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2009 UK 50p Coin Blue Peter and 2018 Royal Mint Experience Newton Strike Your Own 50p coin


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UK 50p coin in circulation the rarest ones.

Two 50p coins we are going to cover here, 2009 50p Blue Peter coin and 2018 50p Newton coin. 2009 50p Kew Gardens coin is used up against the two coins mentioned to see what is the rare coin within 50p group. In order to present a best picture of UK the rarest 50p coin in circulation, we must firstly define two base lines of term of rarity in 50p coin: a). mintage and b). statue of a coin: in current circulation where the coin is not out of date in decimalisation system. Therefore, we can talk more on a same topic.

Scenario I and II are used to illustrate the two base lines mentioned above, and a table follows behind each scenario case.

Scenario I: consider mintage only!
A mintage figure is highly and naturally connected with a coin where it is minted to put in place for daily use by a Minter. It is really hard to say how many coins a mint need to prepare, because demand is really hard to predict, due to many factors involved and cashless is getting more clear in our daily life in post-pandemic period.

In this part, we are going to list the rarest 50p coin as below:

Table A: UK the rarest 50p coin by mintage from 1971 to present
Name Year Mintage Note
Single Market EEC 1992/93 109,000 30.00mm & 16.00g
Kew Gardens 2009 210,000 27.30mm & 8.00g
Blue Peter 2009 19,751 no official figure, in folder
Isaac Newton 2018 20,826 Royal Mint Experience folder
Source: created by richukcoins® on 13/08/2020.

Scenario II: consider mintage upon statue of a coin. This is the way the Royal Mint used.

Table B: UK the rarest 50p coin by hype from 1997 to present
Name Year Mintage Note
Kew Gardens 2009 210,000 27.30mm & 8.00g
Blue Peter 2009 19,751 no official figure, in folder
Isaac Newton 2018 20,826 Royal Mint experience folder
Source: created by richukcoins® on 13/08/2020.

Table A & B are two very interesting tables. This is because Table A is a full picture of reflecting UK 50p coin over time, and Table B however just shows partially. At the moment, people or collectors are spending over £400 on a Kew in folder. What about a Blue Peter??? This is really a good question to be asked ourself. We all are driven by the Royal Mint marketing strategy.

Let we have a look what do they look like in terms of Blue Peter and Newton SYO (2018).

  • 2009 UK 50p coin Blue Peter
  • coming soon……

  • 2018 Royal Mint Experience Newton 50p coin Strike Your Own (SYO)

Please, donot get confused with 2017 Newton 50p coin. The reason you are going to see a 2018 Newton 50p coin is because the Mint have to use/create a thing (/or things) to marketing the Royal Mint Experience where they spent a lot time to build. Furthermore, 50p coin was becoming a hot potato between 2016 and 2017 in the UK. Therefore, that is the reason of the birth of 2018 Newton 50p coin. Yes, donot forget that 2018 Newton 50p coin is a coin that you strike it on your own (ie., Strike Your Own = SYO) at the Royal Mint Experience. This makes 2009 50p Blue Peter coin and 2018 50p Newton SYO coin a little bit different in nature.

2009 50p Blue Peter coin and 2018 50p Newton SYO coin are both rare in terms of mintage and qualified by the term of currently circulating. So, collectors, are you going to pay price over the roof on a 2009 50p Kew Gardens coin? Answers are already in you mind after this read. Mission still carries on. However, we will not know which one will be the next rarest 50p coin. Life expects many uncertainty, keep positive.

#End


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N95 Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirator and the Virus crisis 2020


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N95 and the Virus crisis in the UK

I know it is hard to believe seeing an article like this here. It is totally unrelated to any coins. However, I wanted to use this space and opportunity to save our the NHS system and its staff. Therefore, this is bit I can do.

N95 Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirator (i.e., N95 face masks) is a standard term on face masks named by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA. According to CDC, a N95 facepiece respirator is able to filter at least 95% of airborne particles, but unable to resist to oil. The standard of N95 was established in place after the Sars crisis in 2003/04. In Europe, there is three standards in terms of N95 style respirator, FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3. Because the FFP1 standard is extremely lower than the N95 standard, we will not cover it here. FFP stands for Filtering Face Piece and 1/2/3 donates the level of protection. a FFP2-graded respirator is equivalent to a N95 facepiece respirator and FFP3 is the highest grade (i.e., >99%) in its kind. For example, our NHS frontline staff must wear a FFP3 respirator associated with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to cope with patients.

Right now, the government has published social distancing (i.e., at least 2 meters between each) to isolate or delay the pandemic. It is not enough to stop this crisis. For instance, if you go to shopping, you are well aware the distance while you are waiting in a queue, but how many people are aware of the 2-meter distance when you are choosing products on shelves? However, this is time to spread the virus if you pass by a person who is potentially carrying the virus but insignificant to show symptoms. The virus can come to you through the air in a very short distance. In this scenario, a N95/ (at least) FFP2 face mask is required. A face mask is able to filter other particles in the air and give you very good quality air to breathe. You can imagine that if you are doing underwater activity without a breath, hard to survive, but give you scuba diving cylinder to use (i.e., oxygen), you swim like a fish in the water.

The pandemic crisis was started in very early Jan of 2020 in China (a few first cases confirmed in Wuhan China in the end of Dec 2019, due to information strictly delayed and/or unrevealed online), all either N95 or above FFP2 masks were OUT of STOCK in China and people were sourcing all possible face masks in Europe and the USA back to China during the periods of Jan and Feb. All factory orders in China has been in a long queue to March at the beginning of Feb 2020. The shortage of face masks in the world, we have to thank globalisation and Chinese purchasing power on all N95 and above. This tells us that Chinese people first thought was to use face masks to isolate and delay the spread of the virus. Very good example, please see Taiwan and Singapore. I have to say that Taiwan is not recognised by the WHO, but they really do a good job during the Sars and the Sars-COV-2 crisis, especially face mask supply domestic and the virus control strategy. Coronavirus information from Taiwan please see here.

In terms of the virus, I am really confused about its name. At the beginning of the pandemic crisis, not even called pandemic by the WHO, it was called the novel-Coronavirus-2019 (i.e., the 2019-nCOV or see PHE information 2019-nCOV). Later soon, it was officially named COVID-19 by the WHO. Sometimes, you probably see the Sars-COV-2 term. I believe that its proper name has not yet in place. We, as human being, will have to ponder what was going on in the past! Somehow, the WHO information has mislead all countries in the world. More information about the virus you can see from the Lancet.

Disclaimer:
All above, it only stands author’s personal view, other entity will not be held responsible for any inaccuracies.


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Britain 2020 Brexit 50p Coin from the Royal Mint


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31 January 2020, Brexit 50p Coin

From a road map of EU,
a article written by the BBC is the best place to know and discovery, please have a read link, a road map of the Brexit by BBC.

From coin side,

  1. 1973, UK 50p coin the EEC (hand in hand)
  2. 1973 EEC1973 EEC

  3. 1992, UK 50p coin the Single market
  4. 1992/93 the Single Market1992/93 the Single Market

  5. 1998, UK 50p coin the 25th Anniversary of the EEC
  6. 1998 EEC1998 EEC

  7. 2020, UK 50p coin the Brexit
  8. B01B02

    B03B04

    As you have seen above, it is very simple and basic package sold by the Royal Mint at £10 each plus delivery fee. It is hard to see what is WORTH of £10 really? Yes, one thing you have to admit that if you have not done anything on the day (31/01/2020), it would not be a record in our modern history. From this point, you contribute your £10 into the history. In terms of coin quality, it is still a prooflike finish standard. One more thing, from the road map of coins since 1973 to 2020, is that all story about the relationship between EU and the UK are all in place and all recorded on British modern coinage. Farewell the European Union, and Good luck to the UK.

    • 2020, UK 50p silver proof coin the Brexit
    • Note: a commemorative coin, supporting from a). a 47,000 issue limit = 47 years’ relationship with the European Union; & b). struck in precious metal like silver and gold. A label on outer packaging makes me thinking about “why” the payments were made on 31/01/2020, and then cancelled by the Royal Mint. Here you go. All coins scheduled on sale were the day, 31/01/2020, this doesnot necessarily mean that the manufacture was able to delivery goods on the day. I know the Royal Mint is endorsed by their brand & 1000 years history, and the Treasury (ie., a Treasury-owned company). But if, the Royal Mint were collapsed in a second (like Lehman Brothers in 2008), another Ponzi Scheme was on. However, who really cares?

    • 2020, UK 50p coin 2-coin the Brexit
    • B05B06

      Note: a combined pack of a 1973 coin and a 2020 coin, it covers 47 years that the relationship lasts between EU and the UK, and a limit of mintage is set up at 5,000 coins, much better than silver coin of this kind.

#End


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The Pobjoy Mint Die Mark (Single) A/B/C/D/E in 1973


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The Pobjoy Mint Die Mark (Single) A/B/C/D/E in 1973

I have talked a little bit on the topic of die mark AC in the past, catching it up you can click on Die Marks AC under All Categories on your right panel. Today, let we talk about single die mark, and the start of all die mark variants.

It all begun on sovereigns gold coins in 1973. In the year 1973, the Pobjoy mint were commissioned to mint sovereigns from half to five sovereigns on behalf of the government of Isle of Man. Also, it was the time to see the birth of die mark (single) A/B/C/D/E from a private mint in the post-decimal era in the UK. A special die mark X was created in 1973 and die mark F in 1979. In the meantime, the letters of PM were well-established as the Pobjoy Mint’s mintmark.

According to MacKay (1978, p.51), a single letter like A/B/C/D/E was stamped on IOM sovereigns from half to Five in 1973, and each letter indicated the numbers of coins struck from each die. However, the author has not put more information about the difference among dies, or gave explanation on reasons behind using different dies. Most importantly, this book was published by the Pobjoy Mint.

In terms of a single letter,
Precious metal, (–0)*, single die mark like: A, B, C, D & E, X (only 1973 gold metal, MacKay (1978, p.52)) and F (1979 silver metal);
Man-made metal, (–1)*, 2-digit die mark like AA/AB/AC/AD and BB/BC on 1978 £1 Virenium coin;
Base metal, (–2)*, 2-digit die mark like: AA/AB/AC/AD/AE(?)/AF(?) under the Prefix A, and BB/BC/BD/BE/BF and BA (1988 50p Xmas coin) under the Prefix B** on 1979 50p CN coin.
The difference among above like 2^0(=1) and 2^1(=2, two different finish standards) and 2^2 (=4, Tynwald Hill, a 4-tiered hill). The base 2 comes from a coin having two sides.
The meaning of 2-digit die mark represents the First Day of Minting (FDM) like AA and BB in base metal, B in precious metal.
*Note: considers as position in line.
**Note: AE, AF, BE and BF were only appeared on circulating commemorative coins like IOM Xmas 50p coin, and not on circulating coins. DD was spotted on 1980 circulating coins. Also, the Prefix B indicates a (at least) prooflike or proof finish standard. This source comes from 50p coins.

Having said above, it is easy to direct how to collect IOM Xmas 50p coin and IOM T.T. 50p coin in terms of die mark. In general, coins in loose condition, die marks AA and BB both from circulating commemorative coins are the most common ones but AA with BU striking techniques and BB with Diamond Finish striking techniques. Years like 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 until 1985 it is hard to decide which direction you are going to, because there is 4 (at least) variants from the Prefix A and the Prefix B and later after post-1997, down to AA/BB (or ND).

Some special IOM/T.T. 50p ones without provenance at the moment, like:

  1. 1980 IOM Xmas,
  2. it has BB/BC/BD/BE/BF & BF mule plus two different versions under die letters BB–BB w/ mirror-liked field and BB w/o mirror-liked field, and AA/AB/AC/AD/AE(?)/AF(?). Mistakes noted! Very new product from the perspective of the Mint alongside circulating coins. Official announcement of BC as diamond finish in Krause book (KM#).

  3. 1981 IOM Xmas XX,
  4. this one is possibly linked to 1973 sovereign with die mark X. It has BB and BC under the Prefix B this year. In the same year, IOM T.T. was minted. Mistake noted! New product from the perspective of the Mint alongside circulating coins.

  5. 1983 IOM T.T. AC,
  6. it has AA/AB/AC/AD and BB.

  7. 1988 IOM Xmas BA,
  8. this one indicates that BA coin finish standard is between AA and BB. The BB die marks indicate proof finish, and the AA die marks stand for standard finish. Somehow it echoes 1980 BB w/o mirror-liked field in terms of striking quality.

  9. In 1994 IOM Xmas ND,
  10. Striking techniques are totally different.

  11. 2005 IOM Xmas AA,
  12. is shiny like a glass cup.

  13. 2011 IOM Xmas AA,
  14. and ND are only two grades in Xmas series. BB die marks has dropped out since 2004 onwards.

Let us talk about the AC and AD die marks once again here. It has been talking many times in the past, but here it definitively gives you the best picture you can see. Also, you can find them from Die Marks AC/ AD under Categories on your right panel. The AD die mark was established alongside with the AC die mark in 1978 for the purpose of celebrating the first £1 pound coin in British decimal coinage history. The standard finish (i.e., UNC finish) was used on £1 IOM virenium coin from sequence of A to D under the Prefix A. In the year 1979, it only had the AA/AB/AC die marks on £1 virenium coin. However, the AD die mark was spotted on 1979 IOM 50p coin. Most surprisingly, this year 50p coin finish on the AA/AB/AC/AD die marks was significant different, and each die mark had two variants (note, another 1979 AC from 1980 AC). Probably, all steps above were included in the “1972 workable proposal” submitted in 1972 by Mr. D. Pobjoy.

Have you noticed that the AD die mark was shifted from £1 down to 50p? This obviously echoes the Millennium AD event and the Royal visit event in 1979.

It was a amazing story told by the different die marks, but sadly, it had no any official record of them to trace or search. Probably, it is the best disadvantage of collecting IOM post-decimal coin.

Reference
MacKay, J.A., 1978. The Pobjoy Mint Encyclopaedia of Isle of Man Coins and Tokens. 2nd ed. Dumfries, England: The Pobjoy Mint.

#End

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The Snowman 2018 and 2019 by the Royal Mint


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The Snowman(tm) 2018 and 2019 by the Royal Mint

Since 2016, the Royal Mint finally decided to mint cartoonish coins and made the blue Peter 50p coin prolong famous in the numismatic world. Two years later, the Mint slowly moved into the Xmas market by issuing the Snowman(tm) 50p coin. Right now, it has been 2 coins on the market. Note, the very first Royal Mint Christmas or Christmas-related theme was released in 2016 £20 silver bullion coin, and then 2017 and 2018 £5 coins.

What are we talking here today, it is Christmas-related theme, the Snowman(tm) 50p coin. This theme starts in 2018 onwards. Metal it will be in silver.

The year 2018,

  • The Snowman(tm) 2018, 50p silver proof coin
  • The Snowman(tm) 2018, 50p silver proof coin–a close look

it was glad to see the Snowman(tm) again, especially issued by the Royal Mint. However, the very 1st Snowman was released in 2003, the Snowman & James, by the British Pobjoy Mint on behalf of the government of Isle of Man. It has been a while, 15 years!

Two things we cover here mainly, one is the outer packaging and another is coin itself. Firstly, outer packaging itself is designed for the purpose of gifting to people who search for a gift during the period of Christmas, because it is once a year. In general, it was produced by the way of simplifying the concept of snowball glass. Selling at £60 per unit is not bad for a good choice. However, moving down to coin itself, it is hard to say good or bad. By looking at the reverse side of the coin, colour-printed picture-formatted, very very simple and cant even say we live in 2018. It is even no any illustration word or heading on the reverse. If you hold coin itself, you only see flying the Snowman(tm) and Billy. This theme of the Snowman(tm) and Billy 2018 is also able to be seen from Isle of Man 2014 1 crown coin. In terms of coin grade, the Royal Mint quality guaranteed proof standard finish is highly visible.

The year 2019,

  • The Snowman(tm) 2019, 50p silver proof coin
  • The Snowman(tm) 2019, 50p silver proof coin–a close look

the outer packaging was better than 2018 and making better feeling about the Christmas festival days, but, you had to pay for £65 per unit. Coin itself this year was worse than last year. Because there was no any good and surprise innovation on. Just simply let flying the Snowman(tm) transform into a standing feature on the ground. At this stage, something is popping out from my head, yes, the 2016 Beatrix Potter series, later soon, this series become a milk-cow production line.

Finally, let we summarise mintage figures of the Snowman(tm) 50p coin 2018 and 2019 in Table A.

Table A: the Snowman(tm) 50p coin 2018 and 2019.
Year Mintage (base metal) Mintage (silver) Mintage (gold) Theme
2018 unlimited 15,000 400 the Snowman(tm), Flying the Snowman & Billy
2019 unlimited 25,000 600 the Snowman(tm), a Standing feature

The year 2019, it is coming to an end and a new year is waiting for us ahead, I wish all collectors and people who are reading it a Merry Christmas and a Happy New! Enjoying the great time with your family. Thank you for your support. A new Year, a new start.

#End


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Gibraltar £2 Two Pound Prooflike Diamond Finish Coin 2020 The Labours of Hercules (2nd issue)


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Gibraltar £2 Prooflike Diamond Finish Coin 2020 the 12 Labours of Hercules (2nd issue)

On 11th December 2019 onwards, I started to build on this thread. It aims to give you general information about the 2nd issue of the Hercules (ie., same country and same issuer and same face valued used). What a great surprise, the 12 tasks/labours of Hercules (2nd issue) (i.e., the theme) was suddenly presented in front of collectors without any marketing on the 25th of November 2019. The product release totally caused a chaos on the release days either the Pobjoy mint website or collectors. The Hercules theme was originally issued in 1990s under the Gibraltar government order by the British Pobjoy Mint maker with a face value of £2 bi-metallic coinage. Yes, it has been over 20 years since the 1st release in 1997, the new issues have nothing changed and nothing improved but instead with a so-called diamond finish standard. It is a bit ironic really here. After more than 20 years, there is no any good and innovative products showing off in the numismatic world in the 21 century.

This time, the 12-coin as a set is struck at a prooflike diamond finish standard. Each coin (or each task) has a issue limit of 1,750 coins along with a cert at a price of £12.95 (incl. VAT) posted and delivery charged, and later the final one £2 extra added up on top. You may feel this small increase is not too much, but actually it says that well done your marketing and you have got more followers. In this current climate world, people probably donot care how good numismatic product it is and what potential investment value it is, but do care that limit number (i.e., mintage).

On each release day, you are going to receive an email sent from their mailing list system that contains release information and purchase link. Using purchase link is the quick way to get on the refresh page game. This just remind me that high frequency trading in financial market. A little awkward situation is the Pobjoy Mint website not designed for this purpose, cannot handle such high volume of traffic. The 1st coin in series was sold out within 3 hours on the day without any limitation of how many you intend to buy. The 2nd and 3rd ones were sold in a problematic chaos ending and after the 3rd one, each labour was sold within a second. To collectors, they have got used that “the Pobjoy video games on”, meaning how efficiently refresh the page to load, and to the Mint, the hook has been established well at the heart of following customers and added values to their brand again.

The real value behind the 2nd issue, probably it is a prooflike Diamond Finish standard. But these re-issues will also boost the 1st issue price up inevitably. The technique of PLDF has never been implemented on £2 Gibraltar bi-metallic coin before. What is more, the government of Gibraltar and the Pobjoy Mint have both overseen re-issued coins’ advantages (ie., huge revenue), based on examples built by the Royal Mint, more specifically, like 2019 UK 50p Kew Gardens, 2009 UK 40 years of the 50p coin from 1973 to 2009 and 2019 UK the 50 years of 50p coin etc.. This way/situation can just simply be concluded that there is NO any good products or arts being made into this pool. Re-issued coins are simply promoting original coins price high over roof eventually, and more and more people get their hands on 1st issue.

The 1st issue of the 12 labours of Hercules was released on £2 face value in 1997 in bimetal and silver, and the 12-coin was completed in 2000. All coins were Brilliant Uncirculated (BUNC) coins with/out die mark AA. However, £2 silver proof coin version with gold-gilt were merely known by collectors. We have talked about this silver proof set, so you can click on here to read. Clearly, it has a gap between PF and BUNC. Therefore, the 2nd issue of the 12 tasks of Hercules was released with a PLDF standard in November 2019. If you are aware of some No Die mark (ND) coins in the 1st issue, the current PLDF coin and then ND coin has no a big difference in terms of a finish standard excluding H8 of the 2nd issue.

Below, it shows that what do we got for £12.95 at early stage and then £12.95 plus £2.95 delivery fee (note H12 sold at £14.95 plus 2.95 delivery fee)<#1>.

  • No.1 to No. 12 (eg., the Nemean Lion), the 12 labours of Hercules, Gibraltar £2 Prooflike (PL) Diamond Finish (DF) coin

Now, let we have a close look the very first task of Hercules 2020, £2 coin from Gibraltar.

  • No.1, The Nemean Lion, Gibraltar £2 PL coin

In terms of a Prooflike (PL) coin, it was defined by the Isle of Man government on the 2017 50p House of Keys “Proof” coin, an error letter saying a prooflike coin is to be struck at least ONCE upon a polished blank. Therefore, the mirror-liked field is visible (as high as better) and the reflectivity reaches a certain length like 4-7 centimeter or over. When you look at this coin, eye-appearing it shows very shiny to me, the mirror-liked field is visible, and has reflectivity on coin. However, based on the ability of minting coins by the Pobjoy mint, they still have room to get improved lately (see No. 8 frosted version this is what I am talking about).

From the market prospective, the theme of this kind of product, the 2nd issue of the 12 labours of Hercules, just perfectly fits in the gap of previously left between BUNC in base metal and PF in precious metal, and simultaneously blows away fakes on the market. One stone and more than 3 birds. However, this also is a chance to show what your disadvantages are. Firstly, it should go to website traffic width definitely.

2019 Gibraltar Father Christmas 50p DF coin is back on track in terms of coin grade and in a way of selling coins UNC, DF, AGPF, AGPDFT and AUPF, and the 12 labours of Hercules (2nd issue) is coming out. Wait, Gibraltar the world first black pearl 50p DF coin “Penny black” as well. It concludes that the Pobjoy mint have recovered from the bad divorce and are doing something to strike it back. This story is ironic and funny. It might be a story enough for tea time.

Hey, your little brother drives a super speedy boat to catch you, the Royal Mint, how do you feel and react? With regard to the Tower mint, it is distance far behind the start line. All 3 government-hired mints are inland, 2 in England and 1 in Wales.

Story regarding each labour after this line, it shows below.

on 21st December, 2019—H2
Here, let we have a look this 2nd coin in series. First of all, the outer packaging has no difference like 1st coin, therefore, we don’t spend more time on this. If you want to see what it looks like, you can scroll up to <#1>. In regard to certificate associated with each coin, it has no point to address its function further, indeed, it is a piece of paper and does stand for nothing. If this is true, only the issue limit number is a piece of information.

  • No.2, The Lernean Hydra, Gibraltar £2 PL coin

The coin you are looking at is nothing special in contrast to the 1st one, just a 2 coin from Gibraltar. However, how did you get this coin? I think most people definitely have different views on it. To be short, it was wasting time to obtain one, and joy became a nightmare. And, from the perspective of collector, the more coin you get, I mean the entire series, the nasty you get involved naturally. Please Please, don’t kill this hobby especially in a way that cashless will be the final destination in our society.

The most interesting thing was the release day which was 10/12/2019, not the coin itself. The first 2-coin release days were very close. 2nd/12 was sold within hours before launch time. Even they officially said they released the last batch around 1245 on the day, the question was arose. It was highly likely already all gone. Don’t forget they shut down the www.pobjoy.com at least twice, it is very abnormal for a business. Width was set up at 3 per household per transaction initially, and people in mailing system were at least 8,000 (unconfirmed), people, do the maths.

If you placed your order(s) with the www.pobjoy.com, you would have a confirmation email (ie., invoice#) generated by them and simultaneously your money was collected by their payment merchant (ie., transaction#). Later soon in this case (actually, you should have had an order# email from them simultaneously!), the order# email you received contained your actually order associated with the transaction# (with regard to transaction#, it was erased manually in this case). Did you notice 2 elements in confirmation letter, a) the invoice# and b). at the bottom, “This email does not constitute an order until payment has been processed.” The transaction# in their payment merchant was matched with a). Therefore, a confirmation email + cleared payment, a contract was formed between buyer and seller. Actually in this case, it was a contract to seller and buyer only when the seller sent out their order# manually. Once you clicked on the last line in confirmation email, you were redirected to a invalid page of Terms & Conditions. Wait, at this stage, how nasty it was behind the dark curtain. Obviously, the www.pobjoy.com did not have competence to host such coin release.

on 14th January, 2020—H3
They released information that they were going to put the 3rd coin in series on sale during the week. However, on the days of 15th & 16th, they cancelled the planned release, because people used auto-refresh technology which is illegal to take advantage on buying coins. Therefore, the release was abort. The mint website was down and up until the 17th which was the day of game on. In the following week, they threw in another batch. This is the story about the 3rd coin. In the meanwhile, they have totally changed the way of how to release information. A big lesson they learned at least so far.

  • No.3, The Ceryneian Hind, Gibraltar £2 PL coin
  • Hercules 3rdHercules 3rd

on 3rd, February, 2020—H4
they sent out notice that release of the Hercules in Feb afterwards is going to reduce the limit per person AND per household down to 2 now from the very first unlimited and then 3. It was good news to people who squeeze in the queue, and they tried the best to keep the business fair.

As usual, this one below still shows coin quality very bad, especially surface blemish on outer ring part. This fact makes me pondering the question: “What is REALLY a diamond finish standard on £2 the Hercules?” A batch of 1,750 coins per month is not a big batch of job lot, the quality of coin, however, is expected to very low unsurprisingly. What is more, it is no longer free-of-charge on delivery since 3rd coin release, meaning extra £2.95 on top of your bill. This comes down to £15.90 (=£12.95 + £2.95) per transaction. Most people donot care this sale price, because you could re-sell the coin at very high price once a coin lands in your hands. However, this move either the Mint or purchasers is damaging the sustainability of the modern numismatic market. Re-issue of the labours of Hercules, it probably follows the Royal Mint move in 2019 50 years of the 50p coin plus a gap between BU grade and PF grade among British £2 coins on the market. This move, indeed, to the Mint, creates a huge demand. Based on the fact of the Pobjoy mint reissuing the 2nd issue of the Hercules, it is most likely to say the rare GIB £2 coins made by the Pojboy Mint in the past (1988 to 2003) and now (2017 to present). How rare it is, remains unknown.

  • No.4, The Erymanthian Boar, Gibraltar £2 PL coin
  • NO.4NO.4

on 27th, February—H5
This one was issued at 5 mins after 9 in the morning, and formed a sign that two coins in series issued at the same month but different date.

  • No.5, The Augeias’ Stables, Gibraltar £2 PL coin

on 17th, March—H6 & H7
The pair were issued during the Coronavirus outbreak and a national lockdown. It is really a surprise that 2 coins were issued at the same.

  • No.6, The Stymphalian Birds, Gibraltar £2 PL coin
  • No.7 The Cretan Bull, Gibraltar £2 PL coin

on 25th March, the Pobjoy Mint office was closed under government guidance until further notice, and resumed business on 17th April. A month later,

Back to business on 13th, May—H8 & H9
A pair again.

  • No.8, The Mares of Diomedes, Gibraltar £2 PL coin
    1. [Type I, regular version in terms of PL]
    2. [Type II, frosted version]
  • No.9, The Girdle of Hyppolyte, Gibraltar £2 PL coin

on 25th, June—H10 & H11
Hooray, a pair.

  • No.10, The Cattle of Geryon, Gibraltar £2 PL coin
  • No.11, The Apples of the Hesperides, Gibraltar £2 PL coin

Finally, on 3rd of September–H12
Leave one choice of a single coin to be released.
In the afternoon, around tea time, it was out, Finally, the set has landed on earth. It was a tough job and experience while the Coronavirus was spreading among us.

  • No.12, The Cerberus, Gibraltar £2 PL coin

Declaration:
The coins showed above are randomly picked up.

#End


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Gibraltar Father Christmas 50p Diamond Finish Coin in 2019



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Gibraltar Father Christmas 50p Coin associated with Die Marks DA and AA


With no exception and surprise, it is time to reveal 2019 Xmas-related 50p coin in base metal. Normally it is about this time every year. This 50p coin comes from Gibraltar, designed and struck by the Pobjoy mint with theme Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs. Metal available in silver and gold (please see 2018 ones in terms of metal variety; Note silver is silver proof and silver piedfort proof version this year). Since they (the Mint) took over the contract from the Tower mint in 2017, it has been a little mess about the Gibraltar Xmas series. Generally speaking, it is highly related with stories from the Bible from 1988 to 2003, and but from 2017 to 2019 it is a story all about Father Christmas. At this point, the Royal mint are doing the exactly same thing, Snowman.

From below, you are going to see three different type coins.

1. Currency type, die mark AA

  • 1.1 Version I
  • 1.2 Version II

Between Version I and Version II, the prominent difference is obviously coin finish itself and mirror-field. In Version II, “frosted” Father Christmas can be seen easily. If you look further and scroll down, “frosted” AA has a less quality than “frosted” DA in terms of coin finish. It concludes that Version I coin has no any pre-polished blank used in comparison to Version II, and Version II it has also a better mirror-field than Version I in terms of reflectivity. With regard to die mark AA, it locates at the right side of the horizon and below berries & holly.

2. Diamond finish non-colour-printed in a decoration, die mark DA (instead of ND in 2018)

This DA coin, it is a sign indicating what they are still able to produce, but still a faraway from 1980s products. Also, they create a big room between DA coins and Silver Piedfort coins in terms of margins.

3. Diamond finish colour-printed in a card, die mark DA (instead of ND in 2018)

From above 2 & 3, one thing is clear, mintage for both diamond finish and diamond finish colour-printed coins has only one number, 8,500. They spend almost 40 years figured out this in order. In contrast to mintage of 2018, they agreed to increase 1,000 coins in base metal. Silver proof coin was decreased from 4,500 to 1,500 coins. However, silver proof coin has gone instead of silver proof piedfort coin. A 3rd coin since 2016 is still not able to stay away from the Father Christmas theme. From this point on, silver coins are no longer silver proof version, and are piedfort style (i.e., double silver proof), asking price £99.17 (excl. VAT). However, it is totally wrong market strategy in terms of product variety.

Below it is Table A that summarises Gibraltar Xmas 50p coin from 2017 to 2019.

Table A: Gibraltar Christmas 50p DFCN coin from 2017 to 2019
Year Mintage (base metal) 1st order difference Colour Theme Metal
2019 8,500 1,000 Yes Father Christmas by R Briggs CN, Silver/Silver Piedfort, Gold
2018 7,500 -2,500 Yes Father Christmas by R Briggs CN, Silver, Gold
2017 10,000 Christmas (from 1992) CN

A 2019 Father Christmas 50p coin w/ die mark AA and a 2019 Father Christmas 50p coin w/ die mark DA, they are two totally different coins in terms of coin quality and coin mintage. A Father Christmas 50p coin w/ DA is limited at 8,500 coins, slabbed in a decoration and a card produced by the Pobjoy mint itself. However, A Father Christmas 50p coin w/ AA is absolutely UNLIMITED, partially some in Gibraltar Stamps and Coins FDC.

This year, you probably see die mark DA first time, me as well. But, actually, the prefix D has been using in 1980 Viking 50p on IOM decimal diamond finish coin set, named die mark DD. A new pattern is formed under the prefix D in 2019 which is DD–DA–AA. The new pattern echoes a similar pattern, but from the prefix B (IOM) in between 1988 and 2004, BB–BA–AA. With seeing die mark DA, I believe that it is time to say goodby to die mark BB and the prefix B. Somehow, you can think about it like sort of strike back. At this point, you might feel the existence of die mark DA.

Let we talk back on coin itself. First look, it is better, much better since 2016. You can think this like the divorce resulted in very sad feeling and exhausted in 2017, and take a break and fell better in 2018. Finally, in 2019 it is able to do work. Also, 2019 one is the best so far. In 2019, we hope everything is back on track.

Below, it is a DF non-colour-printed coin, taking out from a decoration. First, eye-appealing is much better (since 2013 onwards). A deep “frosted” effect is there, only on a DA coin. So the coin shows more whitish in colour both two sides. Second, mirror-liked field is easy to see. Last, the portrait on the obverse is a problem. It is slightly rotated at least 1 degree.

  • 2019 Gibraltar Father Christmas 50p DA coin

So far, you have seen 2019 Father Christmas 50p coin in different range of products in base metal.

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Gibraltar Father Christmas 50p Diamond Finish Coin in 2018


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Gibraltar Father Christmas 50p Coin associated with NO Die Mark in 2018

Story is being updated now……

A second one in series after many years they had got their contract back from the Tower Mint. This one looked very different in comparison with previous, considering a same Father Christmas face in two different years, one named Christmas 2017, but 2018 was called Father Christmas(tm). It concludes that the Christmas series is no longer come out on the market but instead the Father Christmas series. At the same time, The Snowman(tm) series by the Royal Mint was under way. Both the themes came from the same source original creator Raymond Briggs.

In 2018, it has three types of Father Christmas 50p coin from Gibraltar in base metal, standard version with die marks AA/AB (i.e., currency/circulating commemorative coin), diamond finish standard version with NO die mark (i.e., uncirculated commemorative coin) and of course, diamond finish standard colour-printed version with NO die mark. In terms of coin striking quality, a 2018 Father Christmas 50p coin is much better than a 2017 Christmas 50p coin that is originally issued in 1992.

1. Currency coin with die marks AA/AB (Note AA/AB is underneath left arm)

  • Version AA
  • COMING SOON……

  • Version AB
  • COMING SOON……

2. Diamond Finish non-colour-printed, 50p ND coin

  • Father Christmas 2018, a 50p ND DF coin in a decoration
  • Father Christmas 2018, a 50p ND DF coin

It has been a while since last 50p coin in a decoration. One was likely seen in 2012, but later was fully replaced by a IOM Post Office small-sized card. And, never and ever a 2014 IOM Christmas 50p Snowman coin in a decoration was officially sold, please be aware of this cottage business.

The first surprise is that the Xmas 50p series has gone? Because in the year 2018, Father Christmas(tm) was big enough printed on the reverse of a Gibraltar 50p coin. In 2017, Christmas was highly seen on Gibraltar 50p coin. However, there was no any trace of Christmas on 50p coins. The second focus, of course, is that coin quality is much better than 2017 ones. At least, the mirror-like field is more or less visible. It looks boring that one singular object was drawn in design structure, meaning very simple in design. Thirdly, in contrast to 2017 Christmas 50p coins’ mintage, it came down to 7,500 coins, a bit smaller than 2017 ones. Last but not least, other coins in precious metal, silver proof and gold proof were both minted.

3. Diamond Finish colour-printed, 50p ND coin

  • Father Christmas 2018, a 50p colour-printed ND DF coin in a card
  • Father Christmas 2018, a 50p colour-printed ND DF coin

It seems that this colour-printed version is the first one made by the Pobjoy mint for Gibraltar. However, the disadvantage of this colour-printed version is painting so weak, might have a result of colour dropping over time.

*Most popular philatelic products are First Day Coin cover (i.g., FDC), and the key players are benham and westminstercollection in the UK. Others may exist but not included here. One 2018 Father Christmas 50p colour-printed DF coin was seen for sale and this FDC has a issue limit of 50. The number of 50 is very very small, but the story behind the 50 is very interesting to decipher. Eventually, this FDC programme was replaced by the Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau’s FDC. Both the 2 cases were achieved none! For collectors, they suffered a lot of pain during the course. (*Note: I wrote this paragraph after I put blog of Gibraltar Father Christmas 50p ND coin in 2019 online.)

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Gibraltar Christmas 50p Diamond Finish Coin from 1988 to 2003 & 2017


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Gibraltar Christmas 50p diamond finish coins from 1988 to 2003 and 2017

COMING SOON……


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Isle of Man Decimal Proof and Diamond Finish Coins 1978 vs. 1980 vs. 1981


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Isle of Man Decimal Proof (PF) and Diamond Finish (DF) Coins 1978 vs. 1980

This topic, it is mainly going to talk about Isle of Man proof decimal coins in base metal pre-1980, for instance, a 1978 proof set. However, it covers 1981 diamond finish decimal coins. The reason of mentioning the 1981 decimal diamond set, obviously, is due to the first £5 (crown-sized) coin in Britain decimalisation system on the island. What is more, a 2017 50p commemorative coin struck at the Tower Mint will be a supportive point to echo this topic.

What had happened in 1978? At least 3 points to say. Firstly, most importantly, it was the year of the 25th Anniversary of Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Secondly, the first £1 round coin issued on the island for the first £1 coin in the British decimalisation system. Last, this proof technique was first showing in base metal coin, 2 years early than the Royal Mint. A 1978 proof set is the very first proof finish standard in base metal in Britain decimal coinage. Back at that time, there was not any proof sets or single coin at the market (e.g., particles, mirror-liked field etc) even the Royal Mint world-class minter had no product to show off, for instance, 1973 UK 50p coin Hands in Hands not struck with a proof finish standard and British decimal set in 1980 onward with a proof finish standard issued. Indeed, the 1978 proof set has enormous numismatic value in terms of collection value.

Above 3-point carried on a 1978 IOM proof set, it is all behind each 1978 proof set. A issue limit is unknown. But based on 1996 IOM silver proof set issue limit, for the purpose of celebrating the 25th decimalisation on the island, 1996 silver sets were produced, say 25–1996. Let we make a guess on 1978 issue limit, it could be like say 25–1978. However, it somehow has the base of 25. Therefore, a issue limit is between 25 (i.e., min.) and 1978 (i.e., max.). At this point, we conclude that the 1978 decimal CN proof set indicates that the closest relationship between the Tynwald government and British Monarch.

  • 1978 Isle of Man Proof Decimal 8 Coins, mintage unknown

The 1978 proof set contains coins from 1/2d (the smallest value coin) up to Crown, 8-coin with a Pobjoy Mint medallion. The most interesting thing is virenium £1 coin within the set. Also this Pound coin makes a huge achievement in Britain decimalisation history–the very 1st Pound coin, considering Great Britain Pound coin issued in 1983. The 1978 proof set issue limit is unknown, this is very typically and mysteriously things they love to do. I personally would say it is 1,000 sets (or less, this would be dependent on the demand variable and the proof set popularity variable in 1978). Why is 1,000 sets? Please see 1981 Diamond Finish decimal 8-coin with £5 and 1972-74 decimal 6-coin, they are all 1,000 sets each.

It is said that they (the Pobjoy mint) upgraded their machinery in 1980 and declared Diamond Finish (DF) Standard for a higher standard finish to collector at same year. Actually, DF is highly likely a prooflike finish (see 2017 the Treasure of Isle of Man, “press once on pre-polished blank”), lower than proof finish standard in terms of grade. See supportive evidence that 2017 Isle of Man House of keys 50p proof coin. Tynwald did not allow their new staff IOM post office (used to be the Pobjoy mint job) sell and advertise 50p “proof” coin instead a letter from the Treasure cancelling wording “proof”, but coins were actually struck at a proof standard by their new minter the Tower mint. Here it is another story untold.

Next, it is 1980 diamond decimal set.

  • 1980 Isle of Man Diamond Decimal 7 Coins, limited at 25,000 sets

You probably notice that coin grade between 1978 and 1980 is totally different. This is the significant difference between the two decimal sets in terms of coin finish standard. It is probably the reason they declared the diamond finish in 1980. The 1978 decimal set coin was struck at level of proof finish standard, however the 1980 set coin was only a diamond finish standard (i.e., prooflike finish). Also, the 1980 set had no crown sized coin with it. This might be a clue directing that a new higher nominal face value coin would be born in 1981? The DD batch code/die mark was shown on the 50p CN coin and BB on £1 coin in 1980. The prefix B and prefix D assigned on decimal diamond finish sets have had a stir internally, but finally the prefix B was the winner (please see IOM Xmas 50p diamond finish BC coin (1980/1981) and/or Gibraltar Xmas 50p DA coin (2019)). As you can see above, the 1978 50p proof coin has no die mark on (ND). Later soon, a 50p coin of a 1984 Decimal diamond finish set is ND as well. However, the first Xmas 50p coin with ND was struck in 1994 Wren hunt. At this moment, it has no any evidence indicating the relationship between a 50p proof coin w/ ND and a 50p proolike coin w/ ND. But array of the years, 1984 & 1994 and 1987 & 1997, are another things to look into.

Finally, 1981 diamond decimal set comes to an end of this topic.

  • 1981 Isle of Man Diamond Decimal 8 Coins, limited at 1,000 sets

The year 1981, it had two different decimal sets, 7 coins without £5 crown-sized coin limited at 25,000 sets and 8 coins with £5 crown-sized coin limited at 1,000 sets. Eventually, it had a total of 26,000 sets. Oooohh, wait, 1,000 sets for 8-coin set, the no. 1,000 echoes a). 1,000 sets of 1972/73/74 decimal UNC 6-coin respectively and b). 1000 years of Tynwald 1979, the oldest continuous parliament in the world. Therefore, it concludes that the mintage of 1978 decimal proof set it was highly likely to set at 1,000. How many sets sold in the past, nobody knew.

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Great Britain 50 Years of The 50p Coin


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50 Years of the 50p Coin, Great Britain decimal 50p coin from 1969 to 2019

It is a part that shows key designs in year order during the period of 50 years, in terms of reverse design only. It may come across portrait changes during illustration.

50 Years (of the 50p coin from 1969 to 2019).

  • 50p coin: Britannia 1969 (left) vs. Britannia 2019 (right) (winner in design)
    • Royal coat of arms 2013 (runner-up in design, both by Christopher Ironside)
  • 50p coin, Britannia 2019 w/o privy (left) vs. 2019 w/ 2-privy
  • Generally speaking, product quality, in terms of coin grade, is improving from very basic to (deep) prooflike over years. Nothing is worth mentioning here really. If you have a close look at the 2019 50p coin w/o and w/ privy, there is one thing you have to address, coin w/ privy grade much better than coin w/o privy. The 2019 50p coin w/o privy was taken at the Royal Mint Experience, strike your own (syo), and originally only the place where you were able to purchase. However, the Royal Mint changed rules after the big sales of 50 years of the 50p coin proof standard and silver proof standard sets. It makes the 2019 50p syo coin a bit controversial.

“New” omitted (in 1982) during 50 years.

  • 50p coin 1982 (left) vs. 1969 (right)
  • No longer “New” onwards.

2nd Portrait to 3rd Portrait (in 1985) during 50 years

  • 2nd portrait [1969, 1984] vs. 3rd portrait [1985, 1997]

GB 1st 50p circulating silver proof coin (in 1996) during 50 years

  • 50p Silver proof coin seated Britannia in 1996
    • Provenance: the 25th Anniversary of decimalisation in 1996, UK vs. IOM
    • The 25th anniversary of decimalisation silver proof coin sets, both UK and IOM, were only sold to collector in silver proof finish. Note the significant difference between the UK and IOM silver proof sets above is that UK decimal silver proof and proof and BU sets were already in place in 1996. The above UK silver proof set was sold only for the purpose of celebrating the 25th anniversary of decimalisation. Also, the two 50p silver coins here were then circulating coin (i.e., a coin in daily use). In terms of integration, the IOM silver proof set had 9-coin in a set from face value of £5 down to 1p, however, the UK silver set only 7 coins were presented. With regard to popularity, the IOM 1996 silver proof set is great in demand. According to its coa, 1996 IOM silver sets were produced with a limit of 1996 sets in 1996. At this point, it is clear to say that UK numismatic products are unpopular before 2009 and most high value denominations like £1 £2 and £5 are used.

    This 1996 Seated Britannia 50p silver proof coin with a limit of 15,000 coins is recognised by a few collectors in terms of coin valuation in British modern coins. The 50p silver proof coin is a real collector item, but people who collect modern coins are keen to commercial numismatic item for instance 2016 blue peter 50p silver coin. If you look at the 50p silver coin itself, it is simple and limited at 15000 coins.

Resized from 30.00mm to 27.30mm (in 1997) during 50 years.

  • 50p coin: 1997 large (left) vs. 1997 small (right)
    • The existence of a choice between 7-sided 50p and circular 50p in 1994

Seated Britannia went down instead by Shield (in 2008) during 50 years.

  • 50p coin 2008 Seated Britannia (left) vs. 2008 Shield (right) & 4th portrait [1998, 2015]
  • Importantly, all 50p coins made in 2000 onwards are at least a prooflike standard finish. This is a very significant improvement made from the Royal Mint. Seated Britannia closed her curtain on UK circulating 50p coin after 2008.

Commemorative 50p coins during 50 years
During the period of 50 years, a very 1st commemorative 50p coin struck at the Royal Mint and at the Pobjoy Mint respectively, from the perspective of minter and understanding numismatic products. UK, it was 1973, which UK first joined the European Economic Community. Isle of Man, it was 1978, which was the 25th Anniversary of Coronation of the Queen E II. Two “special” 50p coins are shown at Point A and B below in depth. Point A and B are two points to support Commemorative 50p coin 1973 UK vs. IOM.

  • Commemorative 50p coin 1973 UK EEC PF vs. 1978 IOM PF
  • It is a very interesting comparison between the two coins. Firstly, it is coin grade. 1973 EEC 50p proof coin was made with a prooflike standard finish. However, 1978 IOM Viking boat 50p proof coin was a real proof coin. At early stage of decimalisation, coins made from the Pobjoy mint were properly minted and the Royal mint were heading to political gift. Secondly, it has no competition internal and external in this market in terms of minters. Last not least, the Royal mint didnot fancy developing any 50p coin at the beginning of decimalisation, but the Pobjoy mint had different view on 50p coin.

Point A. Within the period of 50p years, contemporary GB history also created on 50p coins in 1973 and 1992/93.

  • 50p coin 1973 (left) (UNC) vs. 1992/93 (right) (BUNC)
  • BUNC grade coin, only from year mint set.

    • 50p coin 1973 (left) vs. 1992/93 (right) (circulating type)

    As shown above, a BU 50p coin and a circulating type 50p coin in 1992/93 are very different in terms of coin grade. And only the circulating type was limited at 109,000 coins. This coin was seized for circulating after 1997, but it was part of decimalisation improvement. A very interesting question arises in my mind, what if the London Bridge goes down, whether is or not solid point to say that 2009 Kew Gardens 50p coin is no longer a rare circulating 50p coin? What will the entire numismatic world react on this news and changes? The system of decimal coinage will not be changed and opted out over the course of time, however, people will, its mother nature. Do people care what do they collect in value?

Point B. A 1979 Isle of Man 50p base proof coin. This is a very special coin in the range of UK 50p coins. In terms of finish, it is finalised with a proof finish, earlier than Royal Mint 1st 50p base proof coin in 1982.

  • 50p 1978 Proof coin
    • 50p 1978 coin (circulating coin)

50 years of the 50p coin first release (early 2019)
50 years of the 50p coin second release (mid 2019)
50 years of the 50p coin third release, possible…? If you are keen to GB 50p coins, please go back and see 40 years of the 50p coin in 2009. But, there is nothing new and creative. It is more like a revision of 2009 job lot.

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The Pobjoy Mint Die Mark (or batch code) A/B/C/D/E/F in 1978 onwards


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The Pobjoy Mint Die Marks A B C D E and F**

Today, we are going to talk about so-called die marks, invented by the Pobjoy mint in 1973 on gold coins and presented on Isle of Man coins. They (the Mint, hereafter) have got the contract in 1972. A little bit background of the Pobjoy family, they had a airmotors company ltd and had strong background of engineering before stepping into this business. This business is very profitable like BBC Archive (2018) said a business without cash flow. According to MacKay (1978, p.63), “the first contract, with a value in excess of £5 million, came from the Bolivian Government, and was soon followed by similar contracts with the governments of the Isle of Man and Senegal.” How profitable is it, let us break it down. If you are familiar with financial sector like hedge fund managers, a rule of 2-20 with a value of £5 million works here, meaning 2% is for asset management fee and 20% of your profit on your asset.

A singular letter, for instance, A or B or C or D or E etc, is only used on precious metals like gold, then expanding on silver. The purpose of carrying a die mark on is to identify the particular die used in striking that coin. Now, let we have a look what singular die marks are, for the purpose of illustration of the die marks seen as follows:

  • Ancient Hiberno-Norse lettering
  • Note: sequences are in alphabetical from A to E. A very special die mark ‘X’ was defaced personally by William Dawson then the Tynwald Treasurer in 1974. Base metals in BU finish grade have double letters in association with the Prefix A, and in proof finish grade also have two letters with the Prefix B. “[p.82]… The dies used in striking proof and uncirculated versions of coins in precious metals have a single letter beginning with B, C, D and so on. The first letter or letters in each group (i.e., AA, BB or B), was used on dies which struck coins on 14th July 1978 only, the First Day of Minting (FDM) (MacKay, 1978).”

At this point, we can understand a singular die mark has no particular meaning but just for coin traces in order for identifying a die used in striking that coin. Most importantly, it is the concept of FDM.

  • D — left from 1978 (£1), right from 1979 (50p, Royal Visit) (Silver)
  • E — left from 1978 (£1), right from 1979 (50p, Royal Visit) (Silver)
  • F — left from 1978 (£1), right from 1979 (50p, Royal Visit) (Silver)
  • Note: £1 silver coins with a letter started in 1978, and it was the first pound coin in British decimalisation system. Given 1975 (50p) and 1976 (50p) in contrast, the two years had BU finish in perspex set only. However, the 1977 (50p) and 1978 (50p) ones were proof finish in velvet set only. The four sets mentioned here had no any die marks due to pre-1979. On the basis of the die marks D, E and F, at first glance, D die coin and E die coin they have a similar proof finish between the £1 coins ([D = E] > F). Secondly, E die coin has the best finish, and the lowest is F die coin among 50p coins where come from the Royal Visit IOM series (E > D > F). At this point, the F die letter it is understood to trace Satin Finish on coins either £1 or 50p.

Later on, to commemorating IOM £1 round coin on a base metal specifically Virenium, a 2-digit letter (BC) was revealed in 1978 as well. Based on information above, it has just been verified that Prefix B is equivalent to proof finish in grade (please see IOM £1 round coin or Die Marks BC article), this is a very solid point. This point also can be understood that a 2-digit letter is used to strike coins on base metals like virenium, copper-nickel (CN). Thirdly, it is understood that the sequence of C has the meaning of commemorative or celebrating by Tynwald.

From £1 coin below, you are able to see a). AA, BB and BC as a set and b). AA, AB, AC and AD as a subset from a).:

  • AA from 1978 (£1) (Virenium, FDM)
    • AA from 1978 (£1) (Virenium, FDM) & AB from 1978 (£1) (Virenium)
    • AC from 1978 (£1) (Virenium) & AD from 1978 (£1) (Virenium)
  • BB from 1978 (£1) (Virenium, FDM)
    • BC from 1978 (£1) (Virenium, Special Commemorative type)

From 50p coin below, you are able to see:

  • AA from 1979 50p coins (FDM)
  • Note: edge lettering noted.

  • AB from 1979 50p coins
  • AC from 1979 50p coins*
  • *Note: left one, it was for New York Show in 1980 and edge lettering noted. You see it right now because they just made this gap to fit in this one. left: library finish & right: prooflike finish.

  • AD from 1979 50p coins
  • Note: edge lettering noted.

Note: a base-metal coin like CN 50p coin associated with die mark started in 1979. But, 1979 it was really important the year to Tynwald. A very interesting point, pictures above show many different finish 50p coins under Prefix A. However, there is no any 50p coins under Prefix B in comparison to £1 coin.

Beyond this point, you are going to see a 2-same-digit die mark coin like BB, DD and AA.

  • 1980 BB — IOM Xmas 50p coin (FDM)
  • Note: a very interesting set of two coins, because carrying the same die mark but different grades in finish. If a lower grade BB coin is considered FDM, what about BB in higher grade? And BC??? Can not see continuity. It is highly likely the Pobjoy own product. At this point, the BA die mark is making more sense now.

  • 1980 DD — IOM Proof set coin (FDM)*
  • *Note:The BB has been used on commercial commemorative coins, the only choice left is to choose the DD. It is understood from citing on Krause book foot note that they declare the BC as diamond finish in grade not the BB or the DD. A question unsolved now what the correlation between the F die letter and No die letter (ND) finish?

  • 1980 AA — IOM currency 50p coin (FDM)

Right now, you can clearly see that a group of 2-digit die marks indicates different finishes like BB, DD and FF have a superb finish in grade. Associated with different die marks, you are able to see different finishes on coins. It is hard to say the correlation among them, but, based on things we have known already, metrics [A, C, E] and [B, D, F] are created.

A C E
B D F

**Reference
BBC Archive (08, Oct 2018), #OnThisDay 1978, [Adapted on 15th, Nov 2018].

MacKay, J.A. (1978), The Pobjoy Encyclopaedia of Isle of Man Coins and Tokens (2nd ed.). Surrey, England: The Pobjoy Mint.

#End


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Gibraltar £2 (Two Pounds) Bimetallic Silver Proof Coin The Labours of Hercules (1st issue)


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Gibraltar £2 (Two pounds) Bimetallic Silver Proof Coin — the 12 Labours of Hercules (original issue)

In this part, you are going to see the labours of Hercules on £2 bimetallic metal in silver, made by the Pobjoy Mint on behalf of the government of Gibraltar during the period of 1997 to 2000. Based on KM# info, it is limited at 7,500 each, but the entire 12 coins in a presentation box only 1,000 sets available. List no. in Krause book is covering from KM#755a, KM#756a, KM#757a, … to KM#766a. It is extremely hard to see the 12-coin as set in a Pobjoy presentation box with set coa, especially in silver bimetallic proof grade. Note coins made before 2000 are so-called silver gilt, but gold plated on silver after 2000.

  1. Slay the Nemean lion (KM#755a) (note: silver gilt)
  2. Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra (#KM756a) (note: silver gilt)
  3. Capture the Ceryneian Hind (KM#757a) (note: silver gilt)
  4. Capture the Erymanthian Boar (KM#758a) (note: silver gilt)
  5. Clean the Augean stables in a single day (KM#759a) (note: silver gilt)
  6. Capture the Cretan Bull (KM#760a) (note: silver gilt)
  7. Slay the Stymphalian Birds (KM#761a) (note: silver gilt)
  8. Steal the Mares Diomedes (KM#762a) (note: silver gilt)
  9. Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta (KM#763a) (note: partially gold plated)
  10. Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon (KM#764a) (note: partially gold plated)
  11. Steal the apples of the Hesperides (KM#765a) (note: partially gold plated)
  12. Capture and bring back Cerberus (KM#766a) (note: partially gold plated)


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Isle of Man 50p Coin In 1994, 1997 & 2017 (Circulating Commemorative Coin)


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Isle of Man Circulating Commemorative 50p coin in 1994, 1997 and 2017

It is very tricky to talk about this topic above. In terms of circulating currency coin and circulating commemorative coin, there is no significant difference to tell how to define/recognise them. But, it is only addressed by officials over years.

The Isle of Man is one of the Crown Dependence Isles, and is not part of the U.K. but is self-governing dependency of the Crown (Ministry of Justice). The government of the Isle of Man is called Tynwald. Tynwald has two branches on the island, the House of Keys, and the Legislative Council (British-Irish Council). With regard to the two branch themes above on Fifty pence coins, they can be found in 2017 and 1994 respectively.

Probably, we have seen enormous coins or related-medals (either circulating currency coins or circulating commemorative coins) struck at the Pobjoy mint under permission of the government of Isle of Man, this is because “The issue of its own currency is a positive statement of independence and the power of self-determination. It is also an important source of investment income which would otherwise accrue to the United Kingdom if that country’s currency was allowed to displace it” (Treasury, the Isle of Man Government). How many are they (the Mint) able to mint, it all depends on the IOM government demand.

It is clear right now that you have seen coins well-related with Tynwald itself only a few, like 1994 and 2017, but the amount of coins well-related with Queen E II struck at the Pobjoy mint (before 2017) is huge like 1978, 1979 and 2012 etc. Within this part, we will go through a set of three circulating commemorative coins, covering 1994, 2017 and 1997, as below.

  • 1994 Legislative building 50p coin

  • 2017 the House of Keys 50p coin (version I)
  • Note: this type of coins, named version I, were minted by the Tower Mint in England. Also, the new minter of the Isle of Man government is the Tower Mint since 2017.

  • 2017 the House of Keys 50p coin (version II)
  • Note: this type of coins, named version II, were minted by the Tower Mint, but the Tynwald claimed they were PROOFLIKE coins (see apology letter). Because of this apology letter, it tells us that a) diamond finish coins by Pobjoy Mint are actually prooflike coins, and b) the coin in folder is actually a proof coin made by the Tower mint, but the Tynwald only say it is a prooflike coin, last not least c) remember that who is the big boss behind, the Tynwald.

  • 1997 Philip McCallen and Nigel Davies T.T.-related 50p coin
  • Note: only large-sized coins in 1997 are collector’s coin in high demand.

The three 50p coins above are telling us how the Tynwald thinks and behaves behind the numismatic world. Also, it is a solid way to understand how the Tynwald makes its coinage business profitable and commercial-preferred.

#End

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Isle of Man Viking Boat 50p Coin in 1971 1972 1973 & 1974 (BU version)

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Isle of Man Viking Boat 50p PF coin in 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974.

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.

  1. 1971 Isle of Man Year Mint Brilliant Uncirculated Set (5-coin).
  2. 1972 Isle of Man Year Mint Brilliant Uncirculated Set (5-coin).
  3. 1973 Isle of Man Year Mint Brilliant Uncirculated Set (5-coin).
  4. 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. 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.

  • 1.1 1971 50p BU coin.
  • 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.

  • 2.1 1972 50p BU coin.
  • 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.

  • 3.1 1973 50p BU coin.
  • 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.

  • 4.1 1974 50p BU coin.

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.

The end.