|Country||Antigua and Barbuda|
Elizabeth II (1952-date)
2 XCD = 0.74 USD
|Orientation||Medal alignment ↑↑|
Series: Eastern Caribbean 8
Displays an image of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, along with the weight and purity below.
EASTERN CARIBBEAN CENTRAL BANK
1 OZ .999 SILVER
QUEEN ELIZABETH II
Pirate observing a ship being loaded.
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA
The relationship between Rum and the Caribbean can be traced back to 1493 when Columbus first visited Antigua. Keen on the tropical climate and virgin soil, he decided it was the perfect place to offload his cargo of sugar cane trimmings from the Canary Islands. For nearly 150 years locals cultivated the plant for molasses, honey, and sugarcane juice. In 1632 the English colonized Antigua and Barbuda and brought with them their fermentation and distillation abilities – dramatically altering the intended use of the sugar cane plant.
Like any frontier, alcohol had to be imported and was expensive as a result. The invention of rum and the subsequent demand for this cheaper and abundant libation turned sugar cane into the island’s staple crop nearly overnight. Rum became so profitable that other cash crops like tobacco, indigo, and ginger were replaced with sugar; the new economic backbone of the islands.
The first large sugar estate was established in 1674, and competition for rum sales – as well as the security that armed ships provided - quickly heated up. The Caribbean island governors concocted a plan to offer discount pricing on rum to the Royal Navy in hopes of gaining protection from the pirates of the Caribbean. As it were, pirates were making a killing – literally and figuratively – by capturing the prized cargo of lesser vessels and running the spoils (rum) to the heavily taxed colonies in North America and West Indies.
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