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92/1279 Commemorative medal, sinking of the SMS Emden (1914), minted from Eight Reales coin, silver, minted by Casa de Moneda de Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico, 1878, reminted by W. Kerr, Sydney, New South Wales, issued by Department of Defence, Australia, 1918. Click to enlarge.

SMS Emden commemorative medal minted from Eight Reales coin

Made
Commemorative medal, sinking of the German S.M.S. Emden by the HMAS Sydney, off the Cocos Islands, on November 9, 1914. Silver 1878 Mexican dollar (8 reales) converted into a medal on authority of the Defence Department by Sydney jeweller W. Kerr and issued in 1918. Obverse: eagle on cactus holding snake surrounded by issuing country. Reverse: Radiant Liberty cap surrounded by denomination, mint and year. Dollar is surmounted by the King's crown, ribbons with inscription, and a suspension loop …

Summary

Object No.

92/1279

Object Statement

Commemorative medal, sinking of the SMS Emden (1914), minted from Eight Reales coin, silver, minted by Casa de Moneda de Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico, 1878, reminted by W. Kerr, Sydney, New South Wales, issued by Department of Defence, Australia, 1918

Physical Description

Commemorative medal, sinking of the German S.M.S. Emden by the HMAS Sydney, off the Cocos Islands, on November 9, 1914. Silver 1878 Mexican dollar (8 reales) converted into a medal on authority of the Defence Department by Sydney jeweller W. Kerr and issued in 1918. Obverse: eagle on cactus holding snake surrounded by issuing country. Reverse: Radiant Liberty cap surrounded by denomination, mint and year. Dollar is surmounted by the King's crown, ribbons with inscription, and a suspension loop with ring at the top.

Marks

Issuing country on obverse "REPUBLICA MEXICANA", surmounted by the ribbons with details of the naval action "NOV 9 1914/ HMAS SYDNEY SMS EMDEN". Manufacturer on reverse of ribbons "W. KERR/ SYDNEY", denomination, mint, date, assayer's initials on reverse of coin around perimeter "8 R." (8 reales), "Go." (Guanajuato mint), "1878." "F.R." (Faustino Ramirez 1870-8), "10Ds. 20Gs."

Dimensions

Height

2 mm

Production

Notes

W. Kerr, Watchmaker & Jeweller of Sydney, converted the mexican dollars seized from the Emden in 1914 for the Australian Navy Board.

The Emden medals were not issued until 1918.

History

Notes

The contents of the German raider S.M.S. Emden's treasury consisting of Mexican dollars were seized by the HMAS Sydney as prize money. Of the original 6,429 dollars, the Australian Navy Board had 1,000 mounted as medals, 996 distributed to the crew of the Sydney, to admiralty, distinguished persons, libraries, museums, historical societies, etc. both in England and Australia, and the remaining 4,433 melted down at the Sydney Mint and the proceeds of œ1,070 donated to the Royal Australian Navy Relief Fund.

Source

Credit Line

E A & V I Crome Collection, 1992

Acquisition Date

12 September 1992

Cite this Object

Harvard

SMS Emden commemorative medal minted from Eight Reales coin 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 4 February 2023, <https://ma.as/120194>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/120194 |title=SMS Emden commemorative medal minted from Eight Reales coin |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=4 February 2023 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.