The Vasco da Gama 2 oz Silver Coin marks the third release in the Journeys of Discovery Coin Collection by New Zealand Mint. This exciting collection celebrates exploration and discovery of the unknown.
Vasco Da Gama was a Portuguese explorer who was the first man to sail from Europe to India, indirectly making the longest ocean voyage of its time.
Born in 1460 in Sines, Portugal, little is known of da Gama’s early life. Despite coming from a noble family, his first love was the sea. Known as a tough and fearless navigator, in 1497 da Gama was appointed to command a Portuguese expedition to find a new maritime route to Asia.
On 7 July Vasco da Gama set sail, taking advantage of prevailing winds by sailing south down the coast of Africa before rounding the Cape of Good Hope. Sailing up the Eastern coast of Africa, da Gama reached the coast of India at Calicut (now Kozhikoda) in May of 1498. His success in this was to mark a key moment in the history of navigation.
Da Gama had accomplished his mission, opening a trade route with the East by sea. Upon his return to Portugal in 1499 the King immediately dispatched a second expedition to secure a trading post at Calicut.
Reaching India by sea helped the Portuguese Empire gain a monopoly on many products, some of which were new to Europe. This was to last for much of the following century. Da Gama's discovery opened the way for an age of global imperialism, and established a long-lasting Portuguese colonial empire in Asia. His travels have gone down in history as a milestone which marks the start of global multiculturalism.
The Vasco da Gama 2 oz Silver Coin antique-finished, fully engraved and high-relief 2 oz silver coin captures the exciting moment of Vasco da Gama landing in Calicut, India for the first time on May 20, 1498. Check out the coin in more detail here.