HomeWorld CoinsNew £2 Coin Commemorates Anniversary of 1st Antarctic Crossing

New £2 Coin Commemorates Anniversary of 1st Antarctic Crossing

65th Anniversary of the First Crossing Across Antarctica £2 Coin, Image: Pobjoy Mint.
65TH Anniversary of the First Crossing Across Antarctica Two Pounds, Image: Pobjoy Mint.
  • New 2023 Coin Commemorates English Scientist Sir Vivian Ernest Fuchs
  • First £2 Coin featuring HM King Charles III’s Effigy from Pobjoy Mint
  • Issue Limit of 1,950
  • Available in Bi-Metal and Proof Fine Silver

Pobjoy Mint announces a brand new coin issued on behalf of the British Antarctic Territory to commemorate 65 years since the first land crossing of Antarctica. The coin features a map of the continent with a line indicating the route taken by Sir Vivian Fuchs crossing the South Pole.

In 1958, Sir Vivian Fuchs made history when he successfully completed the first crossing of the Antarctic via the South Pole. Planning for the expedition began in 1953, and envisioned the use of Sno-Cat tractors to cross the continent in 100 days, starting at the Weddell Sea, ending at the Ross Sea, and crossing the South Pole.

Fuchs’ interest in polar exploration was nurtured by his Cambridge tutor, Sir James Wordie, who had been with Shackleton on the abortive Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-16. However, it wasn’t until 1948 when Fuch had the opportunity to travel there, as leader of the Falklands Islands Dependencies Survey (which became the British Antarctic Survey in 1961) that he conceived the idea of reviving Shackleton’s grand design of a trans-Antarctic crossing. He envisioned a mechanized crossing with air support, enabling him to undertake a scientific program, including seismic readings, to determine the thickness of the Antarctic ice.

Their expedition team, named the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, left the Pole on January 24 and arrived at Scott Base in McMurdo Sound on March 2, 1958, having completed the first land crossing of Antarctica in 99 days, one fewer than their Fuchs’ original estimate, and having covered 2,158 miles (3,473 km). Along the way, a substantial scientific program had been accomplished, including seismic soundings and a gravity traverse.

Sir Vivian Fuchs was knighted on his return to the United Kingdom, qualified for a clasp to his Polar Medal of 1953, and became one of the very few explorers to whom the Royal Geographical Society has awarded a Special Gold Medal. From 1958 to 1973, Sir Vivian Fuchs was also the Director of the British Antarctic Survey.

The design on the £2 coin depicts an image of the map of Antarctica showing the route taken by the expedition across the South Pole. The base camps “Scott” and “Shackleton” are also indicated, as are the “Weddell Sea” and “Ross Sea”. A Sno-cat tractor is shown at the top of the design and the dates “1957-2022” are also shown. The wording in the surround reads “First Land Crossing of Antarctica”.

Approved by Buckingham Palace, this coin carries an effigy of His Majesty King Charles III produced exclusively by Pobjoy Mint.


The Proof fine silver coin is presented in our newest red box design with a certificate of authenticity. The bi-metal coin is presented in a specially designed presentation pack.

£2 Coin Specifications

Metal: Proof Silver; Bimetallic
Diameter: 28.40 mm
Weight: 12.00 g
Issue Limit: Silver: 175; Bimetallic: 1,950

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