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Isle of Man Christmas 50p Coin in Grade from 1980 to 1996


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Part II

Here it comes Part II where a new part introduces how did the Pobjoy Mint make a start of the IOM Xmas 50p at the beginning of the year 1980, and a 2nd time improvement happened in 1994. We have talked many things in Part I (if you have missed is, please click here).

  • 1980 Christmas 50p coin from the Isle of Man — UNC<#1>

The 1980 UNC<#1>, BB, is the most strange one you have ever come across at the beginning of 1980, not only the BB diemark associated with but also the lowest standard in grade in a row. This one breaks the rule of prefix B equivalent to prooflike. However, it is only the one in the series.

  • 1980 Christmas 50p Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC<#2>

The 1980 UNC<#2>, BB, in contrast to the 1980 UNC<#1>, is much better in terms of finish standard. A light frosting effect and the likely mirror-liked field can be seen.

  • 1980 Christmas 50p Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC<#3>

The 1980 UNC<#3>, BC, in contrast to the 1980 UNC<#2>, is better, and great than the 1980 UNC<#1>. Also, this type of coins is named Diamond Finish (DF) officially. First impression you have is a bit more whity and easily toned in nature condition. The mirror-liked field it is getting to see clearly.

  • 1980 Christmas 50p Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC<#4>

The 1980 UNC<#4>, BD, single digit D was used for striking silver metal coin.

  • 1980 Christmas 50p Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC<#5>

The 1980 UNC<#5>, BE, single digit E was used for striking silver metal coin as well.

Things are getting more complicated beyond this point. First, mule coins exist. Second, reverse has many versions even many variants in a single version. Last, no any record for the Xmas 50p coin it has in place.

  • 1980 Christmas 50p Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC<#6>

The 1980 UNC<#6>, BF, has squared-rim especially on the obverse side.

  • 1980 Christmas 50p Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC<#6.1>

The 1980 UNC<#6.1>, BF, has the frosting effect very clear.

  • 1980 UNC<#6>'s reverse vs. 1980 UNC<#6.1>'s reverse
  • Credit: richukcoins®

  • 1980 Christmas 50p Mule Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC<#6.2>
  • 1980 Christmas 50p Mule Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC<#6.3>

At this point, you have seen many different variants including Mule coins from 1980. It concludes that nobody knew what would be the best finish for the IOM Xmas series in line with no proof coins in base metal at the beginning of the Xmas venture. One thing is clear that the young Pobjoy Mint ltd was keen to make and/or invent something new in numismatic world at age of 15 years really. Another the owner of the Mint shared the things happened behind the closed door externally with collectors as well.

Next, the turning point it shows in 1994, and was last for a consecutive 3 years period. The pattern was like AA-ND and the first introduction of No Diemark (ND) coin in the Xmas 50p series.

  • 1994 Christmas 50p Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC<#1>
  • 1994 Christmas 50p Coin from the Isle of Man — UNC<#3>

Note: UNC<#1> indicates uncirculated coin that has struck once only, and associated with AA normally. UNC<#3> is a circulating commemorative coin that is done by twice striking with polished dies and specially prepared blanks, and it has ND eventually. UNC<#2> is something between UNC<#1> and UNC<#3> and sometimes with and/or without BB diemark. UNC<#4> and beyond is more like experiments. The pattern is like AA-BB-ND in general. Once you have had an understanding of the IOM diemarks, perhaps you are going to see and enjoy how wonderful the IOM xmas series is before 2010. A third grading company like NGC or PCGS gives a mark PL+ on coin made up to 1998 and MS+ DPL/PL for 1999 and onwards. This info shows how coin quality switched off after 1999.

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Isle of Man Christmas 50p Coin in Grade from 1999 to 2016


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Part I

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.

  • 1994 Christmas 50p Silver Proof Coin from Gibraltar — PF <#4>
  • Credit: NGC database/online

The mystery of the IOM and GIB Xmas 50p coin is not bad and pulling out from the water, but exploring is still on.

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Gibraltar Christmas 50p Coin From 1988 to 2003


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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;

And,

2004 to 2016, the Tower mint;

And,

2017 to 2019, back to the Pobjoy mint;

And,

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.

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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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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 Xmas 50p Coin in 1980 The World First Christmas theme related 50p Coin


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BF Die Letters on Fifty Pence coin and D & E Dies on silver coin: A story about 1980 IOM Xmas series.

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.

#End


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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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Isle of Man Tourist Trophy 50p Diamond Finish and Standard Finish Coin



First of all, this topic is all about circulating and/or circulating commemorative 50p cupronickel (i.e. base metal, silver in colour; 75:25 copper to nickel ratio) coins from the Isle of Man especially 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 coin in terms of uncirculated grade. Another part will direct us to diamond finish 50p coin in terms of prooflike grade. Meanwhile, you can find out what are so-called a “diamond finish” 50p coin. All then-standard and diamond finish TT 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) from 1981 to 2016.

Normally, a standard finish IOM 50p coin with only one strike that gives a complete finish on base metal has the purpose to serve people daily use on the island. Therefore, Manx collectors can easily find a 50p coin through their daily life. All standard finish 50p coins are most minted associated with “AA” on its reverse (note AA originally called the production batch codes). For some particular cases, it may appear “AB”/”AC”/”AD” under the A batch (or Prefix A) in the T.T. series, or more special cases AA appears on silver metal. Other single die mark like B, C, D (or E or F) represents precious metals. You will have less information here. Collectors normally call them 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, die letters tell me that 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 among coins? It is a good point to raise. However, it never ever concludes a convincible answer, even from the Mint itself.

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 is a coin with a “diamond finish”? In terms of a diamond finish, it is highly likely ProofLike (i.e., PL, no official confirmation) coin (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) originally. Interestingly, some diamond 50p coins in the T.T series come with NO “BB” when minted in late 1990s onwards. The techniques (for instance, matte mirror, reflectivity etc) used on diamond 50p coins are very detailed and enjoyable when you hold and look at it. Because the mirrored-field (or mirror-liked field) has higher reflectivity than a normal standard 50p coin but slightly lower than any proof base metal coins made by the Mint. Last, all T.T. 50p coins you are going to see 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.
– pcgs.com

“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).”
– pcgs.com

Having said a little about a prooflike finish 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 echoes British coinage changes, 50p coins were 30.00mm in diameter and 13.50g in weight) and Part II: it is the post-1997 section (i.e., 1997 to date, 50p 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 the way how you count them). 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).
  7. 1997 commemorates Philip McCallen Great achievement in 1996. Unknown mintage for standard finish coins (AA, 27.30mm 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 (AA) and commemorative issue (BB)

  • 1981 TT 50p Diamond Finish BB coin w/o error
  • 1981 TT 50p standard finish AA coin w/ error
  • 1981 TT 50p standard finish AB coin w/ error
  • 1981 TT 50p standard finish AB 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 (seen from pictures below). But they did not fully realise the “spelling” was an issue seriously, and not negotiate with other party properly before striking the first T.T. collection 50p coin. As you can see from pictures below, a small “hump” was used 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 (AA) and commemorative issue (BB)

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

1983 Ron Haslam
Note
Obverse designer A. Machin
Machine: Honda
TT on top of the reverse
Circulating Commemorative issue (AA) and commemorative issue (BB)

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

1984 Mike Boddice
Note
Obverse designer A. Machin
Machine: Yamaha
TT on top of the reverse
Circulating Commemorative issue (AA) and commemorative issue (BB)

  • 1984 TT 50p Diamond Finish BB Coin
  • 1984 TT 50p standard finish AA 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.
the 25th Anniversary of decimalisation in the Isle of Man.
NO T.T. logo.
right tail of the first A missing of AA noted, and also existed in 1997 large ones.
Circulating Commemorative issue (AA) and commemorative issue (ND)

  • 1996 50p diamond finish No die letters coin (PL, UNC)
  • 1996 50p standard finish AA coin (no mirrored-field, circulated)
  • 1996 50p standard finish AA coin from decimal mint set (UNC)
  • 1996 50p (likely) diamond finish AA coin (aUNC)
  • 1996 50p (most likely) diamond finish AA 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
Circulating Commemorative issue (AA, 27.30mm in diameter) and commemorative issue (AA, 30.00mm in diameter)

  • 1997 50p standard finish AA coin (30.00mm in diameter)–a real collector coin
  • 1997 50p standard finish AA 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 T.T. 50p smaller-sized 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.
Currency coin (AA) and Circulating commemorative issue

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

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 it is not easy to answer it. If you consider a fact that regular issue coinage is in place alongside 1999 50p ones, so this type of 50p coin is a commemorative coin automatically, a very rare commemorative coin.

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

  • 1999 50p diamond finish AA coin (made in 1990s from a FDC cover)
  • 1999 50p diamond finish AA 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
Circulating commemorative issue

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

2007 The Trophy and Sidecar
In this year, two 50ps exist, and both to celebrate the 100th Anni. of The T.T. on island.
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.
Circulating commemorative issue (AA)

>>2007 Type I: the Trophy

  • 2007 TT 50p diamond finish ND Coin, the Trophy
  • 2007 TT 50p standard finish AA coin

>>2007 Type II: sidecar

  • 2007 TT 50p diamond finish ND Coin, Sidecar
  • 2007 TT 50p standard finish AA coin, Sidecar

2009 Honda’s 50th Anniversary of world championship racing
Note
Obverse designer I. Rank-Broadley (IRB)
The Honda Wing logo & the 2009 TT logo noted.
The rider on coin: J McGuinness on a CBR1000RR Fireblade from his record breaking lap in 2007.
Circulating commemorative (AA) issue and commemorative (ND) issue

  • 2009 TT 50p diamond finish ND coin, Honda’s 50th Anni. of world championship racing
  • 2009 TT 50p standard finish AA coin, Honda’s 50th Anni. of world championship racing

2010 Suzuki’s 50th Anni. of its international racing
Note
Obverse designer I. Rank-Broadley (IRB)
The 2010 TT logo noted
The rider on coin Mitsuo Ito (JPN) on a Suzuki to victory in the 1963 50cc TT
Circulating Commemorative (AA) issue and commemorative (ND) issue

  • 2010 TT 50p diamond finish ND Coin, Suzuki’s 50th Anni. of its international racing
  • 2010 TT 50p standard finish AA coin, Suzuki’s 50th Anni. of its international racing

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

  • 2011 TT 50p standard finish AA coin, 50 years of Yamaha at the T.T. (high grade)
  • 2011 TT 50p standard finish AA coin, 50 years of Yamaha at the T.T. (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 the UK 2012 are 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 (AA) issue

  • 2012 50p diamond finish ND coin, Enduro Motorcycle
  • 2012 50p standard finish AA coin, Enduro Motorcycle

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

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

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

  • 2015 TT 50p diamond finish ND coin, T.T. the legends
  • 2015 TT 50p standard finish AA coin, T.T. the legends
  • 2015 TT 50p standard finish AB coin, T.T. the legends

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.
Circulating commemorative (AA) issue
The last one in series and like the last one of Xmas

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

At this point, you have seen IOM T.T. 50p coins that all are on the market through picture by picture above. No any precious coins are covered here I am afraid. This is because there is no particular value you after only mintage number. Considering the fact that circulating coin is well in place and circulating commemorative coin follows suit for the TT series for the period of 1981 to 2016, it concludes that the AA die mark is a basic point for the 50p coins struck by the Pobjoy mint after permission of the IOM government from 1975 to 2016. Coins like no die mark (indirect) or a prooflike finish (direct) are more sought-after from the IOM. A 50p coin with NO die mark is the one from 1996, and a 50p coin with a particular die mark definitely goes for 1983 (AC). Yes, the two coins mentioned have great value contained but still undervalued.

#The End


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1997 – 2016 Isle of Man Christmas 50p Diamond Finish Coins in Copper-Nickel


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Isle of Man Christmas 50p coin in CN from 1997 onwards





In this part, we talk small-sized 50p coins mainly. It will cover 50p coins made from 1997 to 2016, and give you a picture of what are IOM Xmas 50p coins after this part. Bear in mind that the 2008 snowman either plain version or colour version excludes here.

2016, A New Year, A new story it begins here (I wrote this bit at the beginning of the year @ 01/2016). 2017, A New Year, a story will be repeated many times to new collectors, … (wrote @ 01/2017)

Then, 2016 it is the year that the marriage is untied up (@ 11/2016) between the two. How ironic it is. Also, it is the year that the last Christmas 50p coin is struck by the Mint.

1997 T.E. Brown, Manx poet
Note
obverse designer R. Maklouf (the 3rd effigy of Q.E. II),
coin were struck as proof coins for this year apart from re-strike coins in 2000s.
only no die marks coins and ND for the 4th consecutive period.
18th in series.

  • 1997 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 1997 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with a low-striking quality made in 2000s below.

1998 Christmas Festive scene in the Victorian era
Note
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II),
only no die marks coins exist and ND for the 5th consecutive period.
19th in series.

1999 Christmas tree decorating
Note
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II),
AA, BB and ND die marks are noted this year.
20th in series.

  • 1999 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 1999 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with BB die marks from carded below
  • 1999 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with BB die marks below
  • 1999 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with AA die marks below

2000, Manx man, Dr. John Kelly whom translates the Bible into Manx Language
Note
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II).
BB & ND exist, and BB coin have two different grades, Grade I and II.
21st in series.

What would be first to say about this coin this year? Probably it is the mint mark. The PMM was struck on 50ps in 2000 instead PM normally. The first two of PMM stands for the pobjoy mint mark (i.e., PM) over the world, and the last two of PMM (i.e., twin “M”) is about to commemorate the Millennium in 2000 (i.e., Roman Numerals M=1000). Sometimes, we come across some privy/privy letter created by the mint. It is a way to look at how a private mint to record modern history. For instance, 1982 crib privy on 20ps for the birth of Prince Williams. Also it is the year that 20ps was introduced in circulation in the U.K..

From top panel in pictures, it is literally a diamond finish coin that should be struck for all collectors in the first place based on Tynwald’s consistency, and you have to say it’s BEAUTIFUL at first glance. However, if you take a little step back to look at the entire picture, you probably see it clearly — the owner of IOM Xmas 50p coin.

Middle panel. Eye appears is ok even with a better reflectivity. Lustrous can be seen. One significant fact on this that get your attention is a mark on the first small window from bottom on the left big window. The mark disappears after you find a diamond finish coin.

Down to bottom panel. Lustrous still can be seen and die marks left on obv.. This thing happens on 2007 as well. Interestingly, long (or short) die marks ONLY can be found on CURRENCY 50p coins.

  • 2000 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2000 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with BB die marks below (Grade I, semi-PL)
  • 2000 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with BB die marks below (Grade II, BU)

2001 Postman in the Victorian era
Note
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II).
BB & ND exist.
22nd in series.

  • 2001 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with BB die marks below
  • 2001 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below

2002 Dickens Scrooge
Note
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II).
BB and ND exist.
23rd in series.

  • 2002 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with BB die marks below
  • 2002 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below

2003 (& 2008) the Snowman and James
Before introducing them, let we have a little background first. In terms of diamond finish coins, you are able to find it out from T.T. buying guide with us. All colour-printed coins must be struck as diamond finish coins first and then paint colours on top. Each diamond finish coin must come with a certification (ie., coa) together. In terms of a cert, it is only a piece of paper without any protective techniques involved. But the cert for this year is totally different like the ones before or after. A diamond finish coin has “BB” die letters on reverse (and/or “neo-BB” which means no die letters) and is limited @ 30,000 yearly. The Mint claims 30,000 coins per year, and the mintage number is real and strictly limited. Where do colour-printed coins come from? They are out from a small fraction of 30,000 coins to be painted as colour-printed diamond finish coins. Alternatively, they could be another colour-printed coins version @ 30,000 coins but hard to be true. What If this idea is true??!! The thing will be a real pain for xmas coin collectors. However, who cares??? Business is business. Meanwhile, all diamond plain coins and diamond colour-printed coins are both sharing the same cert each year and no any difference you could tell. It looks like people are really making pains on themselves.

  • All colour-printed version coins

With regard to the above picture, it is really hard to say that it indicates the entire family members of the IOM xmas theme colour-printed version. Because the 2008 colour-printed Snowman did not count in it. (Why?!! You will have your own answer(s) after this chapter.) In my own eyes, it is a family picture.

In 2003, it came out with the famous story in Britain, the Snowman(TM) & James, to commemorative the 25th Anniversary of animation alive. We had to thank the very 1st mint master, Derek Pobjoy, founder of the mint, to let the story bear on 50ps FOREVER. And the mintage was strictly down to 10,000 (from previous 30,000 yearly). We assume that the batch of colour-printed coins is taken out from 10,000. If you do the math, this is the reason that makes the 2003 DIAMOND FINISH 50P COIN really hot and popular indeed in the United Kingdom.

But did you notice that a diamond plain coin and a colour-printed coin shares one cert at the same time. All colour-printed coins are possibly found from carded with coa (i.e., the mint). Some diamond plain coins are barely seen in decoration coin box (i.e., the mint). Some so-called diamond finish were sold by Benham first day coin covers (i.e., distributor). By the way, can you easily point out a standard finish coin between two diamond finish coins this year? Remember, they all have “BB” die letters on. However, the 2008 one came out with the exactly same story back to 2003 BUT without die letters, and was to celebrating the 30th Anni. of the story, and was limited at 30k as well. That is why people see the 2008 Snowman version alongside the 12-day of Christmas. Also, the 12-day was a uncompleted project. Did you ask yourself, this unusual one Why had it not seen in 2007 (or before 2008) or in 2009 (or after 2008)? Why two Xmas coins minted in 2008? Coincident, or people greedy??? In terms of consistency, the entire theme is broken up here in 2003, due to the 30th Anni. of Snowman exists (2008) and the uncompleted project of the 12-day of Christmas (2005 to 2010).

Note
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II).
the 25th. Anniversary of animation alive in the U.K. (since 1978).
24th in series.

  • 2003 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish colour-printed coin with BB die marks below
  • 2003 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with BB die marks below

2004 The Laxey Water Wheel
The Laxey water wheel is historic site on the island. The first showing of the wheel was in 1971 on 5p Manx coinage and disappeared after 1979. To commemorative the 150th anniversary of the water wheel, it comes out again this year on 50p Manx coinage and £5 pound coins as well. (5p x10 = 50p, then 50p x10 = 500p = £5. Coincident??)

If you are lucky, you may have a chance to meet a manx cat (or a black cat) outside the gate after traveling long way up by tram. It does not make sense such the scene found on a Xmas theme coin collection series. The Laxey water wheel was on 5p coin. It is a little bit far away out of the Xmas theme idea. Also, the BA die marks come out again! Something inside of the theme it has slowly gone just like the little manx cat quickly disappears a year after.

Note
Obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II).
AA, BA & ND have many differences in detail. BA noted ONLY on Diamond Finish coins.
Coins with AA die marks do NOT have mirrored-like field. One case (exactly same) was noted back to 1988 first appearance, but 1988 BA was ONLY appeared on standard finish coins.
Beyond this point, a) the manx cat disappears. b) the IOM Xmas 50p coin is highly likely heading to a era of commercialisation.
Most importantly, dual dates noted. This means 2004 was noted on obverse and reverse. Very rare to see this.
25th in series.

  • 2004 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with BA die marks below
  • 2004 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2004 IOM Xmas 50p standard Finish coin with AA die marks below

2005 One partridge in a pear tree
“The Christian tradition of celebrating the Twelve days of Christmas, starting on the 25th December through the morning of Epiphany on 6th January, is based on a sequence of verses in the Holy Bible (Matthew 2: 1-12) and the belief that the Three Kings took 12 days to travel to Bethlehem after first seeing the Jesus Star.”

It is really amazing to see such wonderfully and highly related with the Bible story on 50ps, featuring a partridge in a pear tree. It is BACK on tradition again. But very sadly, the mission is uncompleted (i.e., it was supposed to be having twelve coins added up into the entire series instead the first six coins ONLY were struck). If you intend to knock together a good story about the Holy Bible on 50ps. I personally suggest that you may need to come across collecting 50ps either Isle of Man or Gibraltar. First, the mint that minted coins for both places was the Pobjoy mint. They invented the idea of “Xmas 50ps”. So they put this idea on the coinages of Isle of Man, Tonga and Gibraltar. Due to some reasons unknown, The Mint was no longer to strike coins on behalf of the government of Gibraltar after 2003. So this incident broke the whole idea of the Mint. For instance, 1988 Gibraltar Xmas 50p, Three Wise Men; 1990 Gibraltar Xmas, the birth of Jesus with the Star; 1991 IOM Xmas 50p, Nativity Scene The Birth of Jesus; 19993 IOM Xmas, Nativity Scene The Birth of Jesus; 2000 Gibraltar Xmas, Maria and Baby Jesus and Angel; 2002 Gibraltar Xmas, Shepherds; 2005 to 2010 IOM Xmas, the 12 days of Christmas; 2013 IOM Xmas Angel, and so forth. But on the other hand, it could interpret, like the Mint was under “some thing” promoting Gibraltar on coins. Secondly, let all people on earth know that the Isle of Man is famous by its coinage again which means absolutely no doubt about it, because the Isle of Man government assigned correct right to the Pobjoy mint. Also it can see the isle of man coins are heading to a commercial way. Good sign for dealers and bad news to collectors.

To be very clear here I am not a fan of neither the Pobjoy mint nor the Royal mint. But I only was dazzled by its idea & innovation on coins struck by the Pobjoy mint. Also, the two key facts lead the Pobjoy mint two more steps ahead the Royal Mint. But the Britain modern coins market reshuffled in 2016. Could you ask a question “What does the Royal Mint have apart from history and reputation in this industry?”

Note
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II),
AA die letters Diamond Finish 50ps ONLY in market,
AA die letters Colour-printed 50ps ONLY.
26th in series.

  • 2005 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with AA die marks below
  • 2005 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with AA die marks below

2006 Two Turtle Doves
Note
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II),
AA die letters and NO die letters diamond finish 50ps found in the market.
27th in series.

  • 2006 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with AA die marks below
  • 2006 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2006 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with AA die marks below

2007 Three French Hens

Here, it is a way to give you more details in dept on a currency 50p coin and a diamond finish 50p coin. The significant difference between the currency and the diamond coins is all about the year on obverse. First, it will be coloured version, and then follows up by non-coloured coins.

Note
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II),
AA die letters and NO die letters for plain and colour-printed 50p coins,
AA die letter coins noted die marks left on obverse.
28th in series.

  • 2007 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with NO die marks below
  • 2007 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2007 IOM Xmas 50p standard Finish coin with AA die marks below

2008 Four calling birds
Note
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II)
29th in series.

  • 2008 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with NO die marks below
  • 2008 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks but in different finish below

2009 Five gold rings
Note
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II)
30th in series.

  • 2009 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with NO die marks below
  • 2009 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below

2010 Six Geese A-Laying
Note
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II).
1/2 of a 12-day of Christmas.
This year the Tower mint struck “Partridge in a Pear tree” to back the Pobjoy mint. (Coins talk.)
31st in series.

  • 2010 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with NO die marks below
  • 2010 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2010 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with AA die marks below

2011 Father Christmas
First thing is first. It is really amazing when something it comes back after disappearing a long long time. The Mint is now commemorating tradition on 50p coins. Christmas tradition is BACK with Father Christmas on its reverse.

It can be found that ‘p’ after its denomination in period 2011 to period 2014. It is very significant change of the coinage of Isle of Man. Meanwhile, you probably see from the currency type 50p coin is very low on its quality but still seen lustrous. It can be concluded that from the point of view of quality the mint has already given up to mint Xmas series 50p coins. It is worth ponding and asking “Why did they add ‘P’ next to denomination in 2011 “. Also, some of neo-diamond finish 50ps coins have flaws on mirrored-field.

Note
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II),
Add “p” after denomination since 2011 (i.e., Echo UK coinage change).
currency, diamond finish and colour-printed diamond finish coins noted onwards.
32nd in series.

  • 2011 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with NO die marks below
  • 2011 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2011 IOM Xmas 50p standard finish coin with AA die marks below

2012 Nativity Scene Angel
Not too many of Nativity Scene was struck on Xmas 50ps, and it was only a few in the whole series, in 1991, 1993 & 2012 respectively.

Note
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II).
33rd in series.

  • 2012 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with NO die marks below
  • 2012 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2012 IOM Xmas 50p standard finish coin with AA die marks below

2013 Christmas Wreath & Candy
Back to tradition, it has been long long time to wait. Such great colours, green and red always let people remember the best time in life–Christmas time, waiting to open gift from gift socks, decorating Christmas tree at home etc.

Note
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II)
34th in series

  • 2013 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with NO die marks below
  • 2013 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2013 IOM Xmas 50p standard finish coin with AA die marks below

2014 Snowman & the snowdog and Billy
The last coin in this series, it may let any coin collectors feel a bit sadness. This year, colour-printed, diamond finish and standard finish 50ps exist in the market. Standard finish 50p coins are noted “AA” and lustrous, and diamond finish without any die letters.

Note
obverse designer IRB (the 4th effigy of Q.E. II).
35th in series.

  • 2014 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coloured-print coin with NO die marks below
  • 2014 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2014 IOM Xmas 50p standard finish coin with NO die marks below

2015, NO Xmas 50p Coins EXIST ! ! !
Obviously, there is no any IOM Xmas 50p coin exist this year. But I use a medallion instead here. The quality is so-called “Pobjoy Finish” from so-called “Diamond Finish”. The medal quality is prooflike at least. If you look at coins they made on behalf of the Tynwald after 2000 or 2004, the less Diamond Finish you see. The 50 years it is more likely to celebrate the long relationship between the Tynwald and the Pobjoy mint. But, the divorce between the two can not be avoided in 2017!

  • 2015, it is the Pobjoy mint the 50th Anniversary minting coins from 1965 to 2015

2016 Christmas Pudding
After a year long waited since 2015 without any info telling when would be a 2016 version out, finally, the IoM post office announces that the latest IOM Xmas 50p coin will be back and presenting in 2016. 2016, it is a sorb year to the Mint. 2016 it the year that the Tynwald treasure only allowed to make the first batch (ie., 15,000 coins) so this permission made a miracle story only 750 diamond finish CN coins. Because of this information, so I am able to decipher more info on the Xmas series coin. 2016, it is going to say farewell to the Mint from the older partner, Tynwald. But, the mint has opened up a door for the Tower mint already, just like they did the same case in 2003/04 passing the handover of Gibraltar coinages to the Tower mint.

Note
New Pobjoy Mint obverse, echoing UK changing new Q.E.II portrait in 2015.
Very low striking quality on all three types of coins.
IOM Post Office is in charge of selling IOM coins including 2016 Xmas 50p coins.
IOM Post Office announces that only 750 diamond finish Xmas 50p coins in card, and 15,000 coins in total.
ND(5%) < BA(20%) < AA(75%), this year BA is echoing 1987 and 2004 BAs. Inconsistency was noted on IOM Xmas 50p coins between 2014 and 2015. The 'p' after denomination disappears since 2011, it echoes the first IOM Xmas 50p coin in 1980. 36th in series.

  • 2016 IOM Xmas 50p diamond finish coin with NO die marks below
  • 2016 IOM Xmas 50p standard finish coin with BA die marks below
  • 2016 IOM Xmas 50p diamond finish coin with AA die marks below

#End


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1986 – 1996 Isle of Man Christmas 50p Diamond Finish Coins in Copper-Nickel


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Isle of Man Christmas 50p coin in CN from 1986 to 1996





1986, a Horse-drawn Tram
Note
Obv. designer Raphael Maklouf from the RM.
a Manx cat
7th in series.

1986 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond finish coin with BB die mark

1987, Bus
Note
Obv. designer Raphael Maklouf from the RM.
a Manx cat facing back (echoing the 2004 Manx cat).
8th in series.

1987 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond finish coin with BB die mark

1988, Motor bike
Note
Obv. designer Raphael Maklouf from the RM.
a Manx cat.
9th in series.

  • BA die marks noted on standard finish coins. Die marks have BB-BA-AA.
  • IOM coinage change reverse’s design from Viking full-sail boat to Computer this year. IOM Viking Boats out of regular coinage commencing on this year.
  • Also under permission of the government of Gibraltar to mint Xmas 50p Coins this year 3 wise men.

1989, A Tram at Laxey Station
Note
Obv. designer Raphael Maklouf from the RM.
a Manx cat
10th in series.

1989 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond finish coin with BB die mark

1990, Lady of Manx Ferry
Note
Obv. designer Raphael Maklouf from the RM.
a Manx cat.
a man-made error noted.
11th in series.

1990 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond finish coin with BB die mark

1991, The birth place of Jesus-Nativity Scene
Note
Obv. designer Raphael Maklouf from the RM.
The first highly related with the Xmas theme.
12th in series.

  • 1991 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond finish coin with BB die mark
  • This coin is highly related to the subject of Christmas on IOM 50ps first time. According to Gregory Cameron (the designer of the last “Round Pound”), “while Christmas is based on a Christian story it is a festival for everyone; a time when we celebrate the affinity and closeness in our own families and beyond, and wish goodwill to all people”.

1992, Newspaper boy
Note
Obv. designer Raphael Maklouf from the RM.
a Manx cat
13th in series.

1992 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond finish coin with BB die mark

1993, Framed the birth of Jesus-Nativity Scene
Note
Obv. designer Raphael Maklouf from the RM.
14th in series.

1993 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond finish coin with BB die mark

1994, Wren Hunting
Note
Obv. designer Raphael Maklouf from the RM.
a Manx cat.
No diemarks exists since BA appeared.
15th in series.

1994 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond finish coin with ND die mark (a very first time)

1995, Children sledding
Note
Obv. designer Raphael Maklouf from the RM.
a Manx cat
No diemarks for the 2nd consecutive period.
16th in series.

1995 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond finish coin with NO die mark

1996, Children snowballs fighting
Note
Obv. designer Raphael Maklouf from the RM.
a Manx cat
No diemarks for the 3rd consecutive period.
17th in series.

1996 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond finish coin with NO die mark

In brief, when you look at each coin back for 1980 to 1996, you find that each coin is a vivid picture with Prooflike or beyond quality. Two coins are related with the topic of Xmas theme, and the rest of them is introducing IOM as well as the Pobjoy Mint itself. No doubt that the Mint is the great solo minter during this period and is keen to develop & issue competitive numismatic products to collector on behalf Tynwald.

#Continued


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1981 – 1985 Isle of Man Christmas 50p Diamond Finish Coins in Copper-Nickel


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Isle of Man Christmas 50p coin in CN from 1981 to 1985





1981, Harbor and Nikki Boat
Note
Obv. designer Arnold Machin from the RM.
a Manx cat, the first time appearance, is noted.
BB and BC die letters both exist.
2nd in series.


World Exclusive 1981 Christmas Double Crown. On it reverse face, the Isle of Man legal tender 1981 Christmas Double Crown illustrates a traditional Manx Yuletide custom, practiced by the fishermen of Peel. This 19th century scene also pays tribute to the fact that 1981, the centenary of National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen, has been designated Fishermen’s Year. The design shows Peel Harbour at the burn of the century; the hills to the left and St. German’s Cathedral on the right. The boats are Manx ‘Nickeys’ under full sail, leaving harbor on St. Stephen’s Day – the day after Christmas. Their mastheads are decorated with garlands of evergreens and ribbons – a time-honoured Manx Yuletide tradition. The figures in the foreground on the quay are dress in late 19th century costume. To the right of the numerals can be seen a tail-less Manx cat. The design has been created by Leslie Linday, Cert.R.A.S.. The obverse face bears the official coinage portrait of Her Majesty the Queen by Arnold Machin, R.A..

1982, Carollers
Note
Obv. designer Arnold Machin from the RM.
a Manx cat is noted.
3rd in series.


The Isle of Man’s Third Christmas Double Crown. Carols were a feature of Christmas celebrations as early as the 15th century, and the Yuletide custom of ‘wassailing’ is probably as old. Caroling has been as popular in Man over the centuries as in any other part of the British Isles, and at no time more so than during Queen Victoria’s reign. It is therefore appropriate that the Isle of Man’s 1982 Christmas coin – on its reverse face – should depict a group of Victorian carolers. They are portrayed before a Christmas tree against the backdrop of Castle Rushen in the former capital of the island. The design has benn created by Leslie Linday, Cert. R.A.S.. The obverse face bears the official coinage portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, sculpted by Arnold Machin, R.A..

1983, Motor–Ford Model T driving right
Note
Obv. designer Arnold Machin from the RM.
a Manx cat is noted.
The 75th Anniversary of Ford Model T.
4th in series.


A very special version exists as stated on COA!
75th Anniversary, Ford Model T (1908-1983)
The design depicts The town of Ramsey, and the Ford Model T driving right.

Ford Motor Company (Ford, established 1903 in USA), Ford Motor Company Limited, a subsidiary of Ford.
Ford Motor Company (England) Limited was established in England in 1909, purchased by Ford Motor Company Limited, incorporated in 1928.
Ford Motor Company Limited adopted the name of Ford of Britain in 1960. (see below a special carded xmas 50p coin).

Ford Model T, the first affordable automobile. Not only showing the success of Ford but also depicting a powerful symbol of the modernisation of America’s age.

The Isle of Man ‘s Fourth Christmas Double Crown. For the reverse of the 1983 Isle of Man Christmas Double Crown the period is the 1920’s and the scene is the town of Ramsey on the island’s north east coast. Christmas shoppers are portrayed in the dress of the period, with Ramsey market in the background. In the foreground is a Ford car. Scampering our of harm’s way, to the right of the figure ‘50’, is a tailless Manx cat whose lack of posterior appendage appears to place no limit on his agility! The design has been created by Leslie Linday, Cert.R.A.S.. The obverse face bears the official coinage portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, sculpted by Arnold Machin, R.A..

1984, Trains
Note
Obv. designer Arnold Machin from the RM.
5th in series.

1984 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond finish coin with BB die marks

1985, Aeroplanes
Note
Obv. designer Raphael Maklouf from the RM.
6th in series.

1985 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond finish coin with BB die marks

#Continued


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1980 Isle of Man Christmas 50p Diamond Finish Coins in Copper-Nickel


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Isle of Man Christmas Fifty Pence (50p) coin in 1980 and all CN coin certs





This chapter, named Part I, will only go through IOM Xmas Fifty pence diamond finish coins in base metal, illustrated picture by picture, from 1980 to 1996 in order. But, the story behind 1980 ones is our priority to introduce first.

The Pobjoy Mint (hereafter the Mint) invented and produced Christmas theme coins via Manx coinage on behalf of the government of the Isle of Man (hereafter Tynwald) in 1980. An issue limit was set up at 30,000 coins per year. This means the Mint could not produce in excess of 30,000 coins (i.e., upper limit) but as many as possible close to 30,000 coins (i.e., depends on demand). Also, the Mint claim that they have only had ability to produce proof decimal coins in 1980 onwards.

A significance point found on IOM 50ps over years is that the Mint only had rights (or under permissions) to partially mint coins from 1972 to 1975 on behalf of Tynwald. Because the reverse and obverse sides from these period were created by the Mint that exactly matched the Royal Mint 1971 version. Moreover, in 2016, the new sides of reverse and obverse were totally designed by the Mint showing on the T.T. theme and the Xmas series. Extra info: it is reported that Mr Derek Pobjoy, founder of the Pobjoy mint, submitted a “workable” proposal to Tynwald in 1972. This is how the Mint got them the first contract from the government of the Isle of Man. Also, you may notice that 1972 IOM 25p crown-sized coins were minted by the Royal Canadian Mint (RCM). All silver 25p crown-sized coins were only distributed by Spink whom had to set up a special office on the island. Info are gathered cross panels (i.e., viking boat 50ps, IOM TT 50ps etc). Anyway, it is a bit far away off the main topic, probably let we put focus on IOM Xmas theme coins here.

Generally speaking, reverse designs of the Xmas 50p diamond finish (hereafter DF) coin in CN from 1980 to 1999 are a vivid picture that shows the very traditional style of IOM daily life (i.e., Yuletide Manx). The life is influenced by the Victorian era. Each year, a Xmas DF coin tells you a story that is absolutely different as before. In the following parts, you are able to see the world first Xmas Fifty pence coin, and then all Xmas 50p coins are illustrated year by year. Coin techs are 30.00mm in diameter and 13.50g in weight, and are most likely a proof finish standard with the 2nd and/or 3rd and/or 4th effigy of Q.E. II during the period of 1980 to 1999.

Before we down to Part I, let we talk a little bit on certs from 1980 to 2016. In the mean time, this talk will cover the mint’s logos from 1965 to present.

In pictures below, named A(a), B(b), C(c), D(d) E(e), F(f) & G(g), show the mint’s logo over the course of time, and different signatures from the treasurer of IOM (i.e., chief financial officer) in different years. Also, only four coas are list here, but it covers from 1980 to 2014.

  1. Picture A(a) & B(b), the 1st mint logo in use from 1965 to 1996. (Picture A(a) is only for 1980 Xmas 50p MULE coin, Picture B(b) for 1984 to 1996 Xmas 50p coins. Note 1981/82/83 are big size ones, not showing within this case.)
  2. A(a)
    B(b)

    Note: Picture A(a) shows signature of William Dawson (1980–1991) in blue version and noted green version as well, the then Manx Government Treasurer. In 1986, Department of the Treasury was formed after abolishment of the Finance Board, and was as part of reorganisation of the Isle of Man Government on a ministerial basis. Picture B(b) is signature of John Alfred Cashen (OBE) (1991 – 2001), then the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Isle of Man Treasury. A significant difference on the Arms, Crest and Badge between the two coas.

  3. Picture C(c), the 2nd mint logo in use from 1997 to 2007. Note the Mint moved to new premises in 1997. (Picture C(c) for 1997 to 2007 Xmas 50p coins) & Picture D(d), the 3rd mint logo in use from 2008 onwards to date.
  4. C(c)
    D(d)

    Note: Picture C(c), signature of Paul Mark Shimmin (MBE), then the Chief Financial Officer of the Isle of Man Treasury. Picture D(d), signature of Dr. Malcolm Couch, then the Chief Financial Officer of the Isle of Man Treasury. For the period of Jul 2015 to Dec 2016, Sheila Lowe*, the New Chief Financial Officer of the Isle of Man Treasury. In theory and logic, coas should have been followed up in time order above especially by chief financial officer’s signature, but sadly in reality, it is really hard to follow. Here it shows an idea what IOM Xmas 50p coin certs really are.

  5. Pictures E(e) & F(f) & G(g)
  6. E(e)
    F(f)
    G(g)

    Note only 1981 E(e) & 1982 F(f) & 1983 G(g) are A5-sized COA.

Part I

1980, Stagecoach
Note
Obverse designer Arnold Machin from the RM.
Die mark BC was declared by the PM for Diamond Finish and “the first Xmas coin in the world”. BC highly and possibly stands for Before Christ on 50p diamond finish coins minted in 1980 (supporting evidence PMM on 50p coins in 2000, M = 1000 years).
1st in series.

At the beginning of Part I, it generally introduces 1980 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coins. Yes, a few of them in different variants existed. And then it slowly decomposes them into 1980 Xmas variations due to the existence of many variants and a very interesting story behind.

The Mint claimed that they had updated new machinery in 1980 so that proof/prooflike coins and sets were minted and introduced that year onwards on social platforms. This solid information could confirm that 10 out of 10 the Mint were in control of designing and minting Manx coinages (i.e., obverse and reverse), and the length of a contract was “long enough”.

1980 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish coin in pictures as follows,

  • 1980(1) IOM Xmas Diamond Finish 50p Coin with BC die marks (so-called Diamond Finish, or PL)
  • 1980(2) IOM Xmas Diamond Finish 50p Coin with BD die marks (PF)
  • 1980(3) IOM Xmas Diamond Finish 50p Coin with BE die marks (PF)
  • 1980(4) IOM Xmas Diamond Finish 50p Coin with BF die marks (carrying MULE coins reverse, PF)

There is a significant difference on BF coins. The difference on reverses between ordinary ones (for instance BC 1980(1)) and this one (below BF 1980(4.1)) is located at an area between people waving towards the boat & under the boat. The difference is noted on MULE coins as well. BF coins and BF Mule coins have the difference in common. If you get a very closer look at BF coins below, this batch of coins are PF grade coins. Based on this finding, it says that the Mint noticed the MULE error and quickly changed them to correct the obverse, but did not notice this difference. Also, it could be other way around. Assumably the coin’s reverse was the original version.

  • 1980(4.1) IOM Xmas Diamond Finish 50p Coin with BF die marks (carrying MULE coins reverse, PF)

Also, if you look at the Mule 50p coins further, there are at least two different the obverses. This means, (assumption) they were minting xmas theme 50p coins for 1980, and they had to break the production chain to mint coins like AC/D for the Viking show in NY due to the unexpected attendance of the show in NY in 1980. (The Mint normally uses one letter to present precious metals like B(Pt), C(Au) and D/E/F(Ag), and two letters for basic metal like CN(AA etc). From here, you clearly see that a) the Mint will not do anythings on precious metals, b) AA/AB batch codes existed in 1979 for the purpose of regular coinage, so BB/BC/… on IOM 50p coins are made for serious collectors. BB/BC/… comes from a loop based on B with one more letter from the precious metals.) At this point, it concludes that the attendance of the Viking show in NY was not in their plan and they were under lot of pressures to do so.

Supporting evidence for above. You are able to see two very different die marks in 1980, BF come from 1980 Xmas theme and DD come from 1980 Viking the boats theme. Based on info that the PM have had purchases on machinery in early 1980s. Therefore, BF and DD are correlated each other somehow. Also, from this two die marks, you can see how the Mint grows up. Interestingly, the BF coin below is a coin in proof grade.

  • 1980(4.2) IOM Xmas Diamond Finish 50p Coin with BF die marks (MULE coin, PL, dull version*)
  • 1980(4.3) IOM Xmas Diamond Finish 50p Coin with BF die marks (MULE coin, PL, shiny version*)
  • *Note: Versions of Dull & Shiny please refers 1987 Viking boat 50p dull and shiny version.

Here it shows the Mule 50p coins, “stateless”, ever in British coinage history above. Seen from the pictures, 1980 IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish Coins with BF die marks were NGC slabbed, which are both a MULE coin. More significant about them it is “STATELESS”. Reference books say that only a few coins exist. The obverses have many different grade types at least two. Note: the obverse designer was Arnold Machin from the RM.

It is very interesting to talk about the mule coins. Because the Mint did make this stateless coin either unintentionally or intentionally. However, it is understandable that we are all human being that make errors. Sadly, the Mint will never admit this type of error made publicly. So what really did happen in 1980 to the Mint? Secondly, the Mint were called for entering the Viking Exhibition show in New York with the coins minted in 1979 but need 1980 on obverse. Thirdly, all obverses were changing legend to Isle of Man Elizabeth II from Elizabeth the Second this year. Do not forget that the Mint claimed they had had new machinery in 1980. Meanwhile, if you ponder the section below, you will have your own answers on mule coins and will see how careless they were under huge pressure. From the perspective of the Mint, they welcome this glory in 5 year time (ie., 1975 to 1980). This shows how hard works they did. Therefore, it is worth spending time on talking the mule coins, and is a firm fact that never can be changed on coins.

  • 1980(5) IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish Coin with BB die letters (PF)
  • 1980(5.1) IOM Xmas 50p Diamond Finish (really???) Coin with BB die letters (PL)

To sum up briefly, this part is an extra part for the purpose of illustrating these types of strange BB-die-letter coins above and a comparison each other. Apparently, you now have seen many different finish 1980 Xmas 50p coins. So, is the low grade BB(5.1) die letter coin a diamond finish coin or not? Then you will have your own decision in your mind. Obviously, at a first glance it has low minting quality in contrast with BC(1)/BD(2)/BE(3)/BF(4)/BF(4.1, 4.2) (mule)/BB(5) die letter coins, because of No Mirrored-like Field.

This year, it has A, B, D and E under the Prefix A, and B, C, D, E and F under the Prefix B. Meanwhile, B, D and E is overlapped between the Prefix A and B. As mentioned before, the sequence C will not appear at the same time between the Prefix A and the Prefix B (support evidence 1982 AC and the babycrib privy). The single die letter like D and E is used to mint coins in silver this year. The sequence E comes from the last sequence of the Prefix A, but D from the Prefix B is not. Normally, D, E and F are used to mint coins in silver, B for platinum proof and C for gold proof. The D and E die letter is for silver proof (support evidence 1980 Xmas 50p proof coin in silver). The F die letter was first time used on 1979 Viking boat 50p coins in silver BU. The BF die letters on Xmas 50p coins in base metal are really containing important information internally and somehow making the mule coins more valuable.

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