World Coins

Lemon shark on titanium coin from Pobjoy Mint

A colorful yellow titanium coin from the British Virgin Islands and struck by the Pobjoy Mint highlights the lemon shark.

Coin images courtesy of the Pobjoy Mint.

The Pobjoy Mint has issued a lemon of a coin.

The coin is the latest colorful titanium issue from the private minter, and this edition celebrates the lemon shark or Negaprion brevirostris.

The lemon shark is a species of large and powerful shark often found in shallow subtropical waters. 

First named and described in 1868, lemon sharks are not thought to be a large threat to humans despite their often fierce look. The shark’s yellow coloring serves as camouflage when swimming over the sandy sea floor in its coastal habitat. Lemon sharks feed at night and their diet consists mainly of fish and some crustaceans.

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Lemon sharks draw attention because of their color but are basically loners, only sometimes forming small groups. 

They have been known to attack people rarely, apparently out of fear and not aggression. Only 22 lemon shark attacks on humans have been reported in history, according to the Pobjoy Mint, and each time the person survived.

The sharks have a magnetic sensor in their nose that allows them to both attract prey and find other sharks to mate with. They depend on this sense because they have very poor eyesight. 

Without the extra sensor they would have a very hard time surviving.

The lemon shark appears on the reverse of the new yellow titanium $5 coin from the British Virgin Islands. A special effigy of Queen Elizabeth II appears on the obverse of the coin.

Titanium is exceptionally difficult to strike. Because of the way the colored titanium reacts when struck, no two titanium coins are exactly the same. 

In addition, titanium coins exhibit a lined effect that is unique to titanium, according to the Pobjoy Mint. 

In addition to the titanium version, the Pobjoy Mint has issued Brilliant Uncirculated copper-nickel $1 and Proof .925 fine silver $10 examples sharing the same basic design. However, these coins lack the color and the denominations differ according to  the metallic content of the individual coin.

The colorful version weighs 10 grams and measures 36.1 millimeters in diameter. It has a mintage limit of 5,000 pieces and retails for $69.

The BU and Proof versions each weigh 28.28 grams and measure 38.6 millimeters in diameter. The $1 coin has an unlimited mintage and retails for $16.95. The $10 coin is limited to a mintage of 10,000 pieces and retails for $65.

For more information or to order the Lemon Shark coins, visit the Pobjoy Mint website

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