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Pobjoy Mint celebrates Melville’s Moby Dick with Sperm Whale Coin


By Pobjoy Mint….
Described as one of the greatest works of literature ever written in the English language, we celebrate the Sperm Whale with the release of a new coin commemorating the 165th anniversary of the publishing of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.

The story, first published in London on October 18, 1851, tells the tale of the obsessive quest of Captain Ahab and the hunt for the albino Sperm Whale that destroyed his ship and severed his leg at the knee during a previous voyage. Whaling is, of course, the focus of Moby Dick, hence why the design on this £2 coin features a sperm whale swimming in Antarctic waters with the sun setting behind the icebergs.

From the early 18th century through the late 20th, this species was a prime target of whalers. The head of the whale contains a liquid wax called spermaceti, from which the whale derives its name. Spermaceti was used in lubricants, oil lamps, and candles. Ambergris, a waste product from its digestive system, is still used as a fixative in perfumes. The species is now protected by a whaling moratorium, and is currently listed as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) can be found anywhere in the open ocean and are easily recognised by their massive heads and prominent rounded foreheads. They have the largest brain of any creature known to have lived on Earth. They are also known to dive as deep as 1,000 meters in search of squid to eat. To accomplish this, whales may have to hold their breath for up to 90 minutes.

Coin Highlights

  • 2016 Proof Sterling Silver Crown
  • Issue: 10,000
  • Exceptionally rare release from The British Antarctic Territory
  • Newest addition to the Marine Life Series
  • Unique presentation box and certificate


The design on the coin features a sperm whale swimming in Antarctic waters with the sun shown setting behind the icebergs. The obverse of each coin features the new effigy design of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, created exclusively by Pobjoy Mint.

British Antarctic Territories 2016 Sperm Whale Silver £2 Coin red presentation case, Pobjoy Mint
Information courtesy Pobjoy Mint


The Cupro Nickel coin is shipped in a unique Pobjoy Mint blue presentation pouch. The Silver version is encapsulated in an acrylic capsule for protection and housed in a stunning red box accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.


  • Metal: Proof Sterling Silver Crown
  • Diameter: 38.60mm
  • Weight: 28.28g
  • Issue Limit: 10,000
British Antarctic Territories 2016 Sperm Whale Silver £2 Coin mintages and release dates, Pobjoy Mint
Information courtesy Pobjoy Mint


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