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Fourth Coin in Southern Constellations Series Features the Phoenix

  • Fourth coin in a new Southern Constellations five-coin £2 series
  • Bimetallic coin available in a special color pack – only 2,000 available
  • Also produced in Proof Fine Silver with Goldclad® surround in a small issue limit of only 175

Pobjoy Mint is delighted to announce the release of a fourth £2 coin in a new series to commemorate 200 years since the death of British Astronomer Sir William Herschel.

Sir William Frederick Herschel was a German-born British astronomer who emigrated from Germany to Great Britain at the age of 19. Herschel constructed the first large telescope in 1774, after which he spent nine years carrying out sky surveys to investigate double stars. While making observations, he made note of a new object which, after weeks of verification, was confirmed as a new planet and given the name Uranus after the Greek god of the sky. The discovery brought him overnight fame and he was appointed Court Astronomer, knighted by King George III, and grants were provided for the construction of new telescopes.

Herschel’s 40-foot telescope, also known as the Great Forty-Foot telescope, was a reflecting telescope constructed between 1785 and 1789 at Observatory House in Slough, England. It was the largest telescope in the world for 50 years and he used it to discover Enceladus and Mimas, the sixth and seventh moons of Saturn.

William Herschel’s legacy and popularity only increased over the years after the many discoveries he made about the solar system. In the British Antarctic Territory, the UK Antarctic Place Name Committee named Herschel Heights after the famous astronomer, with Enceladus Nunataks and Mimas Peak also being named after the two satellites of Saturn, discovered by Herschel.

To mark the bicentenary of Herschel’s death, we are releasing a series of five coins each showing a constellation from the “Bayer Family”. This family of constellations is circumpolar – which means that they are always fully visible from the British Antarctic Territory.

The design on the fourth coin features the Phoenix Constellation, which is represented by the famous firebird Phoenix, the image of which is depicted on the design. The constellation itself is shown beneath the bird and a compass as it would read in Antarctica.

Phoenix constellation lies in the southern sky and it was named after the mythical phoenix, which rose from its ashes upon death. Phoenix contains five stars with known planets and does not have any Messier objects. The Phoenix constellation was first depicted in 1598 and later appeared in Johann Bayer’s atlas, Uranometria, in 1603.

Issued on behalf of the British Antarctic Territory, the coin has been produced in Bi-metal and Proof Fine Silver with Goldclad®. The obverse of the coin features an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II produced exclusively by Pobjoy Mint.


The Bi-Metal coin is presented in a special presentation pack. The Proof Fine Silver coin is presented in a white box with a certificate of authenticity

Coin Specifications

Metal: Silver, Bimetallic
Diameter: 28.40 mm
Weight: 12.00 g
Issue Limit: Silver: 175; Bimetallic: 2,000

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We’d love to hear your feedback, comments, and suggestions. You can call our sales line Toll Free at 1-877-4Pobjoy (1-877-476-2569) or visit our website www.pobjoy.com.

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