Author Topic: Collector Coins of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands  (Read 726 times)

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Offline <k>

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Collector Coins of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
« on: February 03, 2020, 01:44:30 PM »
From Wikipedia:

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) is a British Overseas Territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote and inhospitable collection of islands, consisting of South Georgia and a chain of smaller islands known as the South Sandwich Islands. South Georgia is 165 kilometres (103 miles) long and 35 kilometres (22 miles) wide and is by far the largest island in the territory. The South Sandwich Islands lie about 700 kilometres (430 miles) southeast of South Georgia. The territory's total land area is 3903 km2 (1507 sq miles). The Falkland Islands are about 1300 kilometres (810 miles) west-northwest from its nearest point.

No permanent native human population lives in the South Sandwich Islands, and a very small non-permanent human population resides on South Georgia. There are no scheduled passenger flights or ferries to or from the territory, although visits by cruise liners to South Georgia are increasingly popular, with several thousand visitors each summer.

The United Kingdom claimed sovereignty over South Georgia in 1775 and the South Sandwich Islands in 1908. The territory of "South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands" was formed in 1985; previously, it had been governed as part of the Falkland Islands Dependencies.

Argentina maintained a naval station, Corbeta Uruguay, on Thule Island in the South Sandwich Islands from 1976 until 1982 when it was closed by the Royal Navy. The Argentine claim over South Georgia contributed to the 1982 Falklands War, during which Argentine forces briefly occupied the island. Argentina continues to claim sovereignty over South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

In 1985, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands ceased to be administered as a Falkland Islands Dependency and became a separate territory. The King Edward Point base, which had become a small military garrison after the Falklands War, returned to civilian use in 2001 and is now operated by the British Antarctic Survey.

Argentina claimed South Georgia in 1927 and claimed the South Sandwich Islands in 1938, but they have never been Argentinian territory.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Collector Coins of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2020, 01:45:22 PM »


The location of SGSSI on the globe.
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Re: Collector Coins of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2020, 01:46:42 PM »


Another map of SGSSI's location.
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Re: Collector Coins of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2020, 01:47:47 PM »


Map of South Georgia.
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Re: Collector Coins of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2020, 01:48:30 PM »


Map of SGSSI.
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Re: Collector Coins of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2020, 01:52:05 PM »



The coat of arms of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands was granted in 1985, upon the creation of the territory. Prior to 1985, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands were a dependency of the Falkland Islands, and used their coat of arms. However, prior to 1962, the islands were grouped with what is now the British Antarctic Territory and their coat of arms was used instead of the Falkland Islands’ arms.

The arms consist of a shield containing a golden lion rampant holding a torch, representing the United Kingdom and discovery, together with two golden estoiles from the arms of James Cook who discovered the islands. The background of the shield is blue and white lozenges. The supporters are an Antarctic fur seal standing on a mountain, and a macaroni penguin standing on ice, both animals native to the islands. The crest is a reindeer, from the two herds of reindeer found on South Georgia Island.

The motto is 'Leo Terram Propriam Protegat', which is Latin for: “Let the Lion protect his own land”.
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Re: Collector Coins of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2020, 01:54:13 PM »


The flag of SGSSI since 1999.



The flag is a blue ensign, with the Union Flag in the canton, defaced with the coat-of-arms. The original flag had a smaller version of the coat-of-arms displayed in a white disc, but this was later changed to the current flag
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Re: Collector Coins of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2020, 02:19:45 PM »


Grytviken, the capital of South Georgia.
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Re: Collector Coins of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2020, 02:25:26 PM »


SGSSI, 2 pounds, 2000.



The first collector coins of SGSSI were issued in the year 2000. The currency of SGSSI is the UK pound sterling, though I doubt whether there is much need for money there, and these collector coins did certainly not circulate.

The first 2 pound coin commemorated the Queen Mother's hundredth birthday. The reverse showed her coat of arms.
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Re: Collector Coins of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2020, 02:28:41 PM »


SGSSI, 2 pounds, 2000.  225th Anniversary of the Possession of South Georgia by Captain James Cook.



The obverse of the collector coins at that time featured Ian Rank-Broadley's uncouped portrait of the Queen.

See also: Captain Cook and his ships.
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Re: Collector Coins of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2020, 02:36:05 PM »


SGSSI, 2 pounds, 2001.



Unsurprisingly, explorers are a theme frequently seen on the coins of SGSSI. See: Ernest Shackleton.
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Re: Collector Coins of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2020, 02:42:35 PM »
From 2002 to 2005, the collector coins of SGSSI were largely preoccupied with royal occasions: the 50th anniversary of the accession of the Queen; the 21st birthday of Prince William; Marriage of Charles (Prince of Wales) to Camilla Parker Bowles.
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Re: Collector Coins of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2020, 03:03:17 PM »


SGSSI, 2 pounds, 2006. Rockhopper Penguins.



In 2006 we had the first wildlife themes from SGSSI. Penguins are always popular with collectors. Seals, whales and albatrosses were depicted on the three other collector coins of this four coin series.
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Re: Collector Coins of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2020, 03:11:11 PM »


SGSSI, 2 pounds, 2007.  25th Anniversary of Liberation.



In 2007 SGSSI issued a coin with a specifically political theme: the 25th anniversary of the liberation of South Georgia.

From Wikipedia:

The Falklands War was precipitated on 19 March 1982 when a group of Argentinians, posing as scrap metal merchants, occupied the abandoned whaling station at Leith Harbour on South Georgia. On 3 April the Argentine troops attacked and occupied Grytviken. Among the commanding officers of the Argentine Garrison was Alfredo Astiz, a Captain in the Argentine Navy who, years later, was convicted of felonies committed during the Dirty War in Argentina.

The island was recaptured by British forces on 25 April in Operation Paraquet. In 1985 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands ceased to be administered as a Falkland Islands Dependency and became a separate territory. The King Edward Point base, which had become a small military garrison after the Falklands war, returned to civilian use in 2001 and is now operated by the British Antarctic Survey.




I remember the short interlude of the Falklands war very well. I was in my mid twenties at the time, and very excited by the news. Most of the population, including the official political opposition, got behind the government, despite the fact that most people had never even heard of the islands. Before long the troops sailed from Portsmouth on a sunny day, while some young women on the quayside took off their tops to give the departing troops a treat. I waited for a ringing declaration of war from Mrs Thatcher. To my frustration, it did not come. The BBC referred merely to "the Falklands crisis", and Mrs Thatcher deliberately kept the whole affair low-key as she first tried to negotiate with the Argentinians. This did not go well, and even some top American politicians were keen to keep their distance from Britain. Mrs Thatcher saw the whole issue as a moral one, in which a democracy (Britain) had been attacked by a military dictatorship, as Argentina then was.

After Grytviken, in South Georgia, was retaken by the British, Mrs Thatcher gave an interview to the Press in Downing Street. For reasons of security, she was not able to reveal too much, and eventually, tired with their questions, she told them, "Rejoice! Just rejoice at that news!" She was ridiculed for her use of that rather old-fashioned word, but by and large the population did experience a feeling of relief, though the Falklands themselves remained under Argentine occupation. Some people now wrongly believe that Mrs Thatcher used that phrase after the sinking of the Belgrano, but that is simply not true. News at the time was strictly controlled, and an old-fashioned bespectacled civil servant, looking as though he had stepped straight out of the 1930s, used to deliver news broadcasts that were already 3 to 5 days old and strictly censored. There was no public internet in Britain in those days, and we only had 3 TV channels.

Eventually Britain won back the Falkland Islands, with a lot of secret inside help from the US, Chile and even France, who all provided intelligence reports to Britain. Mrs Thatcher showed a determination and a cool head in a crisis, and her reputation as the Iron Lady was now complete. She never forgot her gratitude to General Pinochet of Chile, and she publicly supported him years later, when he was briefly arrested on a visit to Britain and detained by Tony Blair's government, at the request of the Spanish government, though he was later released without charge.
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Re: Collector Coins of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2020, 03:18:31 PM »
From 2016 SGSSI used a new portrait of the Queen on its collector coins.
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