The South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands Government has released a Pobjoy Mint new coin that depicts a Weddell Seal pup. The species is native to Antarctica and lives further south than any other mammal.
The Weddell seal was discovered and named in the 1820s during expeditions led by James Weddell, the British sealing captain. The Weddell Seal is remarkable for its ability to survive the bitter Antarctic winters where they spend most of their time in the water to avoid blizzards with only their heads poking through breathing holes in the ice. They are docile and placid animals and can be approached easily.
The coin features a young Weddell Seal pup. These pups are said to be loved for their cute, cat-like whiskered faces and demeanour. The young seals have a grey coat for the first three to four weeks that later turns to a darker colour. When first born, the pups are around half the length of their mother and weigh about 55 to 65 pounds. However, these pups grow rapidly, gaining around 4.5 pounds per day.
The obverse of the coin features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley.
The coin is available to collectors in cupronickel and proof sterling silver version. Each precious metal has been struck four times to produce the Pobjoy proof finish with the seal pup contrasted in relief. Both versions measure 38.60 mm in diameter and weigh 28.28 grams.
The cupronickel coin has an unlimited mintage while the sterling silver piece is capped at 10,000. For more information on these and other coins from Pobjoy, visit its website at www.pobjoy.com.