The Pobjoy Mint has launched (February 3) its latest coin series for 2016 on behalf of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands. The new set of coins highlights the extraordinary ocean creatures rarely encountered due to their extremely low proximity to the surface of the earth.
All of the planet’s oceans are divided into various layers, or “zones,” for purposes of defining ocean life for scientific study. These zones extend from the surface down to the most extreme depths where light can no longer penetrate.
The first zone in this extraordinary world of underwater wonder is known as the Epipelagic zone, more commonly known as the Daylight zone. This layer extends from the surface to 200 meters (656 feet) in depth, and is so named because it receives enough sunlight to support photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants, bacteria, and protists use energy from sunlight to produce glucose from carbon dioxide and water. This process also produces significant amounts of food for the wildlife living in this layer and contributes greatly to the ocean’s overall food chain.
Below the Daylight zone is the Mesopelagic or Twilight zone, which is measured from 200 meters (656 feet) to 1,000 meters (3,281 feet). Since this level only has a limited amount of light, the wildlife commonly reflects these circumstances by exhibiting bioluminescence, meaning they have developed the ability to use chemicals within their bodies to produce their own light.
The next zone is the Bathypelagic or Midnight zone, which makes up 90% of the ocean and measures from 1,000 meters (3,281 feet) to 4,000 meters (13,124 feet) in depth. At these low depths, no light penetrates its boundaries. The only visible light produced in this zone is created by the astonishing and unique sea creatures themselves.
The water pressure at this depth is immense and can reach 5,850 pounds per square inch. In spite of the pressure, a surprisingly large number of creatures can be found here. Amazingly, sperm whales can dive down to this level in search of food. Oceanographers have discovered that most of the animals that live at these depths are either black or red in color due to the lack of light.
The coins, which are offered in titanium, cupro nickel, and sterling silver, are produced by the Pobjoy Mint UK on behalf of the Treasury of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. Since the range of animals amongst the three zones is diverse and, especially in the lower zones, quite unusual, the designs of the three coins in this series feature creatures living in different zones.
Daylight Zone: Features a dolphin breaking the surface of the water with a Cod Icefish, while a Patagonian Toothfish and some Krill swim below.
Twilight Zone: Includes images of a Barreleye fish, a Comb Jelly, a Lantern fish, and a Snipe Eel.
Midnight Zone: Features an Angler fish, a Jellyfish, a Spookfish, and a Vampire Squid.
As an added feature to this set, each titanium coin has been produced in a different shade of blue, representing the Daylight zone in turquoise, the Twilight zone in ocean blue, and the Midnight zone in dark blue. The obverse of each coin carries an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II that is exclusive to the Pobjoy Mint.
|2 Pounds X 3||titanium||10 grams||38.1 mm.||BU||5000 pieces|
|2 Pounds X 3||Cupro-nickel||28 grams||38.6 mm.||BU||unlimited|
|2 Pounds X 3||.925 Silver||28 grams||38.6 mm.||Proof||10,000 pieces|
Titanium is exceptionally difficult to strike; because of the way the metal reacts to this process, no titanium coin is exactly the same. There is also a lined patterned effect that is present on the coins that is unique to this metal. The coins are also available in Brilliant Uncirculated, cupro nickel, and Proof sterling silver, all of which share the same denomination of two pounds. Each precious metal coin is struck four times to produce a pristine Proof finish. The Cupro Nickel coins are presented and packaged in a branded blue presentation pouch.
The titanium and silver versions are available separately or as a three-coin set. 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 this and other coins issued by the Pobjoy Mint, please visit the Mint’s Web site. International orders will be dispatched where applicable.