Pobjoy Mint strikes coin honoring Antarctic ice shelf
- Published: Jun 19, 2017, 6 AM
The Pobjoy Mint’s latest coin issue for the British Antarctic Territory celebrates a cause of importance to the continent, the disappearing ice shelf.
“To highlight the effect of global warming on the Antarctic this coin features an image of the Larsen B Ice Shelf which has a hologram effect struck onto the coin,” according to the Pobjoy Mint.
The Proof .925 fine sterling silver coin is denominated £2.
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The hologram represents the part of the ice shelf that collapsed 15 years ago, which retreats as you tilt the coin. The rim of the reverse of this coin has been designed with a cracked ice effect that ties together the theme of the coin.
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The Larsen Ice Shelf is a long, fringing ice shelf consisting of three sectors situated in the northwest Weddell Sea and extending along the Antarctic Peninsula.
From Jan. 31, 2002, to March 2002, the Larsen B Sector of the shelf partially collapsed, and 3,250 square kilometers of ice, 220 meters thick, slipped into the sea over the course of a week.
A study conducted by NASA in 2015 concluded that at the remaining part of the Larsen B sector will collapse by 2020. That follows the collapse of the Larsen A ice shelf in 1995, and experts predict that Larsen C could also disintegrate soon.
Larsen C is the fourth largest ice shelf in Antarctica, and a rift in the shelf that formed in 2016 now measures more than 130 square kilometers, with a width of 91 meters and depth of 500 meters.
The collapse of this shelf seems a certainty for 2017, and when it does it will form one of the largest icebergs ever recorded with an area of around 5,000 square kilometers.
The coin has a low mintage of 2,002 pieces, representing the year of the Larsen B Sector collapse.
The coin weighs 28.28 grams and measures 38.6 millimeters in diameter.
It has a retail price of $75 and is available from the Pobjoy Mint website.
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