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The BC die letters are very interesting to talk about. Before we go further, I would like to introduce the very first BC die letters on £1 pound coins in 1978. It is only the provenance of the BC letters.
IOM £1 round coin was issued in 1978, it was 5 years earlier than the Royal Mint the UK first £1 round coin in 1983. It is fascinating. The IOM £1 coin reverse design is three legs over the island and bears 2nd portrait of Queen Elizabeth II sculptured by A. Machin RA on its obverse. Meanwhile, 1978 it was the 25th Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms. Therefore, it is not hard to cipher the sequence C which is a way to represent Tynwald respect on this special occasion. Also, the Prefix B it means at least a prooflike finish and/or a collector’s coin.
1980 BC, the Mint claimed as a Diamond Finish in the KM# reference book. But it can be understood as grade, or as Before Christ. Remember the Xmas series is modern products in numismatic world related to the Holy Bible.
1981 the BC die letters are noted as well. It is more likely to celebrating the first £5 pound coins in 1981.
You have seen many BC die letters in 1978, 1980 and 1981.So how do you understand the BC die letters in general? Generally speaking, a sequence of C under the Prefix B is noted. A sequence could be up to F from A, and the Prefix B means a proof finish. Therefore, the BC die letters in 1978. The BC die letters can be found from a 1978 £1 pound coin. Also, a £1 proof coin is only found in proof sets. This comes down the sequence of C means commemorating the £1 coins from the perspective of the Mint and Tynwald. Remember £1 pound coins in 1978 were the first £1 coin in the world.
Moreover, a sequence of C under the Prefix B was noted in the Xmas series in 1980. Of course, it is a glory for the Mint whom invented the theme in the numismatic world. Also they need a permission from Tynwald, and actually Tynwald approved it. Because the Xmas Fifty pence coins can form a part of incomes for a such island revenue. The Mint claimed the BC die letters were a diamond finish. It is not hard to understand the term of diamond from the perspective of the Mint, the founder of the Mint has the background of jewellery like diamond cut. It means Before Christ also from the perspective of the Mint whilst the B & C on the Xmas series are shown together. Because the Xmas series is a product invented by the Mint, and they assigned a life inside the product. So it is amazing. The Mint mark in 2000 was PMM, and a M is equal to 1000 years. They know what they were doing in 1980. After 2004, they are just like a boat lost in the sea only powered by a wind.
Last, a sequence of C under the Prefix B was noted in the Xmas series in 1981 as well. But do you know that they issued £5 coin on behalf of the government of the Isle of Man this year. The £5 coins were the world first. It is a glory again. Also, in England, it was the year Royal Wedding happened, a knot tied up between Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. Actually, it was caused by the BB die letters noted in 1980 as well, the sequence of C was meaningful internally and hard to find out under the Prefix A and B, and the BC die letters can not be disappeared suddenly. Because they claimed the BC die letters are as diamond finish coins. So then they used the BC die letters in 1981 again. However, the BC die letters have died eternally since then. During this period before 1991, the treasurer was William Dawson.
Therefore, it comes down to the meaning of die letters on 50p coins made in 1980s. The first letter (i.e., BC), B, refers a at least prooflike grade or beyond, and the second letter C of the BC, has a internal meaning to celebrate or commemorate a great event related to IOM. Extra info, DD die letters on 1980 Viking boat 50p coins. The single D letter is only used on silver coins with proof grade. So the DD means proof grade over proof grade (or double proof) on Cu-Ni coins. In other words, the Mint in 1980s had tried lots of ways to strike coins in order to present to collectors. At least, the first Mint Master shared this moment with collectors whom currently hold the DD die letter coins.