The release of a brand new £2 coin to celebrate 100 years since the end of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.
The Southern Cross Expedition, otherwise known as the British Antarctic Expedition, 1898–1900, was the first British Antarctic venture of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, led by Anglo-Norwegian explorer Carsten Borchgrevnik, and was the forerunner of the more celebrated journeys of Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton. Sir Ernest Shackleton ventured on his last Antarctic project on the expedition ship Quest. With the original intention of exploring the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic, this plan was abandoned and thereupon switched to an exploration of the Antarctic. This coin is a fitting start to this series as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration is thought to have begun with Borchgrevnik’s expedition on Southern Cross and ended with Shackleton’s expedition on Quest.
The design features Carsten Borchgrevnik with the Southern Cross on the left, and Ernest Shackleton with the Quest on the right, with an iceberg in the background. The Norwegian flag and the Union Flag appear below the explorers, with the Coat of Arms of the British Antarctic Territory appearing below the flags. The obverse of the coin features an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II produced exclusively by Pobjoy Mint.