The ships of The East India Company were commonly known as East Indiamen - a combination of trade ships, passenger carriers and men-of-war and the largest merchantmen in the British marine.
On 13 February 1601 The East India Company’s first fleet of four ships sailed from Woolwich, bound for the pepper producing islands of Java and Sumatra. It was to mark the beginning of a global trade.
A network of trading hubs or factories grew quickly in key locations such as Surat, Madras, Calcutta and Bombay and The Company soon started operating what became known as the ‘triangular trade’ - exchanging precious metals (gold and silver) for products such as textiles, made in India and selling these to the East India in exchange for spices.
The spices were then shipped to London where they commanded high prices making the original investments very lucrative with its shareholders making enormous profits.
These 250g coin bars feature an East India Man, sail billowing and heading East.