The gentoo penguin is featured on the second coin in the 2020 50-penny Penguin Series for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands from the Pobjoy Mint. The coin’s release follows the recent release of the series’ first issue, featuring the chinstrap penguin.
Two versions are issued. The copper-nickel Diamond Finish colorized coin is available, along with a special collector’s album (a separate purchase). The Proof .925 fine silver version was sold out upon release.
Pobjoy’s penguin program began in 2017, with four coins released each year for the Falkland Islands (2017 and 2018) and the British Antarctica Territories (2019).
South Georgia is located to the east of the Falklands. The islands are breeding grounds for many penguin species. As the most common bird found in the region, the penguin is often considered to be the emblem of Antarctica.
Gentoo penguins are noted for their colorful appearance against the stark background that prevailing weather conditions create. Their flamboyant red-orange beaks, white-feather caps and peach-colored feet provide colorful contrast. They can reach a height of 30 inches and a weight of 12 pounds and have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years.
The reverse of the coins features a single stationary gentoo penguin, standing on ice and the obverse features the Pobjoy Mint’s exclusive effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.
Both versions of the coin weigh 8 grams and have a heptagon shape with a diameter of 27.3 millimeters. The copper-nickel coin has a mintage limit of 2,500 pieces. The coins retail for US$ 14.95 each and the collector’s album, which gives important facts and information about penguins, is US$7.