An ice grey titanium £2 coin featuring the leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx) was recently issued by Britain’s Pobjoy Mint.
Second only to the Killer Whale among Antarctica’s top predators, the leopard seal is the second largest species of seal in the Antarctic. With its distinctively long and muscular body shape and massive head and jaws, it has canine teeth which are around 2.5 centimetres in length—making it a highly dangerous predator to the smaller animals that inhabit this frozen area. A prominent feature of the leopard seal is its counter-shaded coats with its dorsal side having a silver to dark grey blended coat that make up its distinctive “leopard” colouration (whereas the underside is paler, ranging from white to light grey).
The leopard seal lives in the cold waters surrounding the Antarctic continent, but they are difficult to survey by traditional visual techniques as they spend long periods of time vocalizing under the water during the months when the surveys are carried out.
The design on the coin shows a leopard seal hunting for prey among a raft of penguins. The obverse of the coin features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II produced exclusively by Pobjoy Mint. The coin has a weight of 10 grams, a diameter of 36.10 mm and a mintage of 7,500 pieces.
For more information about the leopard seal coin, click here.