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British Antarctic Territory: Lunar Prospector 2 pounds coin 2018

Started by eurocoin, August 23, 2019, 11:02:53 PM

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At the end of 2017, Pobjoy Mint received approval from the government of the British Antarctic Territory for the issuance of coins for the 20th anniverary of the launch of the spacecraft Lunar Prospector in 2018. The design depicts the Lunar South Pole, more specifically amongst others the Amundsen crater (small black circle at the center) and Shackleton crater (large crater at 3 o'clock). Permission was given for production of coins with denominations of respectively 2 pounds (copper-nickel and silver) and 4 pounds and 20 pounds (gold). Because of reasons unknown, no such coins were ever issued.


From Wikipedia:

Lunar Prospector was the third mission selected by NASA for full development and construction as part of the Discovery Program. The Principal Investigator for the mission was Alan Binder. His personal account of the mission, Lunar Prospector: Against all Odds, is highly critical of the bureaucracy of NASA overall, and of its contractors.

NASA is of course a US and not a British organisation. Perhaps that is why the theme was rejected.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.


Quote from: <k> on August 31, 2019, 05:42:15 PM
NASA is of course a US and not a British organisation. Perhaps that is why the theme was rejected.

Although I certainly agree with you that the choice of this theme for a coin of the British Antarctic Territory does not make sense, the theme was approved by its government. Furthermore Pobjoy Mint has a branch in the US so the choice for this theme can be explained to some extent. Regardless I think that Pobjoy Mint after having obtained the licence came to the conclusion that the theme was not relevant enough and unlikely to be very profitable, if at all, and therefore decided to not produce these coins.


Indeed, the purveyors of metallic pictures are interested only in the sales figure capacity of the pictures, not their relevance. I remember some Pacific archipelago doing coins for long forgotten German tennis players as a good example.

In 2017, Trump made headlines with his military Space Force and his promise to return to the moon. It would have been logical for Pobjoy to believe that in particular the American public would have a renewed interest in space pictures. However, it became clear that there would be no  budget for NASA and a reshuffling only for the Pentagon, so they cancelled the idea.

As for having the permission of the "government", the officer or civil servant in charge would probably have done no more than following instructions from London, where the real contract was made, with money, risk and how it was to be divided as its sole concerns.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.