World Coins

Falkland Islands’ four-coin penguin series complete

More than 1 million penguins call the Falkland Islands home.

The final of four coins from the Falkland Islands in a 2017 program honoring these aquatic birds is now available from the Pobjoy Mint.

The Magellanic penguin is the fourth subject of the four-coin Indigenous Penguins set, showing the birds in color on 50-pence pieces.

The reverse of the new coin features an adult Magellanic penguin swimming out to sea with its head breaking the surface.

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The obverse features the exclusive Pobjoy Mint effigy design of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Magellanic penguin, or Spheniscus magellanicus, named after Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, is a penguin indigenous to the Falkland Islands, where individuals nest in dense flocks.

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In appearance, they are similar to a Humboldt penguin, with black bodies, white abdomens and with two black bands between the head and the chest. Their heads are black with a white stripe running across their eyebrows. In the wild, these penguins can live to around 25 years.

Magellanic penguins are monogamous, remaining faithful to one partner throughout their life. Similarly to other penguins, Magellanic penguins take turns with their mates to incubate their eggs while the other swims out to sea to feed.

As fish populations have become further and further from penguin nesting grounds, partners are starving before they can reunite. This, in addition to other environmental issues such as oil spills, has resulted in a decline of about 20 percent in 20 years within some colonies and these penguins are now considered “near threatened.”

The Magellanic Penguin coin weighs 8 grams and measures 27.30 millimeters in diameter. It has a mintage limit of 7,500 pieces and retails for $11.95.

A colorful folder that can hold all four coins in the series is available for $7.  

To order the coins, or for more information, visit the Pobjoy Mint website.


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