Isle of Man Christmas 50p Coin in Grade from 1999 to 2016
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Here, it is a very very interesting topic to present in a way either valuation or numismatic value. This topic also is important to collectors who are keen to Christmas 50p base metal coin in modern British Isles coinage history (other than GB coin). Because the more layers we tear off, the more value you can add on the IOM Xmas series. Frankly, it is only here you are able to find out more information on what actually so-called Diamond Finish is. In the early days (say, pre-1997), a Diamond Finish standard (hereafter DF) is a combination of advanced dies (ie., polished) and advanced planchets (ie., buffed), for instance, 1980 IOM Xmas 50p coin associated with BBs-BC-BD-BE-BFs-BFs(Mule). However, the Isle of Man Christmas 50p coin made after 1999, it let you feel that collectors pay a higher price for low quality item made from normal/advanced Dies and normal blanks.
So, let we introduce a UNC coin without mentioning dies and planchets in detail first, as follows:
1999 Christmas 50p Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC <#1>
From the above <#1> pictures, it is hard to tell you what is what, but a base-line point is well established. It is a normal 50p coin which you are able to find it in your pocket money. However, if you look for further detail on the coin, a AA die mark could be spotted at 8 o’clock position. Alongside of that, You are going to see NO squared-rim easily.
Still, another UNC coin, as follows:
1999 Christmas 50p Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC <#2>
From the above <#2> pictures, you are going to see more details on the coin compared to UNC <#1>, but this time, a BB die mark noted on at 8 o’clock position and the mirrored-like field. A variant of UNC <#2> named <#2.1> shows a bit low quality in contrast to UNC <#2>, which is associated with no die mark (hereafter ND).
1999 Christmas 50p Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC <#2.1>
let we have a close look at obverse each,
BB’s obverse (UNC <#2>) vs. ND’s obverse (UNC <#2.1>)
At this point, two different coins in grade are established. A UNC <#1> coin is a circulating coin, or Mint Statue (hereafter MS) grade from a 3rd grading company. A UNC either <#2> or <#2.1> coin is a circulating commemorative coin or MS Prooflike.
The last grade in a row, it goes to UNC <#3>.
1999 Christmas 50p Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC <#3>
UNC <#3> is also a circulating commemorative coin but a MS Deep PL standard from a 3rd grading company.
Having said that without mentioning dies and planchets, it concludes that most importantly there were no any BUNC 50p coins made in the IOM Xmas series. UNC <#1> was under strike one time and two times for <#2> and <#2.1>, however, three times for UNC <#3>. What is more, the AA and BB die marks were an indication to tell the significant difference between circulating and circulating commemorative coins in principle. However, die marks (with or without) had less information on grades but were able to give you direct information about a xmas coin wether circulating coin or circulating commemorative coin. Obviously, it was hard to follow when the sudden appearance of the existence of ND type of coins. Therefore, UNC (or MS), DF (or MS PL) and DF with Deep prooflike (or MS DPL) were well established and defined here.
A complicated case is list below from the IOM xmas series. UNC and DF coins share the BB die mark at the same time.
2000 Christmas 50p Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC <#1>
Yes, a BB die mark is easily spotted, but does not necessarily say it is a UNC <#2> or <#3> coin. The above coin is actually a UNC <#1> coin.
Now, it presents a UNC <#2> and <#2.1> coin as below,
2000 Christmas 50p Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC <#2>
2000 Christmas 50p Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC <#2.1>
Having said the 1999 IOM Xmas 50p coin mainly, a balanced picture needs to keep in mind. A more complicated case compared cross panel is going to be presented here in relation to same year 50p coin in the IOM Xmas series. we now have to cover the 1999 Xmas 50p coin from Gibraltar (ie., the Mint works on a same topic for two different people, ironically, the Mint has lost the right to mint Gibraltar coinage since 2004). This time, it is your turn to tell us what is it.
1999 Christmas 50p Coin from Gibraltar — UNC <#2>? or <#3>?
Do not get me wrong here, the BB die mark does not say or indicate UNC <#2> in grade equally and definitely. What I have talked here is that how to identify a DF standard with and without the die marks.
We are moving to the period of 1999 to 2016 that reveals how the quality of coins drops in years.
First of all, it will be the year 2004 and then 2016 in the second place. There is a pattern of AA-BA-ND in both years when the BA die mark has been used. Meanwhile, the AA die mark is simultaneously existed in relation to the BA die mark as well. Most significantly, the Manx cat in the first place has a farewell appearance in 2004 and drops completely from the IOM Xmas series in 2005. What is more, the p has no place after the 50 denomination in 2016. This echoes back to the very beginning of the IOM Xmas series in 1980. These information are a way to express the internal side of the story.
2004 Christmas 50p Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC <#1>
2016 Christmas 50p Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC <#1>
The frosting effect can be seen clearly in both. However, in contrast to ND and BA 50p coins made in same years, the above coins are no better in terms of grade and even worse than UNC <#1> from 1999. A assumption is set up here that the two AA die mark coins are very specially made in the first place but reason(s) unknown.
Last, I want to mention a point here that not all AA diemarks stand for UNC or struck on base metal but there is an exception see below.
The 50p Xmas coin market in the UK is still young and takes time to become a good and reasonable market. However, Christmas 50p coin from Gibraltar is getting a mess and slowly moving on to their £2 coin like the Isle of Man. The sooner or later collectors will go back for obtaining original ones definitely. This is the destiny of Xmas-theme related coin — failure vs. commercialisation. Firstly, the concept of a Xmas coin is no longer a potential financial instrument as it was. Because the issuer has the absolute right in control of a mintage number. What is more, collectors are being treated like milk cows. Furthermore, people can re-sell goods in hands at a higher price on a secondary market after the IPO (i.e., initial public offering) for the purpose of quick bucks where is only the stimulus driven people to do so. If you take some time to wait a bit further, all will slow down and even be collapsed in price. Collectors have not learnt from this market and events held in the past, history will repeat itself many times, website crash down after website crash down, again and again. Last, it is inconsistency in the entire GIB Xmas series. From Day 1 to date, the Gibraltar government have employed two mints, as follows:
1988 to 2003, the Pobjoy mint;
2004 to 2016, the Tower mint;
2017 to 2019, back to the Pobjoy mint;
2020 to day, back to the Tower mint again.
The above changes lead designs of coinage and striking quality are poor over time.
However, in contrast to Christmas 50p coin from the Isle of Man, the government of the Isle of Man is doing much better. One thing you obviously see through from the IOM Xmas series is consistency, of course, 2015 not counted. At some degree, the entire IOM Xmas series is a good investment portfolio in the long run term. Sadly, the full stop has been made in 2017 by the Tynwald Court. The IOM Xmas 50p series went commercial once in 2003, they felt good, and went twice in 2008, still good, and sadly burst in 2014.
Here, you are only able to see Gibraltar Xmas 50p coin from 1988 to 2003 ONLY, due to the main constraint of data made available by the Pobjoy Mint. Let we start with 1988 first as follows:
1988 Gibraltar Xmas 50p UNC coin
We have to talk about a 1988 Gibraltar £1 Virenium Proof coin when we come across the very first Gibraltar Xmas 50p coin. In theory, a die mark can be easily spotted on Xmas 50p coins made by the Pobjoy Mint. However, it has no such sign. Secondly, the very first Gibraltar Xmas 50p coin is made really poor in terms of coin quality. These coins are not classified as a Diamond Finish standard coin. Bear in mind that this is not what I am defining it, and all evidence will be merged in 1989 onwards to 2003.
1988 Gibraltar £1 Virenium Proof Coin
After this point, you are able to see so-called Diamond Finish (DF) 50p coin from Gibraltar. Note all samples you are going to see were acquired from coin in card.
1989 Gibraltar Xmas 50p Diamond Finish (DF) coin
1990 Gibraltar Xmas 50p DF coin
1991 Gibraltar Xmas 50p DF coin
1992 Gibraltar Xmas 50p DF coin
1993 Gibraltar Xmas 50p DF coin
1994 Gibraltar Xmas 50p DF coin
1995 Gibraltar Xmas 50p DF coin
1996 Gibraltar Xmas 50p DF coin
1997 Gibraltar Xmas 50p DF coin
1998 Gibraltar Xmas 50p DF coin
1999 Gibraltar Xmas 50p DF coin
After this point, you are going to see designs are NOT nested in a wreath which means a full design on reverse.
2000 Gibraltar Xmas 50p DF coin
2001 Gibraltar Xmas 50p DF coin
2002 Gibraltar Xmas 50p DF coin
2003 Gibraltar Xmas 50p DF coin
Each year, 30,000 Gibraltar Xmas 50p coins are commissioned based on COA. The number of 30,000 is a maximum no. that the Mint is allowed to mint coins. Note the Mint itself has is a unique position in this case, because the Mint is a private limited company not any government-owned minter. From the perspective of the Pobjoy Mint, the level of a certain number of coins made is fundamentally important.
I am aware that it is only a short part of Gibraltar Xmas series from 1988 to 2020 (so far, 1993 and 2002 missing as well). The above coins illustrated are minted by the Pobjoy Mint. This is the reason that this short part exists. Xmas series either from the Isle of Man or Gibraltar are really good numismatic products in terms of design and technique. In modern time, it is hard to find such good arts designed by heart and made by modern people with no commercial intension first.
Gibraltar 2020 £2 Prooflike Diamond Finish Coin the 12 Labours of Hercules (2nd issue)
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On 11th December 2019 onwards, I started to build on this thread. It aims to give you general information about the 2nd issue of the Hercules (ie., same country and same issuer and same face valued used). What a great surprise, the 12 tasks/labours of Hercules (2nd issue) (i.e., the theme) was suddenly presented in front of collectors without any marketing on the 25th of November 2019. The product release totally caused a chaos on the release days either the Pobjoy mint website or collectors. The Hercules theme was originally issued in 1990s under the Gibraltar government order by the British Pobjoy Mint maker with a face value of £2 bi-metallic coinage. Yes, it has been over 20 years since the 1st release in 1997, the new issues have nothing changed and nothing improved but instead with a so-called diamond finish standard. It is a bit ironic really here. After more than 20 years, there is no any good and innovative products showing off in the numismatic world in the 21 century.
This time, the 12-coin as a set is struck at a prooflike diamond finish standard. Each coin (or each task) has a issue limit of 1,750 coins along with a cert at a price of £12.95 (incl. VAT) posted and delivery charged, and later the final one £2 extra added up on top. You may feel this small increase is not too much, but actually it says that well done your marketing and you have got more followers. In this current climate world, people probably donot care how good numismatic product it is and what potential investment value it is, but do care that limit number (i.e., mintage).
On each release day, you are going to receive an email sent from their mailing list system that contains release information and purchase link. Using purchase link is the quick way to get on the refresh page game. This just remind me that high frequency trading in financial market. A little awkward situation is the Pobjoy Mint website not designed for this purpose, cannot handle such high volume of traffic. The 1st coin in series was sold out within 3 hours on the day without any limitation of how many you intend to buy. The 2nd and 3rd ones were sold in a problematic chaos ending and after the 3rd one, each labour was sold within a second. To collectors, they have got used that “the Pobjoy video games on”, meaning how efficiently refresh the page to load, and to the Mint, the hook has been established well at the heart of following customers and added values to their brand again.
The real value behind the 2nd issue, probably it is a prooflike Diamond Finish standard. But these re-issues will also boost the 1st issue price up inevitably. The technique of PLDF has never been implemented on £2 Gibraltar bi-metallic coin before. What is more, the government of Gibraltar and the Pobjoy Mint have both overseen re-issued coins’ advantages (ie., huge revenue), based on examples built by the Royal Mint, more specifically, like 2019 UK 50p Kew Gardens, 2009 UK 40 years of the 50p coin from 1973 to 2009 and 2019 UK the 50 years of 50p coin etc.. This way/situation can just simply be concluded that there is NO any good products or arts being made into this pool. Re-issued coins are simply promoting original coins price high over roof eventually, and more and more people get their hands on 1st issue.
The 1st issue of the 12 labours of Hercules was released on £2 face value in 1997 in bimetal and silver, and the 12-coin was completed in 2000. All coins were Brilliant Uncirculated (BUNC) coins with/out die mark AA. However, £2 silver proof coin version with gold-gilt were merely known by collectors. We have talked about this silver proof set, so you can click on here to read. Clearly, it has a gap between PF and BUNC. Therefore, the 2nd issue of the 12 tasks of Hercules was released with a PLDF standard in November 2019. If you are aware of some No Die mark (ND) coins in the 1st issue, the current PLDF coin and then ND coin has no a big difference in terms of a finish standard excluding H8 of the 2nd issue.
Below, it shows that what do we get for £12.95 at early stage and then £12.95 plus £2.95 delivery fee (note H12 sold at £14.95 plus 2.95 delivery fee)<#1>.
No.1 to No. 12 (eg., the Nemean Lion), the 12 labours of Hercules, Gibraltar £2 Prooflike (PL) Diamond Finish (DF) coin
Now, let we have a close look at the very first task of Hercules 2020, £2 coin from Gibraltar.
No.1, The Nemean Lion, Gibraltar £2 Prooflike coin
In terms of a Prooflike (PL) coin, it was defined by the Isle of Man government on the 2017 50p House of Keys “Proof” coin, an error letter saying a prooflike coin is to be struck at least ONCE upon a polished blank. Therefore, the mirror-liked field is visible (as high as better) and the reflectivity reaches a certain length like 4-7 centimeter or over. When you look at this coin, eye-appearing it shows very shiny to me, the mirror-liked field is visible, and has reflectivity on coin. However, based on the ability of minting coins by the Pobjoy mint, they still have room to get improved lately (see No. 8 frosted version this is what I am talking about).
From the market prospective, the theme of this kind of product, the 2nd issue of the 12 labours of Hercules, just perfectly fits in the gap of previously left between BUNC in base metal and PF in precious metal, and simultaneously blows away fakes on the market. One stone and more than 3 birds. However, this also is a chance to show what your disadvantages are. Firstly, it should go to website traffic width definitely.
2019 Gibraltar Father Christmas 50p DF coin is back on track in terms of coin grade and in a way of selling coins UNC, DF, AGPF, AGPDFT and AUPF, and the 12 labours of Hercules (2nd issue) is coming out. Wait, Gibraltar the world first black pearl 50p DF coin “Penny black” as well. It concludes that the Pobjoy mint have recovered from the bad divorce and are doing something to strike it back. This story is ironic and funny. It might be a story enough for tea time.
Hey, your little brother drives a super speedy boat behind you, the Royal Mint, how do you feel and how to react? With regard to the Tower mint, it is distance far behind the start line. All 3 government-hired mints are inland, 2 in England and 1 in Wales.
Each issue day story in relation to each labour after this line, it shows below.
on 21st December, 2019—H2
Here, let we have a look this 2nd coin in series. First of all, the outer packaging has no difference like 1st coin, therefore, we don’t spend more time on this. If you want to see what it looks like, you can scroll up to <#1>. In regard to certificate associated with each coin, it has no point to address its function further, indeed, it is a piece of paper and does stand for nothing. If this is true, only the issue limit number is a piece of information.
No.2, The Lernean Hydra, Gibraltar £2 Prooflike coin
The coin you are looking at is nothing special in contrast to the 1st one, just a 2 coin from Gibraltar. However, how did you get this coin? I think most people definitely have different views on it. To be short, it was wasting time to obtain one, and joy became a nightmare. And, from the perspective of collector, the more coin you get, I mean the entire series, the nasty you get involved naturally. Please Please, don’t kill this hobby especially in a way that cashless will be the final destination in our society.
The most interesting thing was the release day which was 10/12/2019, not the coin itself. The first 2-coin release days were very close. 2nd/12 was sold within hours before launch time. Even they officially said they released the last batch around 1245 on the day, the question was arose. It was highly likely already all gone. Don’t forget they shut down the www.pobjoy.com at least twice, it is very abnormal for a business. Width was set up at 3 per household per transaction initially, and people in mailing system were at least 8,000 (unconfirmed), people, do the maths.
If you placed your order(s) with the www.pobjoy.com, you would have a confirmation email (ie., invoice#) generated by them and simultaneously your money was collected by their payment merchant (ie., transaction#). Later soon in this case (actually, you should have had an order# email from them simultaneously!), the order# email you received contained your actually order associated with the transaction# (with regard to transaction#, it was erased manually in this case). Did you notice 2 elements in confirmation letter, a) the invoice# and b). at the bottom, “This email does not constitute an order until payment has been processed.” The transaction# in their payment merchant was matched with a). Therefore, a confirmation email + cleared payment, a contract was formed between buyer and seller. Actually in this case, it was a contract to seller and buyer only when the seller sent out their order# manually. Once you clicked on the last line in confirmation email, you were redirected to a invalid page of Terms & Conditions. Wait, at this stage, how nasty it was behind the dark curtain. Obviously, the www.pobjoy.com did not have competence to host such coin release.
on 14th January, 2020—H3
They released information that they were going to put the 3rd coin in series on sale during the week. However, on the days of 15th & 16th, they cancelled the planned release, because people used auto-refresh technology which is illegal to take advantage on buying coins. Therefore, the release was abort. The mint website was down and up until the 17th which was the day of game on. In the following week, they threw in another batch. This is the story about the 3rd coin. In the meanwhile, they have totally changed the way of how to release information. A big lesson they learned at least so far.
No.3, The Ceryneian Hind, Gibraltar £2 Prooflike coin
on 3rd, February, 2020—H4
they sent out notice that release of the Hercules in Feb afterwards is going to reduce the limit per person AND per household down to 2 now from the very first unlimited and then 3. It was good news to people who squeeze in the queue, and they tried the best to keep the business fair.
As usual, this one below still shows coin quality very bad, especially surface blemish on outer ring part. This fact makes me pondering the question: “What is REALLY a diamond finish standard on £2 the Hercules?” A batch of 1,750 coins per month is not a big batch of job lot, the quality of coin, however, is expected to very low unsurprisingly. What is more, it is no longer free-of-charge on delivery since 3rd coin release, meaning extra £2.95 on top of your bill. This comes down to £15.90 (=£12.95 + £2.95) per transaction. Most people donot care this sale price, because you could re-sell the coin at very high price once a coin lands in your hands. However, this move either the Mint or purchasers is damaging the sustainability of the modern numismatic market. Re-issue of the labours of Hercules, it probably follows the Royal Mint move in 2019 50 years of the 50p coin plus a gap between BU grade and PF grade among British £2 coins on the market. This move, indeed, to the Mint, creates a huge demand. Based on the fact of the Pobjoy mint reissuing the 2nd issue of the Hercules, it is most likely to say the rare GIB £2 coins made by the Pojboy Mint in the past (1988 to 2003) and now (2017 to present). How rare it is, remains unknown.
No.4, The Erymanthian Boar, Gibraltar £2 Prooflike coin
on 27th, February—H5
This one was issued at 5 mins after 9 in the morning, and formed a sign that two coins in series issued at the same month but different date.
No.5, The Augeias’ Stables, Gibraltar £2 Prooflike coin
on 17th, March—H6 & H7
The pair were issued during the Coronavirus outbreak and a national lockdown. It is really a surprise that 2 coins were issued at the same.
No.6, The Stymphalian Birds, Gibraltar £2 Prooflike coin
No.7 The Cretan Bull, Gibraltar £2 Prooflike coin
on 25th March, the Pobjoy Mint office was closed under government guidance until further notice, and resumed business on 17th April. A month later,
Back to business on 13th, May—H8 & H9
A pair again! A pair again!
No.8, The Mares of Diomedes, Gibraltar £2 Prooflike coin
[Type I, regular version in terms of PL]
[Type II, frosted version]
No.9, The Girdle of Hyppolyte, Gibraltar £2 Prooflike coin
on 25th, June—H10 & H11
Hooray, a pair.
No.10, The Cattle of Geryon, Gibraltar £2 Prooflike coin
No.11, The Apples of the Hesperides, Gibraltar £2 Prooflike coin
Finally, on 3rd of September–H12
Leave one choice of a single coin to be released on the day. It has been almost 2 months since last issue day.
In the afternoon, it was out around tea time. Finally, the 12-coin set has landed on earth. It was a tough job and experience while the Coronavirus was spreading among us.
No.12, The Cerberus, Gibraltar £2 Prooflike coin
The coins showed above are randomly picked up.