New 50 Pence Coin Commemorates 1st Steam Vessel to Visit South Georgia

  • Produced in Unc. Cupro Nickel Diamond Finish with a low worldwide issue limit of only 2750 and presented in special color pack
  • Also available in Proof Sterling Silver with exceptionally low issue limit of only 175

The Pobjoy Mint series of 50 pence coins featuring historical ships is back by popular demand and we are therefore delighted to announce the release of a new 2022 coin in the series on behalf of the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

The coin features the steam-powered ship Moltke launched in 1877 and built for the German Imperial Navy.

Moltke was a vessel of the Bismarck class and it was originally designed to serve as a fleet scout and to go on extended tours of Germany’s colonial empire. But, it wasn’t until 1882, that it was deployed to carry the first German Expedition for the International Polar Year to South Georgia.

This expedition, led by Karl Schrader, aimed to spend a year on South Georgia Island making scientific observations on a range of phenomena including geology, zoology and disturbances in the geomagnetic field. On August 21, after navigating heavy seas and icebergs, they found a suitable landing site at what is now known as Moltke Harbour near Royal Bay.

German scientists spent 13 months in South Georgia as part of the International Polar Year between 1882-1883 where they set up the island’s first scientific research station. The expedition was supplied with special equipment to enable the crew to obverse the transit of Venus that occurred on December 6, 1882. This enabled the distance between the Earth and the Sun to be measured while Venus passed between them.

They were also responsible for setting up the first telegraph system and for taking the first photographs of the island. The foundations of their eight buildings can still be discerned at Koppen Point.

The three-masted steam corvette Moltke returned to Germany in 1885 where she became a training ship for naval cadets and later apprentice seamen. The ship served in this capacity from 1885 to 1908, during which time her activity consisted primarily of fleet training exercises and overseas training cruises. She was stricken from the naval register in October 1910 and sold for scraps in July 1920.

Moltke is an important part of the heritage of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and represents a key moment in the island’s history.

The obverse of the coin features an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II produced exclusively by Pobjoy Mint.

Presentation

The cupro nickel Diamond Finish coin is available in a special pack. The Proof sterling silver coin is presented in an acrylic box with a special presentation sleeve.

Coin Specifications

Metal: .925 Silver, Cu-Ni
Diameter: 27.30 mm
Weight: 8.00 g
Issue Limit: Silver: 175; Cu-Ni: 2,750

Get in Touch

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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