Micronations:

Grand Duchy of Westarctica

 

 

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2005

USNS-WES-C 001

Year: 2005
Material: Printed timber
Condition: Unc
Designer: J F Vidal
Mint: Central Bank of the Grand

Duchy of Westarctica
Mintage: 200
Weight: 2
.8 g
Diameter: 38 mm
Denomination: $1
Edge type:
Plain

Denomination

Byrd Expedition Anniversary

USNS-WES-C 002

Year: 2005
Material: Printed timber
Condition: Unc
Designer: J F Vidal
Mint: Central Bank of the Grand

Duchy of Westarctica
Mintage: 200
Weight: 2
.8 g
Diameter: 38 mm
Denomination: $1
Edge type:
Plain

Denomination

Constitutional Anniversary

USNS-WES-C 003

Year: 2005
Material: Printed timber
Condition: Unc
Designer: J F Vidal
Mint: Central Bank of the Grand

Duchy of Westarctica
Mintage: 200
Weight: 2
.8 g
Diameter: 38 mm
Denomination: $1
Edge type:
Plain

Denomination

Emperor Penguins

USNS-WES-C 004A

Year: 2005
Material:
Bronze
Condition:
Proof essay
Designer: J F Vidal
Mint: Central Bank of the Grand

Duchy of Westarctica
Mintage: 
150
Weight:
10 g
Diameter:
25.4 mm
Denomination: $1
Edge type:
Plain

Map of the Balleny Islands

Arms of the Balleny Islands

USNS-WES-C 004B

Year: 2005
Material:
Silver
Condition:
Proof essay
Designer: J F Vidal
Mint: Central Bank of the Grand

Duchy of Westarctica
Mintage: 
20
Weight:
Diameter:
25.4 mm
Denomination: $1
Edge type:
Plain

Map of the Balleny Islands

Arms of the Balleny Islands

USNS-WES-C 005

Year: 2005
Material:
Nickel-plated, enameled
Condition:
BU
Designer: J F Vidal
Mint: Central Bank of the Grand

Duchy of Westarctica
Mintage: 
20
Weight:
Diameter:
39.3 mm
Denomination: $1
0
Edge type: Plain

Arms of Westarctica

Grand Duke Travis I

USNS-WES-C 006

Year: 2005
Material:
Bronze
Condition:
Prooflike essay
Designer: J F Vidal
Mint: Central Bank of the Grand

Duchy of Westarctica
Mintage: 
850
Weight:
Diameter:
38.4 mm
Denomination: $1
Edge type:
Reeded

Penguin and Island Map

Arms of Westarctica

USNS-WES-C 007A

Year: 2005
Material:
Cupro-nickel
Condition:
Unc essay
Designer: J F Vidal
Mint: Central Bank of the Grand

Duchy of Westarctica
Mintage: 
300
Weight:
Diameter:
38.4 mm
Denomination: $
5
Edge type: Reeded

Penguin and Island Map

Arms of Westarctica

USNS-WES-C 007B

Year: 2005
Material:
Silver
Condition:
Prooflike essay
Designer: J F Vidal
Mint: Central Bank of the Grand

Duchy of Westarctica
Mintage: 
30
Weight:
Diameter:
38.2 mm
Denomination: $
5
Edge type: Plain, edge-marked

Penguin and Island Map

Arms of Westarctica

The Grand Duchy of Westarctica is an internet micronation founded in 2001, by Travis McHenry, a cryptozoologist and former US Navy sailor who lives in Norfolk, Virginia. On 2 November, McHenry - who claims direct descent from Patrick McHenry, the 17th Century Baron of Dunluce,  Ireland - wrote to the governments of Russia, France, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, the United States and the United Kingdom, announcing his intention to take personal possession of the wedge-shaped section of the Antarctic continent known as Marie Byrd Land.

This area is not claimed by any of the signatories to the Antarctic Treaty, however it was claimed in the early 1990s by the Dominion of Melchizedech, a well-known micronation some of whose members have been indicted on a range of fraud charges. McHenry originally named his state the Achaean Territory of Antarctica (apparently inspired by the works of Homer), before changing it to the current configuration on 10 June, 2004.  

Apart from selling his friends and associates bargain-priced Westarctican peerages and instituting a constitution establishing the Grand Duchy as a “Protestant Christian" nation, Westarctica’s ruler took a relaxed attitude to the administration of his vast domains; as far as is known, neither McHenry nor any of his handful of subjects have ever set foot anywhere near Antarctica, and assertions on Westarctica’s website that a “relocation project” involving the “construction of new cities” has been underway since 2003, can safely be dismissed as fantasy. In January 2006 McHenry abdicated his position, handing over to Philip Karns, who now rules as Grand Duke Philip I.

The only physical evidence of Westarctica’s existence outside the internet are its coins, which were designed and produced by Mr Jorge Vidal, a member of the USNS who also serves as Westarctica’s Minister of the Treasury.

Westarctica website: http://www.westarctica.com/

© 2005-06, USNS / G Cruickshank. Information and scans courtesy of J Vidal, O Paz  and G Cruickshank.