We haven’t covered enough Pobjoy Mint coins recently, but it’s time we caught up a little. The fifth in the mints Antarctic Glaciers series debuted today, featuring a range of glaciers around Alexander Island, all of which are named after planets in our solar system, and, by association, some of the ancient gods. They were all first noted from the air in November1935 by Lincoln Ellsworth, and mapped from photos taken on the flight by W.L.G. Joerg. How amazing to see a sight this spectacular from the air, when so few ever managed to get into an aircraft at all? The glaciers were properly surveyed in 1949 by the Falkland Islands Dependencies
Survey (FIDS) and named by the United Kingdom Antarctic Place-Names
Committee (UK-APC). Although there is a mountain range called Planet Heights nearby, the glaciers are not part of it, but are named similarly regardless.
Each of the coins in this series is, appropriately enough, issued for the British Antarctic Territory, and struck in just 12 grams of fine silver, with the outer ring gilded on the edge and both faces, aping the look of the standard British £2 circulating coin. It helps explain the relatively affordable price of £56.25 (+VAT) each, especially when you take into account the exceptionally low mintage of just 175 pieces.
Each coin depicts a representation of the god, the planet named after them, and the glacier named after both. The artwork on each is largely limited to the central ungilded portion, which we feel is probably wise, as we often see designs ruined by passing over that heavily contrasting boundary. The gilded border holds small planetary privies, one for each issue in the series (Venus will be the last), along with the inscribed title and denomination. The official images aren’t great, but Pobjoy rarely disappoints. Check out our AgAuSHOOT of the mint’s Hippo, and Queen’s Beasts coin (also a £2 coin) for proof of that. Available now in this version, and in a cheaper base metal variant.