The Southern right whale is the latest subject of the Pobjoy Mint’s
series of coins depicting wildlife.
The new copper-nickel and silver £2 coins are issued in the name of
the British Antarctic Territory, since the whales inhabit the oceans
surrounding the island.
The Southern right whale or Eubalaena Australis spends the summer in
the far Southern Ocean in proximity to Antarctica where it feeds.
In winter the species migrates north, but some have been known to
spend their winter in Sub-Antarctic regions. The total population of
the species is estimated to be around 10,000 individuals.
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Also in our last weekly issue of the month, John Kraljevich Jr.
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These whales grow to become very large in size — an adult female
can measure up to 17 meters in length. They are distinguishable from
other whale groups by their broad backs with no dorsal fins, their
long, arching mouths, and the callouses on their heads.
The Southern right whale forms very strong maternal and family
bonds; they follow patterned migration routes and return to birthing
spots. They are also very inquisitive at the surface and often
approach and investigate boats. One particularly interesting behavior,
which is unique to these whales, is known as “tail sailing” where they
elevate their tails from the water and curve them to catch the wind.
They then remain in these vertical positions for extended periods of
time, apparently just playing.
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The obverse features the exclusive Pobjoy Mint effigy of Queen
The reverse depicts a single whale in the ocean with an iceberg or
land mass in the background.
Both coins weigh 28.28 grams and measure 38.6 millimeters in diameter.
The copper-nickel version has a mintage limit of 10,000 pieces and
retails for $16.95.
The silver version is limited to a mintage of 2,000 pieces and
retails for $65.
To order, visit the Pobjoy Mint website.