The Pobjoy Mint has launched (22nd February) its latest crown coin for 2016 on behalf of the South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands. The coin continues the ongoing Marine Life Series and highlights the minke whale, an oceanic mammal indigenous to the territory.
The Minke Whale, or balaenoptera acutorostrata, is the smallest and most abundant of the rorqual whales. They have a sharply pointed snout, straight mouth line, and a long ridge along the head. Minke whales appear to be mainly solitary and are relatively fast swimmers. These whales can stay underwater for as long as 20 minutes, and their snout appears first when surfacing to breathe.
The body of a minke whale is generally slender and very streamlined; females are usually longer than males. The head is narrow and pointed, and their small dorsal fin is usually strongly falcate (curved), which is a unique feature used to identify individual animals in the Hebrides. The dorsal fin and back are dark grey or black, the belly is bright white, and there is a distinctive white band on the upper side of each pectoral (side) fin.
The gestation period for minke whales is 10 months, slightly longer than that of humans. Calving is thought to occur every two years, with breeding peaking during the summer months. At birth, calves can measure from 7.9 to 9.2 feet in length (2.4 to 2.8 meters), with newborn minkes nursing for five to 10 months. Their lifespan is estimated at around 40 to 50 years, though in some cases they can live for up to 60 years. Currently, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists and categorizes the minke species as “least concern,” and they do not qualify as threatened or near threatened.
The coins are produced by the Pobjoy Mint UK on behalf of the South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands. The reverse design features a minke whale swimming beneath the surface of the ocean with icebergs floating above. The obverse of each coin carries a recently introduced effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, exclusive to the Pobjoy Mint.
|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 coins are available in Uncirculated cupro nickel and Proof sterling silver. Both coins carry a denomination of two pounds. Each precious metal coin is struck four times to produce a pristine Proof finish. The cupro nickel coin is packaged in a branded blue presentation pouch. The silver versions are available separately; they come encapsulated in an acrylic capsule for protection and are housed in a custom red box accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
For more information on these and other coins issued by the Pobjoy Mint, please visit their Web site. International orders will be dispatched where applicable.