28 March 2023
British Pobjoy Mint have announced a new 2023 £2 coin series issued on behalf of the British Antarctic Territory. The six-coin series will feature the Antarctic glaciers named after planets of the solar system starting with the Mars Glacier.
The Mars Glacier is a glacier in the south-eastern corner of Alexander Island in the British Antarctic Territory. It is six nautical miles long and two nautical miles wide, flowing south into the George VI Ice Shelf.
Mars Glacier was first sighted from the air by Lincoln Ellsworth on 23 November 1935, and roughly mapped from photos obtained on that flight by W.L.G. Joerg. It was first surveyed in 1949 by the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey (now known as the British Antarctic Survey) and named by the UK Antarctic Place-Names Committee for the planet Mars, the fourth planet of the Solar System.
The design on the coin features an image of the God Mars holding a spear with the planet Mars in the background. The six planets after which the glaciers are named are shown in the surround.
The God Mars is known as the God of War, or spirit of battle, and founder of Rome in Ancient Rome Mythology. He was also known as the patron of soldiers and his name has been used in astrology, physics and landmarks.
Although Mars Glacier is not located within the Planet Heights mountain range in Antarctica, it lies nearby, and its name derives from it. There are a total of six glaciers named after planets in Antarctica and the following with be featured in this series; Mars, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus and Venus.
Approved by Buckingham Palace this coin carries an effigy of His Majesty King Charles III produced exclusively by Pobjoy Mint.