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Sealand Founder Gets Memorial Coin
By World Coin News
August 19, 2013

This article was originally printed in World Coin News.
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The Treasury of the Principality of Sealand, a man-made territory and self-proclaimed principality located in the North Sea, launched Aug. 2 a commemorative memorial coin that pays tribute to the founder and first sovereign prince who died on Oct. 9, 2012, at the age of 91.

Sealand is a micro-nation that lies six miles off the southeast coast of the United Kingdom. Its founder, Prince Roy, was born Paddy Roy Bates in 1921 in the U.K. and came to worldwide prominence in 1967. The former British Army major and adventurer claimed as his own territory a World War II era disused platform and defense tower in international waters. The platform was declared sovereign territory and Bates proclaimed himself and his wife, Joan Bates, joint sovereign rulers on Sept. 2, his wife’s birthday.

Prince Roy was succeeded by his only son, the prince regent – now Sovereign Prince Michael who heads the principality along with his mother, Sovereign Princess Joan, who continues to retain her rank and title as co-ruler.

The crown-size coin is the first such issue authorized by the treasury since 1977. It is designed by Michael Alexander and struck to proof quality at a private mint facility in Birmingham, England.

The obverse design features a detailed portrait of Prince Roy facing left and is based on a photograph taken by Alexander on the occasion of the Principality’s 35th anniversary of independence. The designer’s initials, “MAA,” are in the lower right of the portrait. The text included around the portrait reads, “ROY SOVEREIGN PRINCE OF SEALAND 1967 – 2012 E MARE LIBERTAS” (Sea of Independence), the Principality’s official motto.

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The reverse depicts the princely or national coat of arms along with text above the crest that reads “PRINCIPALITY OF SEALAND” as well as the coin’s denomination “25 DOLLARS” just under the issuing authority. The text below the crest reads “IN MEMORIUM 1921 – 2012” The designer’s initials are placed beside the crest to the right.

The 25-dollar proof coin is composed of .925 silver. It weighs 28 grams and measures 38.6 mm in diameter. It’s mintage is limited to 300 pieces.

The coins are individually numbered 001 to 300 and hallmarked using state of the art laser technology. This is placed on a smoothed portion of the coin’s reeded edge. Each coin is housed in a custom embossed presentation box with a numbered certificate of authenticity corresponding to the coin’s actual number. It is being sold directly by Sealand’s treasury.

A .900 fine gold version is also being planned. With a face value of $250, it weighs 6 grams and measures 21 mm in diameter. It will be made available to interested collectors on a reserve-only basis (at a later date) that will reflect the final mintage.

For more information on either coin, visit

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