1989 Bermuda Gold Proof Coin Sets - Hogge Money
In 1989, the Royal Mint was commissioned by the Bermuda Monetary Authority to produce 500 four-coin gold Proof sets. These coins were produced to celebrate Bermuda's first coinage, known as Hogge Money.
Bermuda consists of a group of 150 or so islands some 570 miles off the coast of North Carolina. The islands were discovered in 1503 by a Spanish explorer, Juan de Bermudez, after whom they were named. The islands, however, remained uninhabited until a party of colonists led by Sir George Somers were shipwrecked there in 1609.
In 1615 King James I approved the Bermuda Company's request to produce its own coinage. Struck in brass or a similar alloy, the coins were minted solely for use in the Somer Islands, as Bermuda was then known. It is thought by some that these first coins may well have been struck at the Royal Mint, but as yet no firm evidence has been found to confirm this.
The obverse features a hog, from which the coins derive their name. The design expressed the colonist's thanks for having found on the islands, large quantities of Black Hog, which provided a welcome source of food.
The reverse carried a full rigged galleon which may or may not represent the Sea Venture, the wreck of which marooned the first settlers.
The use of the new coinage was short-lived. By 1624 the Hogge Money had virtually disappeared, being replaced in part by tobacco as a means of exchange.
The coins in this collection reproduce in stylised form the designs of the original Hogge Money.
The reverse of the 100 Dollar and 25 Dollar coins feature she Ship and the 50 Dollar and 10 Dollar coins the Hog, each designed by Royal Mint engraver Robert Elderton. The designs are circumscribed with the inscription BERMUDA MONETARY AUTHORITY with the denomination and the year 1989. The $50 shows a reproduction of a hogge money sixpence (VI), and the $10 a reproduction of the twopence (II).
The obverse bears the portrait by Raphael Maklouf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in profile.
These gold proof coins have been struck to the most exacting standards, ensuring that they are of the highest possible quality.
Any of the original hogge money is now rare and valuable in almost any condition. It is possible to buy one of these proof sets in perfect condition for less than a worn specimen of the original coins.
Somer or Sommer?
Most of the information above is taken from the certificate which accompanies the coins sets. It is interesting that the Royal Mint have chosen to speak about Sir George Somers, and Somer the Islands, whereas the inscription on the original coins reads "SOMMER ISLANDS", as can be seen from the reproduction of the original coins incorporated into the reverse designs of the gold proofs. A quick Google search found a consistent spelling of "Sommer" by Louis Jordan of University of Notre Dame, Indiana, other sites quoted "Sommer, Somer, Sommers and Summer"
but a look at the website of the Bermuda Monetary Authority found the spelling "Somer", and we also noticed something even more curious...
Which Designs on Which Coins?
The BMA (Bermuda Monetary Authority) show two images of the gold coins on their website, a $100 with a hogge money shilling (XII) reverse, and a $50 with a sailing ship reverse.
On the coins we have seen, the ship design is used on the $100 and $25 coins, while a hogge is used on the $50 and $10 coins. We guess that the images shown on the BMA's site were of pre-production designs, and were never actually produced. We have written to them, and will publish their comments here when we receive them. As it happens, we had been thinking that because the original coins are well known as hogge money, it would have made more sense to have had the hogge designs on the largest coin, and possibly also on the two smallest, and show three different hogge original denominations, making a total of four different designs on the four coins, instead of three designs.
Although we normally avoid using other people's images on our websites, we have reproduced the BMA images on this page to illustrate our point.
Observation Solves the Problem!
It's our own fault, we should have looked into the "which designs" problem before airing it her. The solution is obvious. There are two different sets, one dated 1989, the other dated 1990, and the designs are the opposite way around. We have left the above paragraph intact to allow an insight into our own thought processes, and as a reminder that we ought to spend a few more minutes in research before jumping to incorrect conclusions. Still it helps to make life more interesting, and now we can look forward to acquiring one of the 1990 sets, so we can add it onto its own new page.
Twenty Five Dollars||22.00||7.8100||.999||0.2509
Complete 4 Coin Set|| ||57.7600||.999||1.8553
Prices & Availability
Date||Description||Mintage||Issue £||Availability||Price £||Price $
Postage & Packing
UK Registered Post (Special Delivery) £9 per order
EU Insured Post £10 per order
USA Airmail $10 per order
USA Insured Shipping $20 per order
We make an active market in almost all world coins, gold or otherwise, including Bermudan gold coins. If you have any of these coins to sell, please contact us, or post them to us for appraisal and offer.
Other Bermuda Coins
For Bermuda coins in silver or base metal, or Bermuda coin sets other than gold, please look at the Bermuda Coins page of our original website.
Obverse of Bermuda Gold $100 of 1989
Proof Sets Index
Sailing Ship on Reverse of Bermuda Gold $100 of 1989
Hogge Money Sixpence Reverse of Bermuda Gold $50 of 1989