The 2nd Coin in the 2019 50p Turtles Series is Out Now


We are delighted to announce the release of the second coin in a stunning new 50p series of five coins featuring the Turtles of the British Indian Ocean Territory. Sea turtles come in all shapes and sizes, and belong to one of the oldest reptile groups in the world, with these stunning animals dating back to the time of the dinosaurs - over 200 million years ago!

The second coin in our brand new five-coin series features the Hawksbill Turtle, one of the smaller species of sea turtles. Our new coin features a sleepy-looking Hawksbill Sea Turtle swimming in the ocean, with the Hawksbill Turtle being portrayed in colour to show off its prized shell, often referred to as "tortoiseshell". The obverse of the coin features the Pobjoy Mint exclusive Effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 

About the Hawksbill Turtle:

The Hawksbill turtle gets its name from the shape of its curved, pointed beak which resembles that of a bird of prey. They use their beak to feed on sponges and other invertebrates that grow on coral reefs, as they are generalist predators that use reefs to find their favourite foods. The majority of the sponges and small animals that they consume are toxic but thankfully their body fat is able to absorb these toxins without making themselves ill; however, this means that their meat is potentially poisonous to humans which may be considered a good thing for the turtle. 

Like most other species of marine turtles, they spend most of their time in the water with only females coming to shore to lay their eggs; unlike other species, however, female Hawksbill Turtles nest a lot higher on beaches, sometimes going as far as to nest under vegetation. 

Unfortunately, like many other species of turtles, there are many threats to the Hawksbills population. Coastal developments have reduced areas in which they are able to successfully nest, and other animals often destroy their nests. Because of this, it is estimated that only one or two of thousands of eggs will make it to adulthood. 

Fun Facts about Hawksbill Turtles:

  1. Hawksbill turtles are named after their pointed beaks, which resemble those of birds.
  2. Hawksbill turtles are up to 45 inches (114 cm) long and weigh 110 to 150 pounds (50 to 68 kg)
  3. Female hawksbill turtles return to the same nesting grounds where they were born to lay their eggs.
  4. Hawksbill turtles can be found in the coastal waters of more than 108 countries.
  5. Hawksbill turtles help keep reefs healthy by feeding primarily on sponges that out-compete corals