7 ½ Dollars

Bicentenary of Cook's Discovery of the Hervey Islands


7½ Dollars, 1973-74
200th Anniversary of James Cook’s Discovery of the Cook Islands

The reverse depicts the British navigator James Cook, HMS Resolution, and a map of the atoll Manuae which he discovered in 1773. Resolution was Cook’s flagship on his second and third circumnavigations of the world (1772-1775 and 1776-1779). On his second circumnavigation, which lasted three years and 18 days, only four of Resolution’s crew died, of which only one of disease. This reflects the strict regimen for cleaning and airing the ship, and the diet, which Cook instituted to prevent scurvy, following the high fatality rate, 43% of the crew, on his first circumnavigation voyage. Manuae is made up of two islets—Manuae on the west side of a lagoon and Te Au O ­Tu on the east side. Cook attempted no landing on the islets. He named them Hervey Islands, for Lord Hervey who was a Lord of the Admiralty. This name was applied to the entire Southern Group of the Cook Islands until Admiral Ivan Fyodorovich Krusenstern first used the name Cook Islands, in honor of the great explorer, in his atlas of the Pacific Ocean that was published in 1823-1826 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The reverse legend is BICENTENARY – COOK’S DISCOVERY OF HERVEY ISLANDS. Also inscribed is the date of Cook’s discovery of Manuae, 23 September 1773, and the latitude and longitude coordinates of the island, 19º 20′ S. and 155º 55′ W.

The obverse depicts Queen Elizabeth II