Pobjoy Mint released new coins for Ascension Island and South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands. The Ascension Island coin features a queen triggerfish, while the South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands coin depicts a macaroni penguin. Both these animals are commonly found in the South Atlantic.
Titanium and copper-nickel versions are available in Proof and Uncirculated finishes. £2 Macaroni Penguin titanium coins are light blue in colour while the 1-crown Queen Triggerfish titanium coins are purple in colour. Since Ascension Island is under Saint Helena, the queen triggerfish coin bears the denomination St. Helena crowns. The Macaroni Penguin titanium coins have a mintage limit of 10,000 pieces, while the Queen Triggerfish titanium coins have a mintage limit of 7,500. The obverse side of both coins features an exclusive Pobjoy Mint portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Orders can be placed from 1st April onwards. Titanium coins can be purchased for $47.50 each, while the copper-nickel Uncirculated coins can be bought for $14.95 each.
The macaroni penguins are generally found north of Antarctica and at the end of the Antarctic Peninsula. The bird got its name in the 18th century because of its unique yellow stripe above the eyes which looked like the popular “macaroni” hairstyle of those days. Even though penguins are found in large numbers in Antarctica, there has been a sudden dip in the numbers. Krill forms a major part of their diet. However, climate change has resulted in the death of krill, which in turn reduced the population of Penguins by 50 per cent between the 70s and 90s. Environmentalists are taking several efforts to conserve penguins.
The queen triggerfish is found in the reefs near Cape Verde, Azores and Ascension Island. They are known for its unique face, sharp teeth and colourful appearance in shades of purple, blue, gold and green. They have spines at the front and fins on the upper side which help them to hide between coral reefs. They make a throbbing sound to intimidate other fishes. Even though there hasn’t been a sharp decline in their population, climate change is certainly destroying their natural habitat of coral reefs, which in turn are endangering their lives.
Image Courtesy: Pobjoy Mint