The Government of the British Antarctic Territory has issued (29th October) a new coin marking the 100th anniversary of the of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, also known as the Endurance Expedition.
Conceived by Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874 – 1922), the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition attempted to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent and is considered to be the last major expedition of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Shackleton’s plan was to sail his ship, Endurance, to the Weddell Sea and land a shore party near Vahsel Bay. From there, he and his team would attempt a transcontinental march through the South Pole to the Ross Sea.
After setting sail in 1914, the Endurance became beset in the ice of the Weddell Sea. Despite all efforts to free it, the ship drifted northward, and was held in the pack ice throughout the Antarctic winter of 1915. The ship was eventually crushed by the ice drifts and sank, stranding the crew on the ice itself.
After spending months in makeshift camps, the crew used lifeboats to reach the uninhabited Elephant Island. Shackleton and five other crew members then made an open boat journey of 800 miles to South Georgia, where they were able to mount a rescue of the remaining men and bring them home– remarkably, without loss of life.
The new coin is produced by the Pobjoy Mint, UK, on behalf of the Government of the British Antarctic Territory. The reverse side shows the Endurance stuck in the Antarctic ice, with a portrait of Sir Ernest Shackleton carved into the iceberg in the foreground. The obverse carries an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley.
|2 Pounds||Cupro-nickel||28 grams||38.6 mm.||BU||unlimited|
|2 Pounds||.925 silver||28 grams||38.6 mm.||Proof||10,000 pieces|
The coin is available in cupro nickel (BU) and sterling silver (Proof) with each precious metal coin carefully struck four times, featuring high relief sculpting against a mirror brilliant background.
For more information on these and other coins offered by the British Antarctic Territory, please visit the Web site of the Pobjoy Mint. Information is offered in English, with international orders dispatched where applicable.