The ill-fated HMS Terror is showcased in more successful times on Pobjoy Mints latest silver 50 pence coin

Recently showcased with a star appearance on a fantastic TV mini-series, the last fateful voyage of the HMS Terror and the HMS Erebus was been brought back into popular discussion ever since the discovery of the wreck off the coast of Canada, and the publication of a fictional novel based around it. However, HMS Terror had already experienced a long career in the Royal Navy by the time she was lost, as both a warship (she was a ‘bomb ship’, built for naval bombardment of shore targets, like the War of 1812), and through several earlier voyages of exploration.

While lost on a vain attempt to force the North-West passage, she’d already sailed into the ice-cold seas at the other end of the Earth – Antarctica. Terror spent three seasons, from 1840-1843, along with HMS Erebus, traversing the Ross Sea and the Weddell Sea. A dormant volcano on Ross Island was named Mount Terror in her honour, with its companion peak named Mount Erebus for her sister ship. Under the command of James Clark Ross (beginning to see a naming pattern here…), the expedition was considered a success.

This is another of the popular heptagonal fifty-pence coins that both Pobjoy Mint and the Royal Mint have raised to great popularity. This 2021-dated Pobjoy coin is a sister release to the 2020 HMS Erebus coin released back in March, that one marking 220 years since the birth of Ross. Like that one, HMS Terror has a tiny mintage for a silver coin like this, just 175 pieces. A base-metal version is also available at a fraction of the price, and even that is capped at just 2,750 pieces.

Presented in one of those superb solid block display frames, this 8-gram sterling silver coin looks a top buy for those interested, like myuself, in the subject matter. Like many Pobjoy coins, the finished article is invariably much nicer than their less than optimal press images suggest and this one looks like it could be Terroriffic. Sorry. Available to order now, but will sell out fast.



Pobjoy Mint is pleased to announce the new release of the HMS Terror 50 pence coin on behalf of the British Antarctic Territory. This new coin is to commemorate the 180th Anniversary of the arrival of HMS Terror in Antarctica.

Constructed for the Royal Navy, and launched in 1813, HMS Terror was converted into a polar exploration ship in the mid-1830s. Her solid construction made her ideally suited for use in the dangerous sea ice that would crush other ships.

In 1839 HMS Terror was assigned to a voyage to the Antarctic with the HMS Erebus under the overall command of James Clark Ross. On 21st November 1840 they departed for Antarctica. In January 1841, the ship landed on Victoria Land, and they proceeded to name areas of the landscape named after British politicians, scientists and acquaintances. The dormant volcano Mount Terror on Ross Island was named after the ship by the expedition commander.

Below: The Battle of Copenhagen, where an earlier HMS Terror, also a bomb ship, fought.

DENOMINATION £0.50 UKP (B.A.T.) £0.50 UKP (B.A.T.)
COMPOSITION 0.925 silver Cupro-nickel
WEIGHT 8.0 grams 8.0 grams
DIMENSIONS 27.3 mm 27.3 mm
FINISH Proof Diamond
MINTAGE 175 2,750
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Blistercard