Continuing with its Dolphins and Whales series, the British Pobjoy Mint recently announced the release of two 2017-dated coins featuring the pilot whale.
Pilot whales are large, robust animals with a bulbous head and no discernible beak. They are a member of the dolphin family and are second only to the killer whale in size. These intelligent marine mammals form extremely cohesive social bonds; stranding of several hundred pilot whales are not uncommon, and pod members will often stick close together and protect the matriarch of the group. The pilot whale received its name due to a belief that the pod always follows a single leader, which although not scientifically proven, is commonly believed to be the reason for these tragic mass strandings. The pilot whale can dive as deep as 500 meters when hunting for food, and has a diet consisting primarily of squid, along with fish, octopus and crustaceans such as shrimp. Figures for pilot whales are unknown, and though they are depleted in some areas, pilot whales are not considered to be endangered. There are likely to be almost a million long-finned pilot whales and at least 200,000 short-finned pilot whales worldwide.
The coins’ reverse design depicts a pilot whale in Antarctic waters with the head of a second whale appearing above the water. The top of a third whale can be seen just above the waterline in the background. The obverse of each coin features a new effigy of Queen Elizabeth II designed exclusively for Pobjoy Mint.
Issued on behalf of the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Government, both £2 coins have a weight of 28.28 grams and a diameter of 38.60 mm. There is a mintage of 10,000 pieces for the Proof sterling silver coin and an unlimited mintage for the uncirculated cupro-nickel coin.
For more information, visit pobjoy.com.