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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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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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