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New Crystal Coin from Pobjoy Celebrates Life of Sea Turtle
By Lisa Bellavin

The Pobjoy mint has announced the release of a new coin on behalf of the British Indian Ocean Territory Government celebrating the life cycle of the sea turtle.

Pobjoy's design depicts the animal's difficult journey from nesting to maturity.

Sea turtles are found in all of the world's oceans except for the Arctic Ocean, and have been present on earth for tens of millions of years - since the Mesozoic era. Of the seven existing species of turtles, six are considered endangered due to man.

Marine turtles swim up to 1,700 miles from their feeding grounds to their chosen nesting site. A large number of eggs are laid with the hope a small number will survive to maturity. Laying eggs at night to avoid the hot tropical sun, the females dig holes in the sand and lay up to 150 eggs at a time. Every 13 days she returns to the same beach to lay another batch. By the end of the season she will have laid between 500 and 1,000 eggs.

Hatchlings emerge during the night 8 to 11 weeks later and head instinctively towards the water and light, which is the reflection of the moon on the sea. Heading into the water and reef is when the baby turtles are most at risk from predators.

For the few turtles that make it through the gauntlet of the shore, the first few years are spent feeding on plankton and drifting along ocean currents. It is not until the turtle is matured 40 to 50 years later that it will return to the beach where it was born to continue the cycle by nesting for the first time.

The obverse of the coin is proof sterling silver, with an aqua crystal inset. The crystal shows an image of a sea turtle surrounded by the issuing country and date. The reverse shows an artistic depiction of the life cycle of the sea turtle and the legend "Life of the Turtle".

5,000 coins will be minted with a face value of two British pounds. For more information or to purchase, visit the mint's web site at www.pobjoy.com.


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