men. The first gun was fired at sunset and only after a long and severe battle did the French frigate strike her colors just before midnight.

In 1796, Astrea was dispatched to the West Indies with a large convoy, where she eventually participated in the capture of St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Grenada from the French. Shortly thereafter the greater part of the British fleet was withdrawn altogether from this part of the world.

In 1808, commanded by Captain Edmund Heywood, Astrea escorted the mail packet ship Prince Earnest past the danger of Caribbean privateers. Heywood, thinking that Anegada was Puerto Rico, wrecked upon the deadly horseshoe reef on 23 March.

The coin is available in Virenium, a metal developed by Pobjoy Mint that is light gold in color.

This stunning coin will be presented in a Pobjoy Mint presentation pouch, with a special Collector’s Album to house all coins in this series. The obverse of the coin features an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II produced exclusively by Pobjoy Mint.


The Virenium $1 British Virgin Islands coin is offered in a capsule only. A special album and a presentation pop-in pack are available separately to house the coins.

Coin Specifications

Metal: Virenium Alloy
Diameter: 28.40 mm
Weight: 8.00 g
Issue Limit: 1,950

Get in Touch

We’d love to hear your feedback, comments, and suggestions. You can call our sales line Toll Free at 1-877-4Pobjoy (1-877-476-2569) or visit our website www.pobjoy.com.

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