It’s a march of penguins on Pobjoy Mint’s coin
- Published: Apr 8, 2019, 6 AM
Emperor penguins are the tallest and heaviest of all penguins and thrive in extreme cold.
While other animals move toward the “warmer” parts of the Antarctic when winter begins in March, the emperor penguin marches 200 miles in the opposite direction, across pack ice, to breed in the coldest place on Earth.
These curious cold-loving creatures are now featured on a colorful titanium £2 coin for the British Antarctic Territory. A plain copper-nickel version with the same design is also available.
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The Pobjoy Mint struck both coins.
The Antarctic is the coldest place in the world. Temperatures there are known to have fallen below -80°C/-112°F.
Like all Antarctic penguins, the emperor has a thick layer of dense feathers which trap the air to keep the bird warm, acting like a thermal vest.
The penguin’s nesting sites may be many miles from the sea, and up to 25,000 birds make their way there. Females lay a single egg which both parents initially protect from the ice by resting it on their feet, carefully maneuvering the egg backward and forward. The female then returns to the sea to feed, leaving the male in charge.
During this time (115 days or so) the male eats nothing, relying on his reserves of blubber to keep him alive. Males huddle together, taking turns to stand in the middle of the huddle to try and survive the icy cold winds of up to 120 miles per hour. The female returns after the egg has hatched and manages to find her mate among the hundreds of fathers by his call. At this point, the fathers can leave to take their turn to feed at sea.
The reverse of the coin features a male and female emperor penguin with their newly born chick sitting on the feet of one of the adults. The obverse features the Pobjoy Mint effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.
Titanium reacts differently with every strike, so each titanium coin is technically different and varies slightly in color.
The copper-nickel coin weighs 28.28 grams and measures 38.6 millimeters in diameter. It has a mintage limit of 10,000 pieces and retails for $16.95.
The titanium coin weighs 10 grams and measures 36.1 millimeters in diameter. It has a mintage limit of 7,500 pieces and retails for $49.
Visit the Pobjoy?Mint’s website for details about the coin.
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