The last of the six new releases from the Pobjoy Mint to be covered in our week long series, we’re heading back to the South Atlantic island group of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. There’s more about the islands in our earlier post, but this coin marks the 30th anniversary of the islands receiving their Coat of Arms. Granted in 1985 when they stopped being a dependency of the Falkland Islands and became an entity in their own right, the islands are now officially a British Overseas Territory.

Most of us think of a Coat-of-Arms in medieval European terms, full of weapons, armour and wild animals. Most depict an idealistic desire to present an image of strength and power. The one for South Georgia is a different animal, belonging to the realistic school, and it’s a fine example of the type. When you think of the islands, obviously post-1982 before which everyone thought it was in Eastern Europe, you think of Antarctic conditions, penguins and whales etc. The arms incorporate much of this and offers a view that strengthens what little we all admit to knowing about the place. The penguin, seal and reindeer are archetypical polar environmental icons. The lion rampant on the shield shouts Britain, while the motto states firmly that it will remain so, no doubt a message felt necessary after the Argentine invasion and subsequent war just three years previously.

The coin is a straightforward affair and depicts the subject outright. Seems to work well and we’re glad they resisted the urge to cover the coin in ink by colouring it. Proof struck in one standard ounce of sterling silver, it sells for £58.29 plus tax, but a cupro-nickel version with an unlimited mintage is also available for £12.46 + tax.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Pobjoy Mint is delighted to announce the release of a new coin on behalf of South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands Government which celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Granting of the Coat of Arms.

The Coat of Arms of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands was granted in 1985, upon the creation of the territory. Prior to 1985, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands was a dependency of the Falkland Islands.

The Coat of Arms, which is depicted on the coin, consists of a shield containing a golden lion rampant holding a torch, representing the United Kingdom and discovery. The background of the shield consists of blue and white estoiles, from the arms of James Cook who discovered the islands. The supporters are a fur seal and a macaroni penguin, both of which are native to the Islands. The crest of the shield shows a reindeer, from the two herds found on South Georgia Island. The seal stands on a mountain, while the penguin stands on ice. The motto is Leo Terram Propriam Protegat which translates to “[Let the] Lion protect his own land” The obverse of the coin features an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS.

Available in Cupro Nickel and Proof Sterling Silver, each coin is detailed to perfection and struck four times to attain the highest quality ‘proof’ finish.

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
£2 UKP 0.925 SILVER 28.28 g 38.60 mm PROOF 10,000 YES / YES
BRITISH POBJOY MINT