Spencer Collection Bermuda Gold "Hogge" Proof Set
About This Set: The Bermuda Islands were named after Juan de Bermúdez, who first landed there in 1505. Little did Bermúdez realize this discovery would later save his life. In 1532, while on his way to Cuba, Bermúdez was shipwrecked near these islands and, because of his knowledge of the area, he was able to safely make it to shore. The story goes that on this second voyage he had several live hogs as cargo, some of whom were saved and over time proliferated throughout the islands. Almost a century later, in 1609, an English ship (the Sea Adventurer) during a hurricane, became separated from the small fleet it sailed with, and ended up in the Bermuda Islands. The British promptly claimed the islands as a British Colony. The British inhabitants used tobacco as a form of currency, weighing out amounts for payment, until James I granted permission for the colony to mint their own coins. Did you guess? The obverse of the minted coins had a feral pig as its primary design. Now jump forward to 1989 and 1990. The independent Bermuda asks the British Mint to coin proof sets in gold, commemorating the rich history of the Islands' "Hogge" money. The 1989 set has four coins, two of which have the feral pig on the reverse, and two of which have the English ship, most likely the Sea Adventurer, on the reverse. The Queen's portrait is on the obverse. In 1990, another four coin set is produced, with the same designs, only the feral pigs and ship are on the opposite denominations found on the 1989 set. The coins are blazing mirror proofs and are gorgeous. In order to make the sets more collectible, only 500 sets for each year were produced, and the sets have become difficult to obtain.