Since 2016, the Royal Mint finally decided to mint cartoonish coins and made the blue Peter 50p coin prolong famous in the numismatic world. Two years later, the Mint slowly moved into the Xmas market by issuing the Snowman(tm) 50p coin. Right now, it has been 2 coins on the market. Note, the very first Royal Mint Christmas or Christmas-related theme was released in 2016 £20 silver bullion coin, and then 2017 and 2018 £5 coins.
What are we talking here today, it is Christmas-related theme, the Snowman(tm) 50p coin. This theme starts in 2018 onwards. Metal it will be in silver.
The year 2018,
The Snowman(tm) 2018, 50p silver proof coin
The Snowman(tm) 2018, 50p silver proof coin–a close look
it was glad to see the Snowman(tm) again, especially issued by the Royal Mint. However, the very 1st Snowman was released in 2003, the Snowman & James, by the British Pobjoy Mint on behalf of the government of Isle of Man. It has been a while, 15 years!
Two things we cover here mainly, one is the outer packaging and another is coin itself. Firstly, outer packaging itself is designed for the purpose of gifting to people who search for a gift during the period of Christmas, because it is once a year. In general, it was produced by the way of simplifying the concept of snowball glass. Selling at £60 per unit is not bad for a good choice. However, moving down to coin itself, it is hard to say good or bad. By looking at the reverse side of the coin, colour-printed picture-formatted, very very simple and cant even say we live in 2018. It is even no any illustration word or heading on the reverse. If you hold coin itself, you only see flying the Snowman(tm) and Billy. This theme of the Snowman(tm) and Billy 2018 is also able to be seen from Isle of Man 2014 1 crown coin. In terms of coin grade, the Royal Mint quality guaranteed proof standard finish is highly visible.
The year 2019,
The Snowman(tm) 2019, 50p silver proof coin
The Snowman(tm) 2019, 50p silver proof coin–a close look
the outer packaging was better than 2018 and making better feeling about the Christmas festival days, but, you had to pay for £65 per unit. Coin itself this year was worse than last year. Because there was no any good and surprise innovation on. Just simply let flying the Snowman(tm) transform into a standing feature on the ground. At this stage, something is popping out from my head, yes, the 2016 Beatrix Potter series, later soon, this series become a milk-cow production line.
Finally, let we summarise mintage figures of the Snowman(tm) 50p coin 2018 and 2019 in Table A.
Table A: the Snowman(tm) 50p coin 2018 and 2019.
Mintage (base metal)
the Snowman(tm), Flying the Snowman & Billy
the Snowman(tm), a Standing feature
The year 2019, it is coming to an end and a new year is waiting for us ahead, I wish all collectors and people who are reading it a Merry Christmas and a Happy New! Enjoying the great time with your family. Thank you for your support. A new Year, a new start.
BF Die Letters on Fifty Pence coin and D & E Dies on silver coin: A story about 1980 IOM Xmas series
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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.
UK Colour-printed 50p coins in silver and in base metal
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First of all, it is background of two Fifty pence coins we will talk about one of the Snowman series and Peter Rabbit. The Snowman and Billy was produced by the Pobjoy Mint in 2014, and Peter Rabbit was produced by the Royal Mint in 2016. It is very very interesting to talk about this topic. Because there is NO a 2015 IOM Xmas 50p existed. This is the gap the PM left it open to the RM. Moreover, it is 13(=2016-2003) years ago, the PM implied colour-printed technique on 50p coins, but the RM took the colour-printed path on 50p coins only in 2016. Note the RM first implication of colour-printed version was noted on £2 coins in silver, precisely silver piedfort, in 2002. We will compare Fifty pence coins in silver first and then in base metal next. In terms of UK, it refers to the producers whom are based in the United Kingdom.
First round, it is about time. The Snowman first appearance, the Snowman and James, was on IOM Xmas 50p coins in 2003 to celebrate the Snowman animation alive for 25 years since 1978. Peter Rabbit first appearance was in 1993 on Gibraltar Crown coins to celebrate the 100 years of Peter Rabbit. Interestingly, either Gibraltar coins or Gibraltar Crown coins all are produced by the PM at the time. Then Peter Rabbit was introduced to collectors on 50p coins in 2016 in order for celebrating the 150 anniversary of Beatrix Potter under the subject of “the Tale of Peter Rabbit” derived from Beatrix Potter’s 23 little tales. Right now, a bit confusion gets my attention, which is between 1893(=1993-100) and 1866(=2016-150). From the numbers 1893 and 1866, you can clearly see how the Mints’ thoughts for avoiding overlapped things, and how to get into this market firmly by any chance. The 2014 Snowman is sort of the 2nd one in the Xmas series and the 2016 Peter Rabbit is sort of the first one in series.
2014 The Snowman and Billy 50p coin in silver, struck at the Pobjoy Mint.
2016 The Peter Rabbit 50p coin in silver, struck at the Royal Mint.
But this round, we look at the two coins from package outside. The Snowman one reminds me PM made certs for this kind just like infinite back to square 1. The Peter Rabbit one looks like a gift. The RM have changed their concept in this industry towards to a luxury gifting industry since 2008 probably.
Outside package for the two coins.
The Snowman 2014
Peter Rabbit 2016
Basic data: 50p in denomination & 8.00g in weight & 27.30mm in diameter
Alloy: Sterling Silver (.9250, PM)
Alloy: Sterling Silver (.9250, RM)
Quality: Proof (by the PM)
Quality: Proof (by the RM)
Mintage: limited @ 5,000
Mintage: Limited @ 15,000
Note: Copper-Nickel plain & colour-printed
Note: Copper-Nickel plain
Initials for the reverse and obverse designers
One more round, we look further at ones in base metal. This is a key part to see how the two mints compete in this market. The PM know very clearly what target customs are, so they issue limited colour-printed version along with plain ones. However, the RM only focus on precious metals and only do colour-printed version in silver. A interesting finding is the issue limit of 7,500. The Beatrix Potter 50p plain coins are limited @ 7,500 and the rest of colour-printed version is limited @ 15,000 in 2016 and but the 2017 ones is lift to 30,000 coins. 7500 x 20 = 7500, 7500 x 22-1, 30000 = 7500 x 23-1 (7500 x 2n-1, n=1,2,3,…; 7500 = 150 x 50). The Falkland Islands Penguin 50p ones is limited at @ 7,500 in base metal only. The two echoes each other but in different metals in 2017.
The Snowman and Billy 2014 50p coin from carded version, limited @ 30K for this kind.
The Snowman and Billy 2014 50p colour-printed, including issue limit above.
Peter Rabbit 2016 50p coin from carded version, limited @ 9.6M for this kind.
From pictures shown above, the Snowman is minted with a prooflike (PL) finish, but the Peter Rabbit is only an Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) finish.
Business is Business, you have to work harder to get your shares in this red blood market. The “alternations or arguments” in 2015 created a big gap for a strong rival competitor to get in this market. Once you get into the gap, it is your success. But you can not forget one thing the two mints know each other well. In other words, inside information somehow appears. I still remember how hard did I get one Peter Rabbit in Feb 2016. My order was placed in afternoon when I started to login my account on the royal mint website in the morning. I could not stop refreshing my website like a robot. This simply reminds me how did I play video games. The RM somehow need update their bandwidth at peak time. Are collectors going to wait all 23 tales? If this is a Yes, probably the RM will handle the opportunity to others.
Last round, it is an extra part to show the Peter Rabbit Crown coins issued on behalf of the government of Gibraltar in 1993.
100 Years of Peter Rabbit Crown Coins issued for Gibraltar.
First of all, this chapter is all about Isle of Man Viking Boat/Longboat heptagon 50p coins in 1979 including 1980. Metals will come across between copper-nickel (i.e., CN) and silver (i.e., AG) at the same time. Secondly, more importantly, it is a way to explore 50p coins struck by the Pobjoy mint (hereafter, the Mint) in 1979 ONLY to celebrate the Viking event and the Royal Visit IOM as well. The Pobjoy Mint is a limited company registered in England and Wales, and their mint mark is the capital letters of PM. They first introduced so-called the batch codes (i.e., AA/AB/…) in 1978. The batch codes are somehow, in a way, consistent of a key information to transiting a complex picture of the viking boat in full-sail 50p coins in 1979 & 1980. However, on the other hands, the codes show off how much effort(s) the Mint used to build up IOM coinage in later 1970s.
In order to understand or have a clear picture of 1979 IOM Viking Boat 50p coins, we start them off from 1979 Viking Long Boat 50p silver proof coin where comes from year silver proof set, because this one is a very good starting point to be mentioned here. Therefore, you are able to see all 1979 50p silver proof coins as follows:
Viking Long-boat over the island 50p Coin with t privy (x1 PF, year proof set)*,
Viking Boat voyage 50p coin with D batch code (x2 PFs, individual)*,
Viking Boat voyage 50p coin with E batch code (x1 PF, individual)*,
Viking Boat voyage 50p coin with F batch code (x1 PF + x1 BU, individual)*,
Viking Boat voyage 50p coin with D batch code in 1980 (x1 PF, individual, very special one)*.
(Note*: PF stands for proof, BU= brilliant uncirculated. The year set means the place the coin comes from. Individual means the coin presents in a gift/collector box.)
Bearing in mind that,
a). if you are very clear above 50p silver coins, you may continue to read information below. Or
b). if you are very familiar with all 50p coins on CN, we hope it may give you more extra info to amend your own picture on all 50p coins in 1979.
1. Viking Long-boat 50p Coin over the island with the t privy (PF, year proof set)
From 1976 to 1979, all reverses are Viking the Long-boat with Odin’s Raven over the island. Both obverse and reverse sides are noted the Mint mark (PM) from 1977 to 1979. Interestingly, the double mint mark on a coin has changed after the t privy appeared in 1979, instead one-side with the mint mark (i.e., “obverse”, it normally is underneath the bust) and another side with a theme (i.e., “reverse”) plus a two-digit batch code (i.e., a letter for precious metals, two letters for base metals). Also, the batch code was first introduced in 1978. Variation(s) can be seen in 2 & 3 below.
IOM coinages in transit–a), banknotes 50p stop circulating after 1979. These require enormous 50p coins in place; b), the reverse’s design is no longer over the island, and become a art related design; c), the design transfers to Millennium voyage from Odin’s raven in 1979, and most importantly it is one year reverse only.
Viking Long-boat 50p silver proof coin over the island with the t privy below.
1.1 Currency coins (a set of 4 coins exclusive has two designs at the same time with and/or without the privy t)
—01 AA(t) (i.e., the AA production batch codes with the privy t and PM both sides at the same time).
—02 AB(t) (i.e., the AB production batch codes with the privy t and PM both sides at the same time).
In brief, the privy t cancels the PM mint mark on reverse in pictures shown in 1.1.01 and 1.1.02,
The privy t is moving on sail instead Odin’s Raven,
The privy t existence shows the existence of the production codes AA/AB as well.
—03 AA (the AA production batch codes with Manx Millennium Voyage and PM on obverse only, and the privy t has gone).
—04 AB (the AB production batch codes with Manx Millennium Voyage and PM on obverse only, and the privy t has gone).
In brief, the privy t is on sail Manx Millennium Voyage surrounding in pictures shown in 1.1.03 and 1.1.04,
The new design matches replica men shipped down from Norway in July 1979,
The production codes AA/AB are in place,
The new designed Viking 50p coins were used to commemorate Q.E. II Royal visit IOM 1979.
—05 AA (UNC From square box)
—06 AB (UNC From square box)
In brief, pictures shown in 1.1.05 and 1.1.06 indicate that the coins have better quality and details.
To sum up for this part, the production batch codes were AA(t), AA, AB(t) and AB only upon with two different reverse’s designs on 50p CN coins. But one variety only was in file on 50p silver coins (see Category I). First, the batch codes are letters from A to B. But it understands a simple metric used (2×2) based on a coin has two sides. The batch code contains a lot of information but we do not know them without help from the mint. Secondly, the object on the longboat in full-sail was one of the Odin’s Ravens. However, due to the fact of Viking the Millennium, Viking the boat in full-sail was being changed to Millennium Voyage specially designed for Tynwald Millennium in 1979. Also, Viking the boat voyage was one year type only design in Viking boats series. Finally, the t privy is also a signal to tell collectors that the privy has a very important meaning this year. Sadly, there is no a place could confirm it.
In Norse mythology, Huginn (from Old Norse “thought”) and Muninn (Old Norse “desire” or “memory” or “mind”) are a pair of ravens that fly all over the world, Midgard, and bring information to the God, Odin. Apparently, only one raven was found on the reverse design from 1976 to 1979 (with t).
2. Viking Boat 50p Silver Proof Coin associated with D & F batch codes
This type of coin is named as a Tynwald set which echoes silver coin in part 1 above. It has two variants in terms of metal in this part, sterling silver coin (see 2.1 and 2.2) and copper-nickel (CN) coin (see 2.3). A total number of 100k silver coins were minted (i.e., 100k = 30k (from D batch below) + 70k (from F batch below)). This 100k means a lot either to Tynwald or the Mint itself. Note: 1K = Millennium; 70k = 50k (1979 CN edges-inscribed coins in green boxes) + 20K (1980 CN edges-inscribed coins in folder, library finish).
2.1 D batch code without edge inscription silver (PF, individual) Note:
PF in grade @ an issue limit of 30,000 coins.
Edges NO inscription.
This is for non-inscription proof.
2.2 F batch code without edge inscription silver (BU, individual) Note:
BU in grade @ an issue limit of 70,000 coins.
Frosted mirrored-field on rev. & obv..
But edges WITHOUT inscription.
This cert is for F non-inscription BU.
2.3 Fifty pence coin in copper-nickel
I. Day of Tynwald
—01a Edge with lettering, AA, specially for Tynwald Millennium Voyage in 1979, from a green box (limited @ 50k, COA says)
—01b Edge with lettering, AA, specially for Tynwald Millennium Voyage in 1979, from a green box (limited @ 50k, COA says)
II. Day of Tynwald
—02a Edge no inscription, AB, specially for Tynwald Millennium Voyage in 1979, from a green box (limited @ 100k, COA says)
—02b Edge no inscription, AB, a Prooflike finish, specially for Tynwald Millennium Voyage in 1979, from a green box (limited @ 100k, COA says)
III. Day of Tynwald
—03a Edge no inscription, AC, a plain Satin finish, specially for Tynwald Millennium Voyage in 1979, from a green box (limited @ 100k, COA says)
—03b Edge with lettering, AC, a special one in 1980, specially for attending the NY Viking show in 1980, from a grey folder (limited @ 20k, COA says)
IV. Day of Tynwald
—04a Edge with lettering, AD, specially for Tynwald Millennium Voyage in 1979, from a green box (limited @ 50k, COA says)
—04b Edge with lettering, AD, specially for Tynwald Millennium Voyage in 1979, from a green box (limited @ 50k, COA says)
Fifty pence coins in copper-nickel above, (mainly come from square boxes and/or green (or black) presentation boxes mean that the coins), have very much different quality in grade. Two combinations we have talked here between part I and part II. One, the privy t with AA (from circulation) + the privy t with AB (from circulation) + AA (from circulation) + AB (from circulation) = 4 as a set. Two, AA (from I 01a & 01b above) + AB (from I 02a & 02b above) + AC (from III 03a & 03b above) + AD (from IV 04a & 04b above) = 8 as a set. Note the number 8 is equal to 7 PLUS 1. The 1 is a very special one, but everything in die letters, it means two arrays 7 and 8 (=4×2). The numbers 4 and 7 are very interesting if you know IOM history.
To sum up, we have talked about 2x 50p silver coins and 4x 50p coins in CN with different finishes. This class which contains 2 silver coins and 4 CN coins was named as Tynwald set. Also, the reverse design made by the Pobjoy Mint was one year only in 1979.
3. Viking Boat 50p Silver Proof Coins associated with D & E & F batch codes
This type of coins is named as a Royal Visit IOM set with a issue limit of 30k. This 30k means lots (i.e., 30k = 5k (from D below) + 5k (from E below) + 10k (from F below) + 10k (from Part 1 silver coin)).
3.1 D batch code with edge inscription silver coin (PF, individual) Note:
PF grade @ 5,000 coins,
Inscribed on edges “ROYAL VISIT I. O. M JULY 1979 H. M Q. E – II” –(clockwise, from 9 position). Note proper reading it should be H.M__Q.E-II__ROYAL__VISIT__I.O.M.__JULY__1979
This is for PF inscribed.
3.2 E batch code with edge inscription silver coin (PF, individual) Note:
PF grade @ 5,000 coins,
Only PF (E die) silver coin noted from this variety
Proper reading it should be H.M__Q.E-II__ROYAL__VISIT__I.O.M.__JULY__1979
This cert for PF inscribed.
3.3 F batch code with edge inscription silver coin (BU, individual) Note:
BU grade @ 10,000 coins,
Matte finish on both sides.
BUT, inscribed on edges “ROYAL VISIT I. O. M JULY 1979 H. M Q. E – II” –(clockwise, from 9 position). Proper reading it should be H.M__Q.E-II__ROYAL__VISIT__I.O.M.__JULY__1979
This cert for BU inscribed.
3.4 CN 50p coins
to be continued…, but it is hard to be updated over time. This is because the sample required is extremely huge.
Note: Each info contained within this table can be found from Part I/II/III, and M see Xmas 50p coins.
To sum up, 3x 50p silver proof coins have been talked. A table was created to let you interpret more in your own way. In terms of all different variants 1979 50p coins inscribed, it was hard to be true that we could summarise them all here, due to lack of sample.
4. 1980 Viking boat 50p silver proof coin with D batch code
This class is named as the Viking Show New York Exhibition set. The 5k mintage means a lot. Also, these numbers like 30k(=20k+10k)