South Georgia and The South Sandwich Islands
 

 
                  Apr 1675  South Georgia discovered by the English merchant
                             Anthony de la Roche.
               17 Jan 1775  South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
                             claimed for Britain.
               06 Dec 1821  South Orkney Islands claimed for Britain
                             (named and reclaimed Feb 1822).
               16 Nov 1904  Grytviken established by the Norwegian Capt. Carl
                             Anton Larsen as a whaling station.
               21 Jul 1908  Occupied and made part of the Falkland Islands
                             Dependencies.
                      1925  South Orkney Islands claimed by Argentina.
                      1927  South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands claimed
                             by Argentina.
               03 Mar 1962  South Orkney and South Shetland Islands made
                             part of British Antarctic Territory.
        1977 - 20 Jun 1982  Argentine Naval base Corbeta Uruguay on Morrell
                             Island in Southern Thule Group in South Sandwich
                             Islands. Base closed and surrendered to British.
 03 Apr 1982 - 25 Apr 1982  South Georgia occupied by Argentina (Islas Georgias
                             del Sur y Islas Orcadas del Sur).
               03 Oct 1985  Made a separate territory (British Overseas Territory
                             of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands).
                             Constitution Order
               21 Mar 2001  The small British military garrison on South
                             Georgia is withdrawn (present since 1982).
 

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 167.4 kilometers (104 mi) long and 1.4 to 37 km (0.9 to 23.0 miles) wide and is by far the largest island in the territory. The South Sandwich Islands lie about 520 kilometers (320 mi) southeast of South Georgia.  The total land area of the territory is 3,903 square kilometers (1,507 sq mi).

There is no native population on the islands; the present inhabitants are the British Government Officer, Deputy Postmaster, scientists, and support staff from the British Antarctic Survey who maintain scientific bases at Bird Island and at the
capital: King Edward Point, as well as museum staff at nearby Grytviken.

Motto: "Leo Terram Propriam Protegat" (Latin) [Translation: "Let [or May] the Lion protect his own land"].
The Island of South Georgia is said to have been first sighted in 1675 by Anthony de la Roché, a London merchant, and was named Roche Island on a number of early maps. Captain James Cook circumnavigated the island in 1775 and made the first landing. He claimed the territory for the Kingdom of Great Britain, and named it "the Isle of Georgia" in honor of King George III. British arrangements for the government of South Georgia were first established under the 1843 British Letters Patent. Fishing and Antarctic research are the main industries on these islands.

Captain James Cook discovered the southern eight islands of the Sandwich Islands Group in 1775, although he lumped the southernmost three together, and their status as separate islands was not established until 1820 by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen. The northern three islands were discovered by Bellingshausen in 1819. The islands were tentatively named "Sandwich Land" by Cook, although he also commented that they might be a group of islands rather than a single body of land. The name was chosen in honour of the John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich [the inventor of Sandwich], First Lord of the Admiralty. The word "South" was later added to distinguish them from the "Sandwich Islands", now known as the Hawaiian Islands.

Argentina claimed the South Sandwich Islands in 1938, and challenged British sovereignty in the Islands on several occasions. From 25 January 1955, through mid-1956 Argentina maintained the summer station Teniente Esquivel at Ferguson Bay on the southeastern coast of Thule Island. Argentina maintained a naval base (Corbeta Uruguay) from 1976 to 1982, in the lee (southern east coast) of the same island. Although the British discovered the presence of the Argentine base in 1978, protested and tried to resolve the issue by diplomatic means, no effort was made to remove them by force until after the Falklands War. The base was removed on 20 June 1982.

Territorial Dispute: Argentina, which claims the islands (Islas Georgias del Sur and Islas Orcadas del Sur) in its constitution and briefly occupied the islands by force in 1982, agreed in 1995 to no longer seek settlement by force.
 
 
Monetary standard: Pound Sterling = 100 pence.
Pobjoy Mint from 2000 onwards has started producing some commemorative coins on South Georgia and The South Sandwich Islands.
 
Commemorative coins
 

KM#01 2 Pounds. Year: 2000. Weight: 28.60g. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Edge: Reeded. Diameter: 38.60 mm. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Pobjoy Mint. Obverse: Queen Elizabeth II's portrait facing right in the center and "SOUTH GEORGIA & SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS 2000" around her. Reverse: Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother's Coat and Arms in the center with wreath and flowers surrounding it. "100th BIRTHDAY of QUEEN ELIZABETH The QUEEN MOTHER" written around. Value "TWO POUNDS" at the bottom. "PM" mint mark for Pobjoy Mint just below the Coats and Arm. Mintage: N/A. Minted Years: One year type.

Note: Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon (04 August 1900 – 30 March 2002) was the wife of King George VI and the mother of Queen Elizabeth II. She was queen consort of the United Kingdom from her husband's accession in 1936 until his death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter.

KM#07 2 Pounds. Year: 2001. Weight: 28.40g. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Edge: Reeded. Diameter: 38.60 mm. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Pobjoy Mint. Obverse: Queen Elizabeth II's portrait facing right in the center and "SOUTH GEORGIA & SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS 2001" around her. Reverse: "SIR ERNEST HENRY SHACKLETON" written on the top. Endurance Ship, Sir E. H. Shackleton's face and two penguins in the center. Value "TWO POUNDS" at the bottom. Mintage: N/A. Minted Years: One year type.

Note: In April 1916, Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition became stranded on Elephant Island, some 800 miles (1,300 km) southwest of South Georgia. Shackleton and five companions set out in a small boat to summon help, and on 10 May, after an epic voyage, they landed at King Haakon Bay on South Georgia's south coast. While three stayed at the coast, Shackleton and the two others, Tom Crean and Frank Worsley, went on to cover 22 miles (35 km) overland to reach help at Stromness whaling station. The remaining 22 members of the expedition, who had stayed on Elephant Island, were subsequently rescued. In January 1922, during a later expedition, Shackleton died on board ship while moored in King Edward Cove, South Georgia. He is buried at Grytviken.

KM#09 2 Pounds. Year: 2001. Weight: 28.35g. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Edge: Reeded. Diameter: 38.60 mm. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Pobjoy Mint. Obverse: Queen Elizabeth II's portrait facing right in the center and "SOUTH GEORGIA & SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS 2001" around her. Reverse: "SIR JOSEPH BANKS" written on the top. Ship and Sir Joseph Banks face within circle in the center. Value "TWO POUNDS" at the bottom. Mintage: N/A. Minted Years: One year type.

Note: Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, GCB, PRS (24 February [O.S. 13 February] 1743 – 19 June 1820) was an English naturalist, botanist and patron of the natural sciences. Banks is credited with the introduction to the Western world of eucalyptus, acacia, mimosa and the genus named after him, Banksia. Approximately 80 species of plants bear Banks's name. Banks was also the leading founder of the African Association, a British organization dedicated to the exploration of Africa, and a member of the Society of Dilettanti, which helped to establish the Royal Academy. Banks was promptly appointed to a joint Royal Navy/Royal Society scientific expedition to the south Pacific Ocean on HM Bark Endeavour, 1768–1771. He took part in Captain James Cook's first great voyage (1768–1771). This was the first of James Cook's voyages of discovery in that region. This voyage went to Brazil, where Banks made the first scientific description of a now common garden plant, bougainvillea (named after Cook's French counterpart, Louis Antoine de Bougainville), and to other parts of South America. The voyage then progressed to Tahiti (where the transit of Venus was observed, the overt purpose of the mission), to New Zealand and to the east coast of Australia, where Cook mapped the coastline and made landfall at Botany Bay and at Endeavour River (near modern Cooktown) in Queensland, where they spent almost seven weeks ashore while the ship was repaired after becoming holed on the Great Barrier Reef. While they were in Australia Banks, the Swedish botanist Daniel Solander and the Finnish botanist Dr. Herman Spöring Jr. made the first major collection of Australian flora, describing many species new to science. Almost 800 specimens were illustrated by the artist Sydney Parkinson and appear in Banks' Florilegium, finally published in 35 volumes between 1980 and 1990. Banks arrived back in England on 12 July 1771 and immediately became famous. He intended to go with Cook on his second voyage, which began on 13 May 1772, but difficulties arose about Bank`s scientific requirements on board Cook`s new ship the Resolution.

KM#18 2 Pounds. Year: 2003. Weight: 28.46g. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Edge: Reeded. Diameter: 38.60 mm. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Pobjoy Mint. Obverse: Queen Elizabeth II's portrait facing right in the center and "SOUTH GEORGIA & SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS 2003" around her. Reverse: "275th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF CAPTAIN JAMES COOK" written at the top. "ANTARCTICA" written on a banner below it. Antarctica Map, Ship and Captain Cook's portrait in the center. Value "£2" at the bottom. Mintage: N/A. Minted Years: One year type.

Note: Lord Sandwich was a great supporter of Captain James Cook. As First Lord of the Admiralty, Sandwich approved Admiralty funds for the purchase and fit-out of the Resolution, Adventure and Discovery for Cook’s second and third expeditions of exploration in the Pacific Ocean. In honour of Sandwich, Captain Cook named the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii) after him, as well as Montague Island off the south east coast of Australia, the South Sandwich Islands in the Southern Atlantic Ocean and Montague Island in the Gulf of Alaska.

2 Pounds. Year: 2013. Weight: 10.00g. Metal: Blue Titanium. Edge: Reeded. Diameter: 36.80 mm. Alignment: Medal. Mint: Pobjoy Mint. Obverse: Queen Elizabeth II's portrait facing right in the center and "SOUTH GEORGIA & SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS 2013" around her. Reverse: Blue Whale with her calf swimming in the sea with the sun’s rays penetrating the water. Value "2 POUNDS" at the bottom. Mintage: 5,000. Minted Years: One year type.

Note: At 30 metres (98 feet) in length and weighing 180 metric tons, the Blue Whales were plentiful in nearly all the oceans in the world until the beginning of the 20th Century. For over a century they were almost hunted to extinction by whalers until they were protected worldwide by the International Whaling Commission and no hunting currently occurs. Due to its large size, several organs of this amazing mammal are the largest in the animal kingdom. A blue whale’s tongue weighs approximately 2.7 metric tons and when fully expanded, its mouth is large enough to hold up to 90 metric tons of food and water although it cannot swallow anything larger than a beach ball. The largest blue whale ever measured was female and was found near Grytviken in South Georgia in 1909. She was 33.85 metres (111 feet) long. This stunning new coin from South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands is being issued as an amazing Blue Titanium coin in honour of this wondrous animal. The coin is also being produced in Cupro Nickel and Proof Sterling Silver. The obverse of the coin carries a fine effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS with the obverse struck in reverse proof (with the effigy in Proof and the background frosted) to really show the colour of the blue Titanium.

 
 
 
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