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5 Dollars 2011, Commemorative, British Antarctic Territory

no number in katalog -
Years of issue: 14.12.2011
Edition: --
Signatures: D. John Hamilton
Serie: No Serie
Specimen of: 14.12.2011
Material: Polymer
Size (mm): 160 x 80
Printer: British American Bank Note Co. Ltd., Montreal

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5 Dollars 2011, Commemorative




5 Dollars 2011, Commemorative

Britannia is an ancient term for Roman Britain and also a female personification of the island. The name is Latin, and derives from the Greek form Prettanike or Brettaniai, which originally designated a collection of islands with individual names, including Albion or Great Britain; however, by the 1st century BC Britannia came to be used for Great Britain specifically. In AD 43 the Roman Empire began its conquest of the island, establishing a province they called Britannia, which came to encompass the parts of the island south of Caledonia (roughly Scotland). The native Celtic inhabitants of the province are known as the Britons. In the 2nd century, Roman Britannia came to be personified as a goddess, armed with a trident and shield and wearing a Corinthian helmet.

The Latin name Britannia long survived the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and yielded the name for the island in most European and various other languages, including the English Britain and the modern Welsh Prydain. After centuries of declining use, the Latin form was revived during the English Renaissance as a rhetorical evocation of a British national identity. Especially following the Acts of Union in 1707, which joined the Kingdoms of England and Scotland, the personification of the martial Britannia was used as an emblem of British imperial power and unity.


5 Dollars 2011, Commemorative

UK flag is on background.

I am standing near the monument to Great Auk in Iceland

Pinguinus impennis the great auk or garefowl, is the "penguin of the north". It is the only flightless auk.

The great auk ranged from Canada to Norway, including Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Hunting was responsible for the decline and eventual extinction of the great auk. The last great auk hunt took place on 3rd June 1844, on Eldey Island off southwestern Iceland, when a breeding pair was thoughtlessly slaughtered.

Pinguinus impennis is not a true penguin, however it resembled these flightless birds of the southern hemisphere with its

small wings

black back

white abdomen

upright posture

The word "penguin" is derived from the Celtic name for the great auk.

It foraged in shallow waters eating fish, crabs and plankton.

The great auk only ever came ashore in rocky offshore islands to breed. Each pair laid a single egg on bare rock. They migrated south in the winter, and bones have been found as far south as Florida and Gibraltar.

Today, 78 skins of the Great Auk remain mostly in museum collections, along with around 75 eggs and 24 complete skeletons. All but four of the surviving skins are in summer plumage, and only two of these are immature. No hatching specimens exist. Each egg and skin has been assigned a number by specialists.

The Great Auk is one of the more frequently referenced extinct birds in literature. It appears in many works of children's literature. (Natural history museum)


An inscription on reverse: "South Pole Centenary 1911-2011".

The first expedition to reach the geographic South Pole was led by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. He and four others arrived at the pole on 14 December 1911, five weeks ahead of a British party led by Robert Falcon Scott as part of the Terra Nova Expedition. Amundsen and his team returned safely to their base, and later learned that Scott and his four companions had died on their return journey.

Amundsen's plans had focused on the Arctic and the conquest of the North Pole by means of an extended drift in an icebound ship. He obtained the use of "Fridtjof", Nansen's polar exploration ship "Fram", and undertook extensive fundraising. Preparations for this expedition were disrupted when, in 1909, the rival American explorers Frederick Cook and Robert E. Peary each claimed to have reached the North Pole. Amundsen then changed his plan and began to prepare for a conquest of the South Pole; uncertain of the extent to which the public and his backers would support him, he kept this revised objective secret. When he set out in June 1910, he led even his crew to believe they were embarking on an Arctic drift, and revealed their true Antarctic destination only when Fram was leaving their last port of call, Madeira.

Amundsen made his Antarctic base, "Framheim", in the Bay of Whales on the Great Ice Barrier. After months of preparation, depot-laying and a false start that ended in near-disaster, he and his party set out for the pole in October 1911. In the course of their journey they discovered the Axel Heiberg Glacier, which provided their route to the polar plateau and ultimately to the South Pole. The party's mastery of the use of skis and their expertise with sledge dogs ensured rapid and relatively trouble-free travel. Other achievements of the expedition included the first exploration of King Edward VII Land and an extensive oceanographic cruise.

The expedition's success was widely applauded. The story of Scott's heroic failure overshadowed its achievement in the United Kingdom, unable to accept that a Norwegian had been the first person to set foot in the South Pole, but not in the rest of the world. Amundsen's decision to keep his true plans secret until the last moment was criticized by some. Recent polar historians have more fully recognized the skill and courage of Amundsen's party; the permanent scientific base at the pole bears his name, together with that of Scott.

Antarctica dollars are collector's items produced by the Antarctica Overseas Exchange Office in the appearance of a national money for the continent of Antarctica. Although the bills are not legal tender in Antarctica nor any other continent or nation, the issuing company will "honor them for their face value throughout their validity period.

The Antarctica Overseas Exchange Office states it uses a portion of all proceeds from the sale of Antarctica dollars to fund organizations seeking to undertake research and humanitarian projects in the Antarctic region.