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It is very tricky to talk about this topic here. In terms of circulating coin (i.e., currency) and circulating commemorative coin, there is no a significant difference that tells you how to define/recognise them (i.e., benchmark). But, it is only occasionally addressed by officials over years. A final and solid outcome was written in black and write in 2017, due to an error made by the Tower Mint.
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 the Tynwald Court (hereafter 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 Isle of Man government, 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 coins 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. In this blog, we will go through a set of three circulating commemorative coins, covering 1994, 2017 and 1997, as below.
- 1994 Legislative building 50p UNC coin
- 2017 the House of Keys 50p UNC coin (version I)
- 2017 the House of Keys 50p PF coin (version II)
Note: this type of coin, named version I, was minted by the Tower Mint in England that is the brand new minter of the Isle of Man government since 2017.
Note: this type of coin, named version II, was minted by the Tower Mint, but the Tynwald claimed they were PROOFLIKE coins (see the apology letter). Because of this apology letter, it tells us that a) diamond finish coins by Pobjoy Mint are at least 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) the consistency of the Isle of Man coinage could never be broken, and also remember who is the big boss behind, the Tynwald Court.
- 1997 Philip McCallen and Nigel Davies T.T.-related 50p UNC coin
Note: only large-sized 50p coins made in 1997 are collector’s coin due to in high demand.
The above three 50p coins tell us that how the Tynwald Court think and behave on the numismatic markets. Also, it is a solid way to understand how the Tynwald make its coinage business profitable and commercial-preferred. A very interesting question is going to be asked, who was the person put bets on 50p coin after the Decimalisation Day (D-day)? The Tynwald Court, or the Mint, or …? It is not hard to make a guess on a binary question (50/50), especially getting rid of the Mint quickly after more than 40 years last long standing relationship.