We’ve dropped a little behind with the issues of some mints which we’ll aim to rectify in the coming weeks and we’re going to start that process today. In this case, it’s the British Pobjoy Mint, who’ve seen quite a few new issues over the last four weeks or so. Based in Surrey in England, they’re Europes largest privately owned mint and the family can trace its association with minting back three centuries, although the current company traces its history back to 1965. Specialising in proof struck silver coins issued for island states like the Falkland Islands, the Isle of Man, the British Virgin Islands, and the subject of this coin, South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands.
Virtually unheard of in 1981, South Georgia leapt into the popular conciousness when it became the first island to be invaded by Argentina in its rapidly escalating conflict with Great Britain. Returned to Britain after their decisive victory in the short and bloody war, South Georgia and the Southern Sandwich Islands remain relatively well known. Currency, as you’d expect given their status as a British Dependancy, carries an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.
The reverse side of this coin depicts the absolutely magnificent Humpback Whale. A huge beast by any standards at 12-16m in length and up to 36 tonnes in weight, this baleen whale that’s related to the giant Blue Whale, swims the worlds oceans and for centuries was the target of commercial whalers. Having recovered in the most part and now listed as being of Least Concern, it really is a joy to see these creatures back in serious numbers. The design of the coin is more stylistic than realistic and looks all the better for it. Like most of the Pobjoy coins, they invariably look better in the hand than in their images. Available to order now, this standard ounce of sterling silver coin sells for £58.29 plus taxes, although a copper-nickel version is also available for £12.46+. The silver coin comes in a presentation box with a certificate of authenticity.