Pobjoy Mint remembers the Falklands War with a new reverse-proof Britannia bullion coin

It was thirty five years ago that Argentina landed forces on South Georgia and then shortly after, the Falkland Islands. Both British Overseas Territorries, the Argentine government believed that Britain would not, or could not retake them. Ruled by a military junta, Argentina was rife with domestic problems and the invasion was also seen as a way to distract the increasingly disgruntled population. They were wrong on all counts.

The invasion took place on 2 April 1982. Just three days later, a Task Force that eventually numbered over 120 vessels set sail for the islands. The conflict lasted 74 days and eventually led to the complete unconditional surrender of the Argentine forces on 14 June 1982. Losses on both sides during the air-land-sea conflict totalled 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel, and 3 Falkland Islanders. It marked the only time that a nuclear submarine had sunk a surface warship, when HMS Conqueror sank the light cruiser General Belgrano. It also led to the demise of General Galtieri’s military government. The islands remain a bone of contention between the two countries, but are firmly under British influence now.

The coin is another of Pobjoy’s limited run reverse-proof silver bullion coins, much like the Pegasus and JFK coins, amongst others. This one combines a popular Pobjoy theme with one of the client countries they issue for. The Falkland Islands Britannia is issued for the invaded state and depicts an icon that is as British as Walking Liberty is American – Britannia. Wearing the traditional headgear and robe, carrying the trident and with stormy waves in the background, it’s a classic depiction and potentially a fine one (the release images are pretty poor). We look forward to seeing the finished item.

The obverse has Pobjoy’s own effigy of Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by a border holding the issuer and date inscriptions. The denomination and composition are inscribed on the reverse face, along with the classic patriotic text ‘BRITANNIA RULES THE WAVES’. Struck in an ounce of fine 0.999 silver, the reverse-proof style coin has a mintage limited to 50,000 pieces. Individual coins are supplied in a heat-sealed pack, although we suspect that some dealers will put them in capsules. They should be available from tomorrow.

2017 FALKLANDS BRITANNIA REVERSE-PROOF SILVER COIN

MINTS DESCRIPTION

To commemorate the 35th Anniversary of the Falklands Liberation, Pobjoy Mint has produced a New Britannia Bullion 1 crown coin in honour of the soldiers that gave their lives for the sovereignty of their country. The reverse of the coin features the Britannia, the female personification of the British Isles who is seen as a symbol of British unity, liberty and strength, is shown in the foreground holding a trident. The waves of the sea are shown in the background.

We are confident that this coin, released in honour of such a significant event, with be popular with our collectors. The denomination of the coin is a ‘1 Crown’. The obverse features the Pobjoy Effigy which captures Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in high detail.

The patriotic British song ‘Rule, Britannia!’ originated from a poem written by James Thomson of the same name and was set to music in 1740 by Thomas Arne. The song has always been strongly associated with the Royal Navy hence the association with the Falklands Liberation due the important part they played in the conflict. Britannia is a particularly strong British national emblem and the words from the song “Britannia Rules the Waves” are particularly resonating in relation to the Falklands Liberation.

The long running dispute between Britain and Argentina over the ownership of the Falkland Islands was brought to a head on the 19th March 1982 when 50 Argentines landed on South Georgia Island and hoisted their flag. Under the order of Galtieri, President of Argentina, the invasion of the Falkland Islands was declared on 2nd April which triggered the start of the War.

Britannia was actually the Latin name given to Great Britain in 43AD when it was occupied by the Romans. She was then personified and turned into a goddess who’s original bare breasted, spear wielding figure has appeared on coins from the 2nd Century until the modern day.

SPECIFICATION

NAME 2017 FALKLANDS BRITANNIA
DENOMINATION 1 Crown
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.103 grams
DIAMETER 38.60 mm
FINISH Reverse-proof
MODIFICATIONS None
MINTAGE 50,000
BOX / COA No / No
BRITISH POBJOY MINT