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Today, I shall bring you the most wanted proof decimal sets from the Isle of Man in 1971/1972/1973/1974. All sets presented here are BU for the purpose of illustration. We will have a look each set first and then focus on 50p coin each year from 1971 to 1974. The 1971 BU set was made by the Royal Mint and but the 1972/1973/1974 BU sets were definitely struck at the Pobjoy Mint in 1975. Over this period (1971 to 1974), you are looking for proof coins probably. However, it is really hard to find out.
- 1971 Isle of Man Year Mint Brilliant Uncirculated Set (5-coin).
- 1972 Isle of Man Year Mint Brilliant Uncirculated Set (5-coin).
- 1973 Isle of Man Year Mint Brilliant Uncirculated Set (5-coin).
- 1974 Isle of Man Year Mint Brilliant Uncirculated Set (5-coin).
Now, let we break sets down into 50p coins only from 1971 to 1974. You have probably noticed things in common above that all sets showing here are BU in grade and 1972 to 1974 plastic folders are in light blue colour however 1971 is in navy blue colour. Do you know that the UK was adopted the decimal system in currency in 1971 and the Isle of Man followed suit. In 1971, the Isle of Man had 3 types of finish of decimal coins from the Royal Mint, as follows, Specimen, Brilliant Uncirculated and Proof. Based on this root/consistency, you should have found Specimen, Brilliant Uncirculated and Proof coins from the Pobjoy Mint in 1972/1973/194. However, it is hard to be true, actually only 2 types of coin existence namely BU and Proof.
- 1.1 1971 50p BU coin.
- 2.1 1972 50p BU coin.
- 3.1 1973 50p BU coin.
- 4.1 1974 50p BU coin.
1. 1971 50p BU coin. This coin (or the set) was sourced from Germany. Actually, it is really unbelievable such set and such place I got. It is hard to make it up, because all coins from 1/2d to 50p are still showing mint lustre.
2. 1972 50p BU coin. It is a 50p coin from the Isle of Man with a limit mintage of 1,000 coins. 1,000 pieces made in 1975, UNBELIEVABLE!!! It is somehow correlated with the event in 1979, Millennium of Tynwald. The entire thing is not a single and unrelated point but very strongly connected to a workable proposal submitted in 1972 by Mr D Pobjoy. It is said by collectors that all most of this kind were in a very serious collector’s hand, s/he was not keen to sell the coins. This causes 1972 50ps not cheap in the market.
3. 1973 50p BU coin. 1,000 pieces were made in 1975 as well. The difference between a BU coin and a PF coin is by looking at the E of Second on obverse. Only a few proof coins were minted within the allowance.
4. 1974 50p BU coin. 1,000 pieces made in 1975 as well. The difference between a BU coin and a PF coin is by looking at the E of Second on obverse. Only a few proof coins were minted within the allowance.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are 3 variants in 50p coins like Specimen, BU and Proof made in 1971. During the period of 1972 to 1974, there are only 2 variants in 50p coins like BU as shown above and Proof as follows. At this point, you are now able to see a 1974 50p proof coin, because it is only a sample to illustrate what does 50p proof look like.
- E1. 1974 50p Proof coin.
- E2. BU obverse vs. PF obverse.
- E3. The significance difference between BU and PF 50p coins.
From above, two things are clearly showing that firstly, a IOM 50p BU coin bearing 1971 exists and is hard to find out. Secondly, IOM 50p PF coins over the period of 1971 to 1974 were made in 1975 which can be found in the current market. The difference between a 50p BU coin and a 50p PF coin is by looking at the E of SECOND on obverse. Only the difference can tell you how to distinguish a BU coin and a PF coin. There is a very interesting question to ask how many did the Pobjoy mint produce those 50p proof coins? Of course, as usual, a small proportion was taken off from planned 1,000 pieces each year for 1972/73/74 respectively. Therefore, in order to answer it, my assumption is based on a weight of 1/4 (=0.25) and 1/10 (=0.10), then (max.) 250 (=0.25*1,000) proof coins and (min. 100) (=0.10*1,000) proof coins. Don’t ask me why, but you will know more than me if you know history of the Isle of Man.