New titanium coins feature blue marlin, colossal squid

Pobjoy Mint’s prolific 2017 program of colorful titanium coins continues
By , Coin World
Published : 01/23/17
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The Pobjoy Mint’s prolific 2017 program of colorful titanium coins continues with releases for two island nations.

The 2017 royal blue titanium $5 coin issued on behalf of the British Virgin Islands Government features the blue marlin.

The blue titanium £2 coin for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands honors the colossal squid.

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The obverse of these coins carry an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II that is exclusive to the Pobjoy Mint. 

The reverse of each colorful coin depicts a scene celebrating the respective marine animal. 

The blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) is a species of marlin endemic to the Atlantic Ocean. 

It is one of the open ocean’s fastest and strongest predators and one of the most highly sought after game fishes, according to the Pobjoy Mint. The fish is able to swim close to the surface of the water or dive to great depths while it searches for food.

Known for its long bill that grows from the front of its head, the blue marlin uses this bill to stun its prey by slashing its head in a side-to-side motion, knocking potential prey unconscious, and making it easier to catch.

Reaching weights of at least 1,800 pounds and lengths of more than 16 feet, the blue marlin is one of the largest species of bony fishes. Blue marlins undergo an amazing transformation in size (from being nearly microscopic to being one of the largest open ocean predators), and thus eat a wide variety of prey throughout their lifetimes.

The size of their predators also increases as they grow, and the only predator for adult blue marlin are large ocean sharks.

The reverse of the blue titanium coin shows a blue marlin frolicking in the tropical waters.

Colossal squid facts

The colossal squid has long been a creature of a sailor’s nightmare, appearing in folklore throughout the ages, often synonymous with the Kraken. 

The squid is painted in legends as “a mighty beast notorious for dragging unwary men to their doom and emitting a foul stench that escapes from its lungs with each breath,” according to the Pobjoy Mint. “In reality the colossal squid or Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, is not as foul as the reputation that precedes it, but there is some truth to the legends.”

These squid are incredibly elusive and little known to science. They can reach an estimated 14 meters in length and weigh up to 750 kilograms but only a handful of juveniles have ever been formally recorded. A 5-meter specimen was caught on a longline off the coast of South Georgia at a depth of 1,625 meters and was so heavy that it couldn’t be brought aboard. The colossal squids also have the largest documented eye in the animal kingdom (and that was from an immature female) with a diameter of over 30 centimeters.

A colossal squid swims in the sea surrounded by an eddy of water on the reverse of the blue titanium coin. Part of the squid’s mantle appears above the water line.

Various versions of coins

Due to the difficulty of striking titanium coins and the fact that titanium reacts differently with every strike, each titanium blue marlin and colossal squid coin is technically different from all others. There is also a lined effect present on the coins that is unique to this metal. 

Uncirculated copper-nickel designs of both coins are also available, a $1 coin featuring the marlin and a £2 squid coin.

The copper-nickel coins weigh 28.28 grams and measure 38.6 millimeters in diameter.

The .990 fine titanium coins weigh 10 grams and measure 36.1 millimeters in diameter. 

The copper-nickel coins are shipped in a Pobjoy Mint blue presentation pouch. The titanium coins are shipped encapsulated in an acrylic capsule for protection and housed in a red box with a certificate of authenticity.

The copper-nickel coins retail for $16.95 each; the titanium coins are priced $59 each.

To learn more, or order the coins, visit the Pobjoy Mint website

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