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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.

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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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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.

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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 Tourist Trophy (T.T.) 50p Standard Finish and Diamond Finish Coins from 1981 to 2016


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IOM T.T. Fifty Pence (50p) coins from 1981 to 2016*

(*Note: This chapter is a brief chapter that contains some useful information if you are collecting or going to collect T.T. 50p coins in base metal.)

First of all, this topic is all about Isle of Man circulating and/or circulating commemorative cupronickel (i.e. metal, silver in colour; 75:25, copper to nickel ratio, CN) 50p coins especially for the Tourist Trophy (i.e., T.T.) events on the island. More clearly, we are going to split this chapter into two subparts. One part it is about to talk standard finish 50p coins. Another part it refers to diamond finish 50p coins. Meanwhile, you can find out what are so-called “diamond finish” 50p coins. All then-standard 50p coins and diamond 50p coins are solely minted by the British Pobjoy Mint® which is a private limited company (hereafter the Mint or PM) on behalf of the government of the Isle of Man (Tynwald, note Tynwald you need to see Viking Boats 50ps article.).

Normally, a standard finish 50p coin is produced for the purpose of daily use on the island. This is why Manx collectors easily find 50ps through their daily life. All standard finish 50p coins are most minted associated with “AA” on its reverse (AA originally called the production batch codes). For some cases under the A batch, it may appear “AB”/”AC”/”AD” in the T.T. series. Other single die mark like B, C, D (or E or F) represents precious metals. But, collectors call them all as die marks (or die letters, interchangeable). They are definitely meant some information internally. Sadly, we can tell you nothing at the moment. Based on my experience, I can tell die letters may indicate many different types of mirrors associated with different striking pressures, times of striking, etc. Why do we see such difference of the die letters between coins? It is a good point to raise. However, it never ever concludes a convincible answer, even from the Mint itself. If you like, spend more time on googling them.

Diamond finish 50p coins are specially created by the Mint for the purpose of producing higher standard quality on commemorative coins to serious collectors. The concept of “diamond finish” was invented by the Mint in early 1980s (note I personally think the term was derived from “diamond cut”, because the first mint-master has very strong background of jewellery). What are “diamond finish” coins? In terms of diamond finish, they are highly likely ProofLike (i.e., PL) coins (e.g., 1980 IOM Xmas 50p BC coins). More information related to PL can be seen below. Bearing in mind that all diamond finish 50p coins come with die letters “BB” on reverse and a cert (e.g., it includes IOM T.T./IOM Xmas/some IOM Viking boats). Interestingly, some diamond 50p coins come WITHOUT “BB” when minted in late 1990s onwards. The techniques (for instance, matte mirror, reflectivity etc) used on diamond 50p coins are very enjoyable and look beautiful. Because the mirrored-field and/or mirror-liked field has higher reflectivity better than a standard 50p coin but slightly lower than any proof coins made by the Mint. Last, all T.T. 50p coins you are seeing within this chapter are made of cupronickel (Copper-3/4, Nickel-1/4 and appears silver in colour).

“Prooflike (PL) coins appear to look like proof coins but in reality have not been produced using the special proof process. This may include mirrored fields and cameo devices. The scale donates the proper designation for the coin, based on reflectivity, 2 to 4 inches of reflectivity; devices must be frosted.” 2 elements of prooflike coin: polished blanks are used to strike coins, and no proof dies used for mirror-liked field and frosted relief. (adapted from online)

“For instance, PCGS notes that Prooflike Morgan dollars require ‘clear reflection in the fields on both sides from 2-4 inches away.’ The grading company states that a hazy effect or streaks may impede the reflectivity, generally indicating a semi-prooflike condition (which does not appear on the PCGS label).” (adapted from online)

Having said above, it is time to reveal what the T.T. 50p coins look like now. In this part below, it contains two parts. Part I: it is the pre-1997 section (i.e., 1969 to 1997, 50p coins are 30.00mm in diameter and 13.50g in weight) and Part II: it is the post-1997 section (i.e., 1997 to date, 50ps coins are resized to 27.30mm in diameter and 8.00g in weight).

Part I
In total, six T.T. 50p coins exist before 1997. They are: four T.T. 50p coins from 1981 to 1984) plus two T.T. related (ie., TTF1) 50p coins between 1996 and 1997 (note, by 30.00mm in diameter therefore, 6 in total, or by 27.30mm in diameter it is 7 in total. It all depends on how you count them really). More details for each coin are as follows:

  1. 1981 T.T. commemorates 1980 winner–Joey Dunlop & Yamaha motor. Mintage 100,000 standard finish coins (AA/AB) & 30,000 diamond finish coins (BB).
  2. 1982 T.T. commemorates 1981 winner–Mike Grant & Suzuki motor. Mintage 100,000 (assumed) standard finish coins (AA) & 30,000 diamond finish coins (BB).
  3. 1983 T.T. commemorates 1982 winner–Ron Haslam & Honda motor. Mintage 100,000 standard finish coins (AA/AB/AC/AD) & 30,000 diamond finish coins (BB).
  4. 1984 T.T. commemorates the Sidecar T.T. nine times winner–Mike Boddice. Mintage 100,000 (assumed) standard finish coins (AA) & 30,000 diamond finish coins (BB).
  5. 1996 commemorates Philip McCallen Great achievement in 1996. Unknown mintage for both standard finish coins (AA) & diamond finish coins (NO die letters).
  6. 1997 commemorates Philip McCallen Great achievement in 1996. Unknown mintage for standard finish coins (AA, 30mm in diameter).

More specifically, 1981 Joey Dunlop
1981 T.T. 50p coin in pictures,
Note
Obverse designer A. Machin
Machine: Yamaha (747)
TT on top of the reverse
Circulating Commemorative issue coinage

  • 1981 BB Diamond Finish 50p coin w/o error
  • 1981 AA standard finish 50p coin w/ error
  • 1981 AB standard finish 50p coin w/ error
  • 1981 AB standard finish 50p coin
  • Variation on 1981 Misspelling Error Coins, Note “RACING” only on AB die mark and BB die mark coins. However, it makes a controversial point between AA die mark and BB die mark in terms of FDM. If no any controversy involved, BB die mark lost the FDM function on IOM TT 50p DF coin, and BB die mark only left with meaning of a diamond finish.

It is clearly seeing that the Mint really made a mistake when they produced 50ps of first the T.T. theme in 1981 as seen from pictures below. But they did not fully realise the “spelling” was a issue seriously, and not negotiate properly before striking the first T.T. collection 50p coin. As you can see from pictures below, a small “hump” was use to cover up the first three REA of REARACING (the letters was originally supposed to be “REARACING”). It is very unclear that this hump was done by intension or dispute or economic situation in 1981. But having seen the small hump from pictures below, it really tells people that the Mint made it by intension for sure. This “accident” it is easy to remind collectors WHY did not they correct and recall and re-create a correct reverse die for a commemorative 50p in 1981? However, this mistake will last forever once collectors well noticed this significant difference. A real story behind bar nobody could tell and answer presumably.

1982 Mike Grant
Note
Obverse designer A. Machin
Machine: Suzuki (500)
TT on top of the reverse
Circulating Commemorative issue coinage

  • 1982 BB Diamond Finish 50p Coin
  • 1982 AA standard finish 50p coin

1983 Ron Haslam
Note
Obverse designer A. Machin
Machine: Honda
TT on top of the reverse
Circulating Commemorative issue coinage

  • 1983 BB Diamond Finish 50p Coin
  • 1983 AA standard finish 50p coin
  • 1983 AB standard finish 50p coin
  • 1983 AC standard finish 50p coin
  • 1983 AD standard finish 50p coin

1984 Mike Boddice
Note
Obverse designer R. Maklouf
Machine: Yamaha
TT on top of the reverse
Circulating Commemorative issue coinage

  • 1984 BB Diamond Finish 50p Coin
  • 1984 AA standard finish 50p coin

1996 Philip McCallen & Nigel Davies
Note
Obverse designer R. Maklouf
Why this one is related to T.T. (but for TTF1), you then have to understand first what is w privy noted in 1985. Because of the world-class famous T.T. events to Tynwald.
25th Anniversary of decimalisation in the Isle of Man.
NO T.T. logo.
Regular issue coinage

  • 1996 No die letters real diamond finish 50p coin (PL, UNC)
  • 1996 AA standard finish 50p coin (no mirrored-field, circulated)
  • 1996 AA standard finish 50p coin from mint set (UNC)
  • 1996 AA (likely) diamond finish 50p coin (aUNC)
  • 1996 AA (most likely) diamond finish 50p coin (semi-PL, mirrored-field, aUNC)
  • Extra: 1996 50p silver proof coin

1997 Philip McCallen & Nigel Davies
Note
Obverse designer R. Maklouf
Why this one is related to T.T. (but for TTF1), see note in 1996 above.
Echo UK coinage changes in resizing 50p coins in 1997.
NO T.T. logo.
Regular issue coinage.

  • 1997 AA standard finish 50p coin (30.00mm in diameter)–a real collector coin
  • 1997 AA standard finish 50p coin circulated (27.30mm in diameter)
  • 1997 AA standard finish 50p coin uncirculated (27.30mm in diameter)

From 1996 to 1999, the reverse was all about Philip McCallen & Nigel Davies (riders of the Formula One TT, TTF1). Also, during the period of 1996 to 1999, the Formula One T.T. theme 50ps coins were issued as circulating coins on the island. But all circulating coins were in a circle of 4-year window (see Viking Boats 50p part). Mintage figures assumed were around 6,000 coins (or less) each year. The one of the riders on reverse, Philip McCallen, became the first-and only-rider to win FOUR races in one week in 1996 T.T.–the Formula One T.T., Junior T.T., Production T.T. and Senior T.T. and almost made it for five races in Lightweight T.T.. His name was in the T.T. history book in 1996 as well. Motor machine maker was HONDA.

Part II
Information beyond this point, they are all about smaller-sized T.T. 50p coins and T.T. related coins after/(within) the period of 1997. In other words, the diameter of all 50p coins in 1997 afterwards is 27.30mm & 8.00g in weight. All diamond finish coins may come cross in this chapter. But it will be around the corner somewhere in this chapter.

If you are keen to collect IOM 50p coins, the themes on IOM 50ps circulating area coins you may have noticed are as follows:

  • 1971 to 1987 “Viking Boats/Long Boats” were struck (by the Royal Mint in 1971, the rest started from 1972 onwards to 03/2017 by the Pobjoy Mint) on 50p coins, regular issue coinage;
  • And, 1988 to 1995 “Computer Technology, PC” on 50p coins, regular issue coinage;
  • Moreover, 1996 to 1999 “Philip McCallen”, regular issue coinage;
  • And then, 2000 to 2003 “Pre-Norse Carved Cross”, regular issue coinage;
  • Last 2004 to Present “Milner’s Tower”, regular issue coinage.
  • Since 04/2017, the Tower Mint was pointed as IOM solo minter over the Pobjoy Mint.

All above stated coinages were regular issue coins and no any time gap(s) created and overlapped among 50p coin themes from 1971 to 2003 and even 1972/73/74 50ps. Note the 1972s, 1973s and 1974s were minted in 1975 for the purpose of continuity (i.e., 1972-1973-1974-1975 BU grade, 1971-1972-1973-1974 Proof grade by then). Obviously, this logic it is strongly connected before and after. Considering public information gathered, it tells us that all the 50p coins were followed by one simple rule “consistency” in time order Year by Year. However, ONLY the 1997 large-sized Philip McCallen 50p coin was overlapped between two different sizes in diameter but has the same reverse in IOM decimalisation system. It is more likely to commemorate and distinguish pre-1997 & post-1997 decimal eras on the island. Ahh, yes! It has one single commemorative 50p coin made in 1994, the Legislative Building. Moreover, the Xmas theme was started from 1980 till 2016. But this bit belongs to Xmas commemorative coin part. Dont forget to check that out! We will not reveal any info this chapter.

1998 & 1999 Philip McCallen & Nigel Davies
Note
Obverse designers I. Rank-Broadley (except R. Maklouf (1997) )
Why this one is related to T.T. (for TTF1), see note in 1996 above.
NO TT logo noted.
Regular issue coinage.

  • 1998 AA die letters standard finish 50p coin
  • 1999 AA die letters standard finish 50p coin

In brief, all four TTF1 coins are presented in 1996 to 1999. T.T. coins and TTF1 coins are both on IOM coinage during 2000s.

1999 “Commemorative” coin, Yes or No??!!
In 1949, Isle of Man T.T. races became part of FIM Road Racing World Championship. In 1999, Isle of Man T.T. races celebrates its 50th anniversary and commemorates rider Robert “Les” Graham riding with 500cc AJS “Porcupine”. Whether this coin is a commemorative coin or not, it seems to people that they are unable to answer it. If you consider a fact that regular issue coinage is alongside 1999, so this 50p coin is a commemorative coin automatically.

1999 “T.T.-related Commemorative” 50p coin
Note
Obverse designers I. Rank-Broadley (IRB)
NO T.T. logo
IOM T.T. races became part of FIM ROAD RACING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP GRAND PRIX held since 1949 in the Isle of Man (the 50th Anni.)
Commemorative issue coinage.

  • 1999 AA die letters diamond finish coin (made in 1990s from a FDC cover)
  • 1999 AA die letters diamond finish coin (made in 2010s from the Mint direct)
  • A Comparison of the AA die marks above

2004 The Trophy
Note
Obverse designer I. Rank-Broadley (IRB),
The TT logo next to the trophy.
Regular issue coinage.

  • 2004 AA standard finish 50p coin (i.e., UNcirculated)
  • 2004 AA standard finish 50p coin (i.e., circulated)

2007 The trophy and Sidecar
In this year, two 50ps exist, and both to celebrate 100th Anni. of The T.T..
Note
Either the trophy or sidecar obverses designers I. Rank-Broadley (IRB)
the trophy as exact SAME as the 2004 one
sidecar noted “100 YEARS”
T.T. logo both noted.
Regular issue coinage both.

>> 2007 Type I: the Trophy

  • 2007 ND Diamond Finish 50p Coin, the Trophy
  • 2007 AA standard finish 50p coin

>> 2007 Type II: sidecar

  • 2007 ND Diamond Finish 50p Coin, Sidecar
  • 2007 AA standard finish 50p coin

2009 Honda at T.T. 50 years
Note
Obverse designer I. Rank-Broadley (IRB)
Honda logo & TT logo noted.
Regular issue coinage.

  • 2009 ND Diamond finish 50p coin
  • 2009 AA standard finish 50p coin

2010 Suzuki at T.T. 50 years
Note
Obverse designer I. Rank-Broadley (IRB)
TT logo noted
50 years of racing from 1960 to 2010 noted
Circulating Commemorative coinage.

  • 2010 Suzuki racing at T.T. 50 years 50p Diamond Finish Coin.
  • 2010 Suzuki racing at T.T. 50 years 50p Standard Finish Coin with AA.

2011 Yamaha at T.T. 50 years
Note
obverse designer I. Rank-Broadley (IRB)
TT logo noted
Circulating Commemorative coinage
Only one variety exits which is AA.

  • 2011 50 years of Yamaha at the T.T. 50p Standard Finish coin with AA (high grade).
  • 2011 50 years of Yamaha at the T.T. 50p Standard Finish coin with AA (low grade).

2012 Enduro Motorcycle
Note
“Enduro Motorcycle” noted
obverse designer I. Rank-Broadley (IRB)
Motor cross (off-road racing)
Rider David Knight (IOM)
3-event held in UK in 2012, as follows:

  • a). 2012 the Olympic Games held in London UK 2012 (Cyclist From IOM).
  • b). the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2012 (Queen Victoria celebrated in 1897).
  • c). Great sport events related to IOM (Motor racing famous around the islands).

Circulating Commemorative coinage.

  • 2012 Enduro Motorcycle 50p Diamond Finish coin without die marks.
  • 2012 Enduro Motorcycle 50p Standard Finish coin with AA.

2014 John McGuinness with 20 T.T. wins
Note
obverse designer I. Rank-Broadley (IRB)
T.T. logo noted
Circulating Commemorative coinage.

  • 2014 John McGuinness with 20 T.T. wins standard finish 50p coin with AA.

2015 T.T. the legends
Note
TT logo noted
New theme called T.T. the Legends
obverse designer I. Rank-Broadley (IRB)
Circulating Commemorative coinage
the last one of bearing the 4th portrait of Q.E on IOM coinage.

  • 2015 T.T. the legends 50p Diamond Finish coin without die marks.
  • 2015 T.T. the legends 50p Standard Finish coin with AA.
  • 2015 T.T. the legends 50p Standard Finish coin with AB.

2016 T.T. the legends
Note
T.T. logo noted.
The New portrait made by PM in place, echoing UK coinage changing.
PM is beneath bust back on obverse.
Regular issue coinage.

  • 2016 T.T. the legends 50p standard finish coin with AA

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