Republic of Antarctica
This is a uniface wooden piece (no denomination) dated “1990-2005”. It shows an image of the entire continent, but the grainy texture of the token did not offer an ideal surface for picking up small details; therefore, the location names cannot be fully read because the printing on this map is too small. These labeled regions are partially decipherable only with the aid of a magnifying glass and an actual atlas for more exact visual reference. After much eyestrain, these areas are: Marie Byrd Land, Victoria Land, Wilkes Land, MacRobertson Land, Enderby Land, Coats Land, Palmer Land, and Ellsworth Land; at the center of the map — the geographic South Pole itself — a bold star marks the apparent “capital” of the Republic, Amundsen/Scott Land (the official name of this American research base is the Amundsen-Scott Station, and this facility is the southernmost continually inhabited place on the planet). Its issuer, a numismatist from Anchorage named James Hill (his minuscule monogram, JVH, appears at the 5:00 position).
There are some additional pieces in which the wood had been stained a deep red color prior to being stamped (also shown above), as well as a small batch made from plastic poker chips (“About half are smudged and the rest are poorly struck” because the chips have been painted white and this glossy coating didn’t accept the ink very well).
Chiefa Coins