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British Virgin Islands Gold
1976 British Virgin Islands Proof Gold $100
|Arawak Indians settled the British Virgin Islands around 100 BC,
migrating from the Orinoco Basin in South America. A peace loving tribe, they were hounded
out by the more aggressive Caribs, who arrived from South America in the mid-15th century.
It was only a few decades later that Columbus named the islands Las Vírgenes in a
somewhat obscure reference to St Ursula and her 11,000 virgins.
The Spanish settled only to mine copper on Virgin Gorda in the early 17th century. The Europeans were harassed by Caribs and by pirates who attacked galleons carrying riches back to Spain.
An assortment of colorful characters sailed through the surrounding waters, including pirates Henry Morgan, Sir John Hawkins and Blackbeard, and English sea dog Sir Francis Drake.
As Spain declined as a colonial power, ownership of the islands shifted about until the Dutch established a permanent settlement on Tortola in 1648. The English ousted the Dutch from Tortola in 1672, and from Anegada and Virgin Gorda in 1680. In 1917, the United States purchased the adjacent Danish West Indies (US Virgin Islands) as a strategic outpost in the Caribbean. In 1967, islanders were finally given the right to administer their own affairs.
The obverse features the Arnold Machin portrait of Queen Elizabeth II wearing the tiara given as a wedding present from her grandmother to Queen Mary
The reverse has Elizabeth's Royal Cipher atop a shield with VIGILATE in a ribbon at the base surmounted by 50th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION and the denomination ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS, the fineness , 900/100 FINE GOLD, is at the base