The Pobjoy Mint’s colorful titanium coin series continues, with a
blue 2018 £2 piece issued for the British Antarctic Territory.
The reverse design features the small seabird known as a blue petrel
diving into the Antarctic Ocean to catch fish. Another two blue
petrels ready to join the feast also appear.
Exploring the source of a valuable hoard from
the American Gold Rush era reveals almost endless
possibilities. Also in this issue, what is a ‘full
torch’ designation as it relates to coins?
The blue petrel (Halobaena caerulea) is a small seabird that
inhabits southern oceans. They reach about 200 grams in weight and a
length of 30 centimeters. They have a white underside and face, with a
blueish gray topside. Blue petrels have an extraordinary ability to
produce a foul smelling oil which is stored in a special section of
their stomach called the proventriculus; they access and feed on this
oil during long flights. The blue petrel feeds primarily on krill but
also eats other crustaceans, fish and squid.
They catch their prey by diving into the water and can reach depths
of up to six meters, but can also be found sitting on the surface and
dip diving. The blue petrel is a pelagic bird which means that they
live at sea.
The only time they visit the shore is when they breed, and during
this time the birds live in burrows in large colonies. They lay one
egg that takes about 50 days to hatch, and after a further 55 days,
the hatchling fledges.
The blue petrel design is available in copper-nickel and titanium versions.
Titanium reacts differently with every strike, so each Blue Petrel
titanium coin is technically different and varies slightly in color. A
lined effect unique to titanium is also on the coins.
The obverse features Pobjoy’s exclusive effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.
The titanium coin weighs 10 grams, measures 36.1 millimeters in
diameter and has a mintage limit of 7,500 pieces. It retails for $59.
The copper-nickel version weighs 28.28 grams, measures 38.6
millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 10,000 pieces. It
retails for $16.95.
Visit the Pobjoy Mint website for more details.
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