This set of Falkland Islands stamps features the five species of penguin that breed in the Falkland Islands: Macaroni Penguin, Gentoo Penguin, King Penguin, Magellanic Penguin and Southern Rockhopper Penguin.
The images of the penguins in their natural environment are paired with a matching circulation coin featuring a close up of the head of each of these beautiful seabirds.
A set of five 50p coins of different penguins was approved in 2018 by the Executive Council of Falkland Islands Government, following the recommendation of the Commissioners of Currency, in accordance with the Currency Ordinance 1987. The Coins (Circulation) Order 2018 provides the full technical description of the coins (https://www.legislation.gov.fk/view/html/inforce/2020-05-29/fisl-2018-8). Pobjoy Mint of Surrey, England is the mint that is contracted by the Falkland Islands Government to supply the coinage that the Falkland Islands requires (https://www.pobjoy.com/governments).
An order of some 125,000 circulation coins (25,000 of each penguin) dated 2018 was minted by Pobjoy Mint and then securely shipped to the Falkland Islands by MV Hartland Point, from Southampton to Mare Harbour. Upon arrival in the Falkland Islands, the wooden crates of the new coins were then delivered to The Treasury in Stanley and held in the Main Vault until required.
The Falkland Islands has issued its own coins since 1974, and this has been recognised on a previous issue of Falkland Islands postage stamps. The obverse of the 2018 penguin circulation coins features Pobjoy Mint's effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The Currency Ordinance 1987 (https://www.legislation.gov.fk/view/html/inforce/2020-05-29/fiord-1987-14) provides the legal basis for the issue of currency by Falkland Islands Government, including parity with Sterling and the establishment of a Currency Fund.
The 2018 penguin coins are in circulation in the Falkland Islands, along with other denominations of coins: 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20, £1 and £2, as well as bank notes in £5, £10, £20 and £50 denominations. Standard Chartered UK has a branch in the Falkland Islands, and it is to Standard Chartered Bank on Ross Road in Stanley that The Treasury issues currency for use by local retail and other businesses, residents and visitors.
In 2020 a successful partnership came into being. Mastercard, Square (a card payment provider for small businesses), Gibraltar International Bank and Standard Chartered Bank (who are able to issue locally resident account holders with debit cards) were able to ensure that the majority of retail and tourism-based businesses in Stanley now accept payment cards and contactless payment. The Falkland Islands are fully connected into international card payment networks, an advantage for residents and the many visitors.
However, the continued availability of circulation currency that is used in the Falkland Islands acts as a real reminder of economic activity in this British Overseas Territory.
The Treasury in Stanley does not sell coins direct, however Falklands Post Service has a website https://www.falklandstamps.com/penguin-50p-coin-set-2018.ir and Falklands Collectibles supplies a full range of Falkland Islands coins and bank notes https://www.falklandcollectibles.com
An updated catalogue that will include details of all Falkland Islands coins since 1974 is planned for issue in 2020 by Nova Stamps http://www.novastamps.com/stefan/Sidor/specFI.html
32p - Rockhopper 68p - King 78p - Magellanic £1.04 - Gentoo £1.26 - Macaroni