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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


    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.


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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.

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


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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

  • Version AB

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


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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.


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.


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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.


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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.

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Gibraltar Christmas 50p Coin in 2017 Father Christmas

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Gibraltar 2017 Xmas 50p Diamond Finish (DF) and Brilliant Uncirculated Finish (BU) Coins.

This year, 2017, the government of Gibraltar gives permission to the Pobjoy Mint to strike its commercial coinage business especially commercial 50p coins. Bear in mind that this year, 2017, the government of Isle of Man gives permission to the Tower Mint to strike its coinage. So, you are able to see the Xmas theme on gibraltar coins again. But, The Xmas theme is on the Falkland Island coinage, Christmas Penguins. To Gibraltar, the Xmas-related theme this year is Father Xmas (or Santa Clause), and the exactly same with coins they made in 1992. Yes, it has been 25 years on when the Pobjoy Mint restrike their own idea on GIB coins. The only difference between 1992 and 2017 is diameter of the coins and 2-eyeball vs. 1-eyeball. There is nothing new to talk over it but too many things on the latter one.

  • 2017 Gibraltar Xmas 50p Diamond Finish (DF) coin.
  • Note: Father Xmas has had only one eyeball!!

  • 2017 Gibraltar Xmas 50p Diamond Finish (DF) coin with COA.
  • Note: This year the Pobjoy Mint keep COA and Coin together, which is meaningless!!

  • 2017 Gibraltar Xmas 50p diamond finish (DF) coin on its own.
  • Note: BUNC and DF coins have no difference in any way.

The 50p coin above was originally stored in card with its COA at back, saying 10,000 coins of diamond finish minted at the Pobjoy Mint. For a real coin collector, the coin is the most important object to hold no matter what. So, this brings out a very interesting topic what a diamond finish coin is really? As so far, blanks for a diamond finish coin are pre-polished, and this is confirmed by the Mint. This leads the field area of a DF coin should have mirror-liked area or strong reflectivity.

The theme, Father Christmas. 1992 version, it looks like Father Xmas happy, but, by contrast, 2017 version makes Father Xmas unhappy or crying with one eye ball or like Father Pirate Xmas.

  • 1992 2-eye balls coin vs. 2017 1-eye ball coin.
  • Note: Father Xmas the 1992 version and Father Pirate Xmas the 2017 version is obviously different on either drawing or coin techs. A 25-year downhill gap that it has been created between 1992 and 2017.

Later on, they decided to put another batch of 2017 Xmas 50p coins into circulation (mintage unknown). If you have a very close look at so-called BU coins, you probably find nothing. So, the batch of 10,000 carded version and the batch of circulation coins are the exactly same. However, one thing totally different is how to present to coin collectors. This means the Mint spend a lot of time on how to design outside package instead spend more time on how to design a good artwork for coin collectors.

  • 2017 Gibraltar Xmas 50p brilliant uncirculated finish (BU) coin on its own.
  • 2017 Gibraltar Xmas 50p diamond finish (DF) and brilliant uncirculated (BU) coins together.

A question, could you identify which one is a Diamond Finish coin from above??? It is really hard to point out which one it is. However, they all are the same condition in different ways. That Is It. So, “only” 10,000 so-called diamond finish in cards exist if you want to keep the consistency, and the others, single coins, it is a coin for daily use. The Mint is really smart this year, however, how many collectors are really after them at all?

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Isle of Man Xmas 50p Coin in 1980 The World First Christmas theme related 50p Coin

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BF Die Letters on Fifty Pence coin and D & E Dies on silver coin: A story about 1980 IOM Xmas series.

The story started in 1980. What was story about? Indeed, you need to know more about Isle of Man modern coins, so that you then have to ask yourself what had happened in and before 1980? Do not forget that the Pobjoy Mint (established in 1960s) are a specialist in modern coins. The die letters (or batch codes) originally were found on 1978 IOM £1 coins and then expanded on all IOM denominations in 1979 onwards. Later soon, the Mint had earned their reputation in the numismatic world in 1980 by attending the New York Viking Exhibition Show. From the perspective of business, they only take 5 years to reach a peak of a business circle.

Normally, I do not conclude precious mental coins struck at the Pobjoy Mint within topics I have mentioned here. Because the Royal Mint precious metal coins are made much better than the Pobjoy Mint in terms of British modern coins. However, the Pobjoy Mint really do a great job than the Royal Mint if you look back at non-precious metals (i.e., CN).

Now, let we get straight into the point above. But we need to know what coins are first. Therefore, let we have a look at silver coins of the world first xmas silver coins associated with die letter D and E respectively struck at the Pobjoy Mint.

  • 1980 IOM Xmas 50p Proof silver coin with D die letter (Proof grade).
  • 1980 IOM Xmas 50p Proof silver coin with E die letter (Proof grade).
  • Note: From above, D die silver and E die silver are different in terms of coin finish or coin quality. D die silver coin looks more frosted on portrait.

Above pictures it shows the difference between the D die letter silver coin and the E die letter silver coin. At first glance, the E die letter grade is better than the D one. Why do I have two different die letters presenting here? This is simple to answer: go back to look at 1978 IOM £1 silver coins. Indeed, they keep so-called “consistency” between 1978 and 1980. Simultaneously, the existence of the BC die letters for both years. Based on the two strings noted on silver coins, it is not hard to follow two series on Cupro-Nickel (CN) coins. One string is for the Prefix A and another the Prefix B. Also, from this point, it is not to hard to follow circulating commemorative and commemorative coins. For instance, circulating commemorative coins = the Prefix A; commemorative coins = the Prefix B. Under the Prefix A, it has AA, AB, AD & AE and BC, BD, BF & BB under the Prefix B in 1980. (Notice: the AC is not showing here because of the existence of BC within the Xmas series. However, most importantly, the AC is adapted on the 1980 NY Viking show 50p library finish coin. Clearly, the closest letter of D is E under the Prefix A, the E die letter presents here.)

My personal interest is not Xmas 50p coins under the Prefix A, and only the Prefix B xmas coins. The so-called diamond finish coins are just fit into the gap in the UK numismatic world. Because they are quite enjoyable in terms of money spent and non-precious metal related coins. My understanding on a diamond finish standard is that a). polished blanks used; b). no proof die used during the striking process and c). press once time. As a result, no frosted relief and no mirror-liked field.

However, IOM Xmas 50p coins with the BF and BB die letters somehow have got my attention. Let we talk the BF coins first and then the BB coins.

The BF coins. The BF coins below are highly correlated with the BF Mule coins, which I have talked them a lot under categories of IOM Xmas.

  • 1980 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish with BF die letter (version 1) (Proof grade).
  • 1980 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish with BF die letter (version 2) (Proof grade).
  • Version 1 vs. Version 2 — The difference between the two versions above.
  • Note: it is normal BF coins above with the correct obverse along with a very small error noted on reverse. However, the (real) BF coins with the incorrect obverse having the same error as seen from Version 1 are the stateless 50p mule coin.

The BB coins. The most unusual things the Pobjoy mint made at the beginning of the creation of the Xmas series are using BB die letters and BC die letters. They send data BC die letters as diamond finish coin in Krause book (#KM). However, in reality, it has the existence of BB die letters.

  • 1980 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish with the BB die letter (version 1) (Proof grade).
  • 1980 IOM Xmas 50p “Diamond Finish” with the BB die letter (version 2) (Prooflike grade).
  • Note: considering the two (V1 & V2) above are coins both associated with BB, but they have a decrease quality in grade.

Based on the story of the BF die letters, it is getting more clear here. They definitely had made an ERROR in 1980 because of attending the 1980 NY Viking show. But, why there was NO a collector to dig this story out in public? One thing is for sure that the IOM Xmas theme related 50p coin is getting popular and the Xmas theme on coins it has a big market here in the UK. However, it takes 35 years to reach this point from 1980 to 2014 with the majority of people born 1980s and 1990s.

To myself, it is quite clear that the AC missing under the Prefix A, and still searching the BE under the Prefix B. No matter what is in the Prefix A or the Prefix B on IOM Xmas 50p coins, they are showing only 4 sequences. Also, it is quite clear to me on this bit. In order to have a clear and better picture of my understanding here, you probably do need go through different topics under categories. All things happened in 1980 are extremely and highly correlated each other. That is the point they got them far further deep in this industry in 1980. But, sad, very sad, it is that everything it has an end after it starts. Remember The Pobjoy Mint once only get permissions from Tynwald, and they then have rights to mint IOM coins. In other words, Tynwald is only the big boss to them.


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Falkland Islands Christmas Penguins 50p Coins VS. Isle of Man Christmas Colour-printed 50p Coins

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Falkland Islands Xmas Penguins 50p coin & its colour-printed version.

This topic talks about the theme of Penguins struck on Fifty pence coin by the Pobjoy Mint in 2017. In the following parts, we will cover the first Penguin 50p coin and the first colour-printed its kind 50p coin. Then you will have your own picture on products made by the Mint.

So, let we have a look at the first Penguin first. The 50p coin was released in 1995 on behalf of government of Gibraltar (GIB). Extra info: the GIB government assigned the contracts to the Mint from 1988 to 2003.

  • 1995 GIB Xmas 50p standard finish coin

However, the story of Penguins is not over yet on the Falklands Islands (FLK) 50p coins. Soon later, the first Xmas Penguin 50p coin was released in Nov 2017. This time, the Mint only do carded version on Xmas Penguins and the entire coins were sold out within a day! But how many people realise what sort of coins they are buying?

  • 2017 FLK Xmas Penguins 50p colour-printed coin

If you take a closer look at the Xmas Penguins 50p coin, you will find quality of the Penguins are really low in comparison to 2003 IOM Xmas 50p coin Snowman and James.

  • Colour-printed Xmas 50p coins: Penguins (FLK) vs. Snowman and James (IOM)

You may think, yes, Penguins are characteristics of Falkland Islands, where is a place of British Overseas Territory (i.e., BOT). If you think harder and further, you will see that no any good products will be made and produced by the Mint, and only cash-up.

  • Penguins: 1995 GIB Xmas 50p coin vs. 2017 FLK Xmas Penguins 50p coin

Two things need to be addressed here. First, theme Penguins, has long been existed since 1995 so it is a old topic. Secondly, the quality of colour-printed coins is really too low if you look at the 2003 Snowman one.

On this day, 12/12/2017, I have to say that are you all really like Penguins related coins? Because, yesterday, 11/12/2017, the Pobjoy Mint just sold out 950 sets of circulated 50p coins at £50.00 (incl. VAT) each set. Wait, what! Another Penguins set? Yes. Is it different with others released earlier this year? No! So, let we count how many Penguins are already in the market–12 coins in 4 categories. Category 1: Error (x1), Category 2: Coloured (x4 regular version + x1 Xmas) and Category 3: Circulated (x4 regular version + x1 Xmas), Category 4: Piedfort Xmas (x1). 12 coins in number have been produced in 2017, a single year which after they divorced with the IOM. What does that 12 mean? It is very simple, CASH UP! Will the coins be worth more in the future? Probably no, it is only related to people who are really care about the mintage. That is it. A few years later, once you look back at these Penguins coins, what a big joke it was. But, on the contrary, the IOM Xmas series is going to shoot up in price somehow in the future.


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Isle of Man 50p Coin from 1972 to 2017 and Sequence C under The Prefix A & B

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The sequence C under the Prefix A and/or B

In this short part, it will give you some basic ideas how to interpret AC die marks on IOM 50ps. Each single dye mark not only follows a metric but also is having their own information contained. By the way, a single dye mark is only for precious alloy. It is a period of HONEYMOON between the Tynwald and the Mint that has seen from the die marks invented in 1980s. More importantly, this part only covers 50p CN coins made by the Pobjoy mint from 1972 to the end of March 2017. But sadly, they divorced in March 2017.

  • 1978 IOM £1 coin with BC
  • This BC die marks on £1 round virenium pound coin is the very first the sequence C shown on Isle of Man decimal coinage. Also, this BC is the very first die marks revealed under the Prefix B as well. In 1978, it was the 25th anniversary of Q. E. II Coronation. Note, the AC (a year after) and BC (two years late) die marks were both shifted on 50p coin in terms of denomination/face value.

  • 1979 Viking boat 50p coin with AC
  • This AC die mark on 50p coin is the very first signal that bears on Isle of Man decimal coinage. It has a very interesting story behind it. The second circulating coin theme, replica Viking boat, was entirely designed and used by the Pobjoy mint only once in 1979. The first circulating coin theme was revealed in 1976. With regard to this AC coin finish, it is better than BU but less than PF/PL.

  • 1980 Xmas 50p coin with BC
  • This BC die marks on 50p Xmas coin is another story to talk about. First, it is the way how do you understand the letters of BC in the Xmas series, of course, “Before Christ”. They (the Mint) intentionally used the sequence C to celebrating something, but it ended with two BC in the entire series, which are 1980 (BC) and 1981 (BC). 1981 BC can be seen below.

  • 1981 Xmas 50p coins with BC
  • Instead of AC, BC appeared on Xmas 50p coins in 1980 and 1981. It has two meanings of BC in 1980. One, commemorative coins on b batch coins. It tells the difference between A batch and B batch. It can be understood that they (the Mint) tried to issue two different types of coins for collectors. Two, it also can be understood the meaning of BC as Before Christ. At this point, it is very clear to say that A batch code means circulating commemorative coins, and B batch code means commemorative coins. The BC die letter were noted in 1981, in the same year, a IOM £5 coin was issued. Therefore, the sequence C under the Prefix B means a lot from the perspective of the Mint.

  • 1982 Viking boat 50p coin with AC
  • This AC was used in 1982, three years later after the first one in 1979, to commemorating the birth of Prince of William, King of the future. In the meanwhile, the babycrib privy (b) appeared instead of AC on proof coins. This confirms somehow the sequence C contains really important information nested. Remember AC is circulating commemorative coins, meaning currency coins on the basis of daily use.

  • 1983 T.T. 50p coin with AC
  • 1983 Xmas 50p coin with AC
  • This two ACs are really hard to find out especially 1983 TT (AC). Circulating commemorative die marks for this year are AA/AB/AC/AD as same as in 1979 Viking boat. Somehow, it echoes the 4-year window. Is it happened to coin-cide?

In brief, they have one thing in common on coins mentioned above, really really hard to find them out. In other words, the number of mintage is relatively small. Moreover, it is different in terms of coin grade for instance, the 1979 Viking boat AC die mark, the 1982 Viking boat AC die mark and the 1983 Xmas/TT AC die mark. In general, you can find out loads loads of AA coins in contrast in circulation. The number of mintage is huge. Therefore, C, at this point, means that it is used to commemorate an “great” event (internally). If you see the AC die mark on 50p coins which tell you that an event is bearing on circulating commemorative 50p coins (ie., AC) or/and on commemorative 50p coins (i.e., BC) this year. What sort of event was celebrating, perhaps, you have to do your own research.


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Isle of Man Christmas 50p Diamond Finish Coins in Copper-Nickel (1997 to 2016)

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Isle of Man Christmas Fifty Pence (50p) coins in 1997 onwards

This part, we talk small-sized 50p coins mainly. It will cover 50p coins made from 1997 to 2016, and give you a picture of what are IOM Xmas 50p coins after this part. Bear in mind that the 2008 snowman either plain version or colour version excludes here.

2016, A New Year, A new story it begins here (I wrote this bit at the beginning of the year @ 01/2016). 2017, A New Year, a story will be repeated many times to new collectors, … (wrote @ 01/2017)

Then, 2016 it is the year that the marriage is untied up (@ 11/2016) between the two. How ironic it is. Also, it is the year that the last Christmas 50p coin is struck by the Mint.

1997 T.E. Brown, Manx poet
obverse designer R. Maklouf (the 3rd effigy of Q.E. II),
coin were struck as proof coins for this year apart from re-strike coins in 2000s.
only no die marks coins exist.
18th in series.

  • 1997 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 1997 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with a low-striking quality made in 2000s below.

1998 Christmas Festive scene in the Victorian era
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II),
only no die marks coins exist.
19th in series.

1999 Christmas tree decorating
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II),
AA, BB and ND die marks are noted this year.
20th in series.

  • 1999 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 1999 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with BB die marks from carded below
  • 1999 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with BB die marks below
  • 1999 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with AA die marks below

2000, Manx man, Dr. John Kelly, translates the Bible into Manx Language
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II).
BB & ND exist, and BB coin have two different grades, Grade I and II.
21st in series.

What would be first to say about this coin this year? Probably it is the mint mark. The PMM was struck on 50ps in 2000 instead PM normally. The first two of PMM stands for the pobjoy mint mark (i.e., PM) over the world, and the last two of PMM (i.e., twin “M”) is about to commemorate the Millennium in 2000 (i.e., Roman Numerals M=1000). Sometimes, we come across some privy/privy letter created by the mint. It is a way to look at how a private mint to record modern history. For instance, 1982 crib privy on 20ps for the birth of Prince Williams. Also it is the year that 20ps was introduced in circulation in the U.K..

From top panel in pictures, it is really a diamond finish coin that should be struck for all collectors at first place, and have to say BEAUTIFUL after first glance.

Middle panel. Eye appears is ok even with a better reflectivity. Lustrous can be seen. One significant fact on this that get your attention is a mark on the first small window from bottom on the left big window. The mark disappears after you find a diamond finish coin.

Down to bottom panel. Lustrous still can be seen and die marks left on obv.. This thing happens on 2007 as well. Interestingly, long (or short) die marks ONLY can be found on CURRENCY 50p coins.

  • 2000 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2000 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with BB die marks below (Grade I, semi-PL)
  • 2000 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with BB die marks below (Grade II, BU)

2001 Postman in the Victorian era
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II).
BB & ND exist.
22nd in series.

  • 2001 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with BB die marks below
  • 2001 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below

2002 Dickens Scrooge
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II).
BB and ND exist.
23rd in series.

  • 2002 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with BB die marks below
  • 2002 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below

2003 (& 2008) the Snowman and James
Before introducing them, let we have a little background first. In terms of diamond finish coins, you are able to find it out from T.T. buying guide with us. All colour-printed coins must be struck as diamond finish coins first and then paint colours on tops. Each diamond finish coin must come with a certification (ie., coa) together. In terms of a cert, it is only a piece of paper without any protective techniques involved. But the cert for this year is totally different like the ones before or after. A diamond finish coin has “BB” die letters on reverse (and/or “neo-BB” which means no die letters) and is limited @ 30,000 yearly. The Mint claims 30,000 coins per year, and the mintage number is real and strictly limited. Where do colour-printed coins come from? It takes out a small fraction of 30,000 coins to get diamond plain coins painted as colour-printed diamond finish coins. Alternatively, they mint another colour-printed coins version @ 30,000 as well. What If it is true. The thing will really be a pain for people who makes a chaos. However, who cares??? Business is business. Meanwhile, all diamond plain coins and diamond colour-printed coins are both sharing the same cert each year and even no any difference in years. It looks like people are really making pains on themselves.

  • All colour-printed version coins

With regard to the picture above, it is really hard to say that it indicates the entire family members of the IOM xmas theme colour-printed version. Because the 2008 colour-printed Snowman did not count in it. (Why?!! You will have your own answer(s) after this chapter.) In my own eyes, it is a family picture.

In 2003, it came out with the famous story in Britain, the Snowman(TM) & James, to commemorative the 25th Anniversary of animation alive. We had to thank the very 1st mint master, Derek Pobjoy, founder of the mint, to let the story bear on 50ps FOREVER. And the mintage was strictly down to 10,000 (from previous 30,000 yearly). We assume that the batch of colour-printed coins is taken out from 10,000. If you do the math, this is the reason that makes the 2003 DIAMOND FINISH 50P COIN really hot and popular indeed in the United Kingdom.

But did you notice that a diamond plain coin and a colour-printed coin shares one cert at the same time. All colour-printed coins are possibly found from carded with coa (i.e., the mint). Some diamond plain coins are barely seen in decoration coin box (i.e., the mint). Some so-called diamond finish were sold by Benham first day coin covers (i.e., distributor). By the way, can you easily point out a standard finish coin between two diamond finish coins this year? Remember, they all have “BB” die letters on. However, the 2008 one came out with the exactly same story back to 2003 BUT without die letters, and was to celebrating the 30th Anni. of the story, and was limited at 30k as well. That is why people see the 2008 Snowman version alongside the 12-day of Christmas. Also, the 12-day was a uncompleted project. Did you ask yourself, this unusual one Why had it not seen in 2007 (or before 2008) or in 2009 (or after 2008)? Why two Xmas coins minted in 2008? Coincident, or people greedy??? In terms of consistency, the entire theme is broken up here in 2003, due to the 30th Anni. of Snowman exists (2008) and the uncompleted project of the 12-day of Christmas (2005 to 2010).

obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II).
the 25th. Anniversary of animation alive in the U.K. (since 1978).
24th in series.

  • 2003 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish colour-printed coin with BB die marks below
  • 2003 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with BB die marks below

2004 The Laxey Water Wheel
The Laxey water wheel is historic site on the island. The first showing of the wheel was in 1971 on 5p Manx coinage and disappeared after 1979. To commemorative the 150th anniversary of the water wheel, it comes out again this year on 50p Manx coinage and £5 pound coins as well. (5p x10 = 50p, then 50p x10 = 500p = £5. Coincident??)

If you are lucky, you may have a chance to meet a manx cat (or a black cat) outside the gate after traveling long way up by tram. It does not make sense such the scene found on a Xmas theme coin collection series. The Laxey water wheel was on 5p coin. It is a little bit far away out of the Xmas theme idea. Also, the BA die marks come out again! Something inside of the theme it has slowly gone just like the little manx cat quickly disappears a year after.

Obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II).
AA, BA & ND have many differences in detail. BA noted ONLY on Diamond Finish coins.
Coins with AA die marks do NOT have mirrored-like field. One case (exactly same) was noted back to 1988 first appearance, but 1988 BA was ONLY appeared on standard finish coins.
Beyond this point, a) the manx cat disappears. b) the IOM Xmas 50p coin is highly likely heading to a era of commercialisation.
Most importantly, dual dates noted. This means 2004 was noted on obverse and reverse. Very rare to see this.
25th in series.

  • 2004 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with BA die marks below
  • 2004 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2004 IOM Xmas 50p standard Finish coin with AA die marks below

2005 One partridge in a pear tree
“The Christian tradition of celebrating the Twelve days of Christmas, starting on the 25th December through the morning of Epiphany on 6th January, is based on a sequence of verses in the Holy Bible (Matthew 2: 1-12) and the belief that the Three Kings took 12 days to travel to Bethlehem after first seeing the Jesus Star.”

It is really amazing to see such wonderfully and highly related with the Bible story on 50ps, featuring a partridge in a pear tree. It is BACK on tradition again. But very sadly, the mission is uncompleted (i.e., it was supposed to be having twelve coins added up into the entire series instead the first six coins ONLY were struck). If you intend to knock together a good story about the Holy Bible on 50ps. I personally suggest that you may need to come across collecting 50ps either Isle of Man or Gibraltar. First, the mint that minted coins for both places was the Pobjoy mint. They invented the idea of “Xmas 50ps”. So they put this idea on the coinages of Isle of Man, Tonga and Gibraltar. Due to some reasons unknown, The Mint was no longer to strike coins on behalf of the government of Gibraltar after 2003. So this incident broke the whole idea of the Mint. For instance, 1988 Gibraltar Xmas 50p, Three Wise Men; 1990 Gibraltar Xmas, the birth of Jesus with the Star; 1991 IOM Xmas 50p, Nativity Scene The Birth of Jesus; 19993 IOM Xmas, Nativity Scene The Birth of Jesus; 2000 Gibraltar Xmas, Maria and Baby Jesus and Angel; 2002 Gibraltar Xmas, Shepherds; 2005 to 2010 IOM Xmas, the 12 days of Christmas; 2013 IOM Xmas Angel, and so forth. But on the other hand, it could interpret, like the Mint was under “some thing” promoting Gibraltar on coins. Secondly, let all people on earth know that the Isle of Man is famous by its coinage again which means absolutely no doubt about it, because the Isle of Man government assigned correct right to the Pobjoy mint. Also it can see the isle of man coins are heading to a commercial way. Good sign for dealers and bad news to collectors.

To be very clear here I am not a fan of neither the Pobjoy mint nor the Royal mint. But I only was dazzled by its idea & innovation on coins struck by the Pobjoy mint. Also, the two key facts lead the Pobjoy mint two more steps ahead the Royal Mint. But the Britain modern coins market reshuffled in 2016. Could you ask a question “What does the Royal Mint have apart from history and reputation in this industry?”

obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II),
AA die letters Diamond Finish 50ps ONLY in market,
AA die letters Colour-printed 50ps ONLY.
26th in series.

  • 2005 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with AA die marks below
  • 2005 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with AA die marks below

2006 Two Turtle Doves
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II),
AA die letters and NO die letters diamond finish 50ps found in the market.
27th in series.

  • 2006 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with AA die marks below
  • 2006 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2006 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with AA die marks below

2007 Three French Hens

Here, it is a way to give you more details in dept on a currency 50p coin and a diamond finish 50p coin. The significant difference between the currency and the diamond coins is all about the year on obverse. First, it will be coloured version, and then follows up by non-coloured coins.

obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II),
AA die letters and NO die letters for plain and colour-printed 50p coins,
AA die letter coins noted die marks left on obverse.
28th in series.

  • 2007 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with NO die marks below
  • 2007 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2007 IOM Xmas 50p standard Finish coin with AA die marks below

2008 Four calling birds
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II)
29th in series.

  • 2008 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with NO die marks below
  • 2008 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks but in different finish below

2009 Five gold rings
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II)
30th in series.

  • 2009 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with NO die marks below
  • 2009 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below

2010 Six Geese A-Laying
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II).
1/2 of a 12-day of Christmas.
This year the Tower mint struck “Partridge in a Pear tree” to back the Pobjoy mint. (Coins talk.)
31st in series.

  • 2010 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with NO die marks below
  • 2010 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2010 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with AA die marks below

2011 Father Christmas
First thing is first. It is really amazing when something it comes back after disappearing a long long time. The Mint is now commemorating tradition on 50p coins. Christmas tradition is BACK with Father Christmas on its reverse.

It can be found that ‘p’ after its denomination in period 2011 to period 2014. It is very significant change of the coinage of Isle of Man. Meanwhile, you probably see from the currency type 50p coin is very low on its quality but still seen lustrous. It can be concluded that from the point of view of quality the mint has already given up to mint Xmas series 50p coins. It is worth ponding and asking “Why did they add ‘P’ next to denomination in 2011 “. Also, some of neo-diamond finish 50ps coins have flaws on mirrored-field.

obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II),
Add “p” after denomination since 2011 (i.e., Echo UK coinage change).
currency, diamond finish and colour-printed diamond finish coins noted onwards.
32nd in series.

  • 2011 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with NO die marks below
  • 2011 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2011 IOM Xmas 50p standard finish coin with AA die marks below

2012 Nativity Scene Angel
Not too many of Nativity Scene was struck on Xmas 50ps, and it was only a few in the whole series, in 1991, 1993 & 2012 respectively.

obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II).
33rd in series.

  • 2012 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with NO die marks below
  • 2012 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2012 IOM Xmas 50p standard finish coin with AA die marks below

2013 Christmas Wreath & Candy
Back to tradition, it has been long long time to wait. Such great colours, green and red always let people remember the best time in life–Christmas time, waiting to open gift from gift socks, decorating Christmas tree at home etc.

obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II)
34th in series

  • 2013 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with NO die marks below
  • 2013 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2013 IOM Xmas 50p standard finish coin with AA die marks below

2014 Snowman & the snowdog and Billy
The last coin in this series, it may let any coin collectors feel a bit sadness. This year, colour-printed, diamond finish and standard finish 50ps exist in the market. Standard finish 50p coins are noted “AA” and lustrous, and diamond finish without any die letters.

obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II).
35th in series.

  • 2014 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with NO die marks below
  • 2014 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2014 IOM Xmas 50p standard finish coin with NO die marks below

2015, NO Xmas 50p Coins EXIST ! ! !
Obviously, there is no any IOM Xmas 50p coin exist this year. But I use a medallion instead here. The quality is so-called “Pobjoy Finish” from so-called “Diamond Finish”. The medal quality is prooflike at least. If you look at coins they made on behalf of the Tynwald after 2000 or 2004, the less Diamond Finish you see. The 50 years it is more likely to celebrate the long relationship between the Tynwald and the Pobjoy mint. But, the divorce between the two can not be avoided in 2017!

  • 2015, it is the Pobjoy mint the 50th Anniversary minting coins from 1965 to 2015

2016 Christmas Pudding
After a year long waited since 2015 without any info telling when would be a 2016 version out, finally, the IoM post office announces that the latest IOM Xmas 50p coin will be back and presenting in 2016. 2016, it is a sorb year to the Mint. 2016 it the year that the Tynwald treasure only allowed to make the first batch (ie., 15,000 coins) so this permission made a miracle story only 750 diamond finish CN coins. Because of this information, so I am able to decipher more info on the Xmas series coin. 2016, it is going to say farewell to the Mint from the older partner, Tynwald. But, the mint has opened up a door for the Tower mint already, just like they did the same case in 2003/04 passing the handover of Gibraltar coinages to the Tower mint.

New Pobjoy Mint obverse, echoing UK changing new Q.E.II portrait in 2015.
Very low striking quality on all three types of coins.
IOM Post Office is in charge of selling IOM coins including 2016 Xmas 50p coins.
IOM Post Office announces that only 750 diamond finish Xmas 50p coins in card, and 15,000 coins in total.
ND(5%) < BA(20%) < AA(75%), this year BA is echoing 1987 and 2004 BAs. Inconsistency was noted on IOM Xmas 50p coins between 2014 and 2015. The 'p' after denomination disappears since 2011, it echoes the first IOM Xmas 50p coin in 1980. 36th in series.

  • 2016 IOM Xmas 50p diamond finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2016 IOM Xmas 50p standard finish coin with BA die marks below
  • 2016 IOM Xmas 50p diamond finish coin with AA die marks below