By reading the title, a Gibraltar £1 Pound Virenium Proof Coin made in 1988, it is really a difficult topic to illustrate here. Because it has no any written records about this coin. It is a coin or not, it all depends on the detail of COA. So, let we bring you our new coin today.
1988 Gibraltar £1 Pound Virenium Proof Coin with AA
This is a special coin that has a very unique position in the numismatic world made by the British Pobjoy Mint in 1988. The reasons are as follows:
According to the COA, a limited batch of 100 coins was minted in 1988 for the purpose of commemorating 1st £1 Pound coin in Gibraltar, but subject to the approval of HM Queen Elizabeth II after 14/11/1988. A 100-coin sample means 100 pence is equal to £1.
A Proof standard stamped with AA;
It is not often to see a coin like a proof condition with AA made by the Pobjoy Mint. If you are very familiar with coins made by the Mint, it is easy to say that this coin is a sample, for instance, 1994 Isle of Man Christmas 50p silver proof coin with AA. Meanwhile, this £1 Virenium Proof coin with AA makes it rare very rare within the all decimal coin range in terms of proof grade, even right now.
According to the Gibraltar Coinage Act 1990 (renamed in 2006 from the Gibraltar Coinage Ordinance 1990), metal Virenium is one of many possible metals list for £1 pound category in law. Also, it shows that Gibraltar’s Virenium is a combination of 81Cu/10Sn/9Ni. Bear in mind that the name of Virenium is a registered mark by the Mint. This type of Virenium looks very close to Nickel Brass in colour if you look hard. It is likely a possible reason apart from no any precious metals being allowed to strike £1 pound coins in 1988.
The Year 1988;
In the year 1983, UK 1st £1 pound coin was issued in Nickel Brass, silver Proof and silver proof piedfort and so forth. But, you find nothing when you search for Gibraltar 1st £1 pound coin only Nickel Brass type. However, the Gibraltar government issued 100 coins in platinum in 1989 for the 150th Anniversary of Gibraltar Coinage.
A told story either word by word or written down is easy to explore but something still remains untold. This identified piece is a piece of history of Gibraltar coinage clearly.
From the perspective of financial terms, this coin is a financial instrument due to its very unique position demonstrated above. Right now it has been slabbed by NGC PF 68 UC (Cert # 2869941-001) which this extra security gives a buyer more confidence and value added with its designation. In terms of valuation, it all depends on people/collector how to value the Gibraltar coinage history, but sadly, nobody could tell you more and how much it is worth. Only here, it tells you information about this coin for free. This coin will soon or later trade like a 1989 Isle of Man £2 Virenium Blimp coin, be sure.
**The Gibraltar Coinage Act 1990 [Online].
**The Currency & Coinage of Gibraltar 1704-2014 by the Gibraltar Government [Online].
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.
Gibraltar Father Christmas 50p Coin associated with Die Marks DA and AA
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With no exception and surprise, it is time to reveal 2019 Xmas-related 50p coin in base metal. Normally it is about this time every year. This 50p coin comes from Gibraltar, designed and struck by the Pobjoy mint with theme Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs. Metal available in silver and gold (please see 2018 ones in terms of metal variety; Note silver is silver proof and silver piedfort proof version this year). Since they (the Mint) took over the contract from the Tower mint in 2017, it has been a little mess about the Gibraltar Xmas series. Generally speaking, it is highly related with stories from the Bible from 1988 to 2003, and but from 2017 to 2019 it is a story all about Father Christmas. At this point, the Royal mint are doing the exactly same thing, Snowman.
From below, you are going to see three different type coins.
1. Currency type, die mark AA
1.1 Version I
1.2 Version II
Between Version I and Version II, the prominent difference is obviously coin finish itself and mirror-field. In Version II, “frosted” Father Christmas can be seen easily. If you look further and scroll down, “frosted” AA has a less quality than “frosted” DA in terms of coin finish. It concludes that Version I coin has no any pre-polished blank used in comparison to Version II, and Version II it has also a better mirror-field than Version I in terms of reflectivity. With regard to die mark AA, it locates at the right side of the horizon and below berries & holly.
2. Diamond finish non-colour-printed in a decoration, die mark DA (instead of ND in 2018)
This DA coin, it is a sign indicating what they are still able to produce, but still a faraway from 1980s products. Also, they create a big room between DA coins and Silver Piedfort coins in terms of margins.
3. Diamond finish colour-printed in a card, die mark DA (instead of ND in 2018)
From above 2 & 3, one thing is clear, mintage for both diamond finish and diamond finish colour-printed coins has only one number, 8,500. They spend almost 40 years figured out this in order. In contrast to mintage of 2018, they agreed to increase 1,000 coins in base metal. Silver proof coin was decreased from 4,500 to 1,500 coins. However, silver proof coin has gone instead of silver proof piedfort coin. A 3rd coin since 2016 is still not able to stay away from the Father Christmas theme. From this point on, silver coins are no longer silver proof version, and are piedfort style (i.e., double silver proof), asking price £99.17 (excl. VAT). However, it is totally wrong market strategy in terms of product variety.
Below it is Table A that summarises Gibraltar Xmas 50p coin from 2017 to 2019.
Table A: Gibraltar Christmas 50p DFCN coin from 2017 to 2019
Mintage (base metal)
1st order difference
Father Christmas by R Briggs
CN, Silver/Silver Piedfort, Gold
Father Christmas by R Briggs
CN, Silver, Gold
Christmas (from 1992)
Source: created by richukcoins®
A 2019 Father Christmas 50p coin w/ die mark AA and a 2019 Father Christmas 50p coin w/ die mark DA, they are two totally different coins in terms of coin quality and coin mintage. A Father Christmas 50p coin w/ DA is limited at 8,500 coins, slabbed in a decoration and a card produced by the Pobjoy mint itself. However, A Father Christmas 50p coin w/ AA is absolutely UNLIMITED, partially some in Gibraltar Stamps and Coins FDC.
This year, you probably see die mark DA first time, me as well. But, actually, the prefix D has been using in 1980 Viking 50p on IOM decimal diamond finish coin set, named die mark DD. A new pattern is formed under the prefix D in 2019 which is DD–DA–AA. The new pattern echoes a similar pattern, but from the prefix B (IOM) in between 1988 and 2004, BB–BA–AA. With seeing die mark DA, I believe that it is time to say goodby to die mark BB and the prefix B. Somehow, you can think about it like sort of strike back. At this point, you might feel the existence of die mark DA.
Let we talk back on coin itself. First look, it is better, much better since 2016. You can think this like the divorce resulted in very sad feeling and exhausted in 2017, and take a break and fell better in 2018. Finally, in 2019 it is able to do work. Also, 2019 one is the best so far. In 2019, we hope everything is back on track.
Below, it is a DF non-colour-printed coin, taking out from a decoration. First, eye-appealing is much better (since 2013 onwards). A deep “frosted” effect is there, only on a DA coin. So the coin shows more whitish in colour both two sides. Second, mirror-liked field is easy to see. Last, the portrait on the obverse is a problem. It is slightly rotated at least 1 degree.
2019 Gibraltar Father Christmas 50p DA coin
So far, you have seen 2019 Father Christmas 50p coin in different range of products in base metal.
Gibraltar Father Christmas 50p Coin associated with NO Die Mark in 2018
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Story is being updated now……
A second one in series after many years they had got their contract back from the Tower Mint. This one looked very different in comparison with previous, considering a same Father Christmas face in two different years, one named Christmas 2017, but 2018 was called Father Christmas(tm). It concludes that the Christmas series is no longer come out on the market but instead the Father Christmas series. At the same time, The Snowman(tm) series by the Royal Mint was under way. Both the themes came from the same source original creator Raymond Briggs.
In 2018, it has three types of Father Christmas 50p coin from Gibraltar in base metal, standard version with die marks AA/AB (i.e., currency/circulating commemorative coin), diamond finish standard version with NO die mark (i.e., uncirculated commemorative coin) and of course, diamond finish standard colour-printed version with NO die mark. In terms of coin striking quality, a 2018 Father Christmas 50p coin is much better than a 2017 Christmas 50p coin that is originally issued in 1992.
1. Currency coin with die marks AA/AB (Note AA/AB is underneath left arm)
2. Diamond Finish non-colour-printed, 50p ND coin
Father Christmas 2018, a 50p ND DF coin in a decoration
Father Christmas 2018, a 50p ND DF coin
It has been a while since last 50p coin in a decoration. One was likely seen in 2012, but later was fully replaced by a IOM Post Office small-sized card. And, never and ever a 2014 IOM Christmas 50p Snowman coin in a decoration was officially sold, please be aware of this cottage business.
The first surprise is that the Xmas 50p series has gone? Because in the year 2018, Father Christmas(tm) was big enough printed on the reverse of a Gibraltar 50p coin. In 2017, Christmas was highly seen on Gibraltar 50p coin. However, there was no any trace of Christmas on 50p coins. The second focus, of course, is that coin quality is much better than 2017 ones. At least, the mirror-like field is more or less visible. It looks boring that one singular object was drawn in design structure, meaning very simple in design. Thirdly, in contrast to 2017 Christmas 50p coins’ mintage, it came down to 7,500 coins, a bit smaller than 2017 ones. Last but not least, other coins in precious metal, silver proof and gold proof were both minted.
3. Diamond Finish colour-printed, 50p ND coin
Father Christmas 2018, a 50p colour-printed ND DF coin in a card
Father Christmas 2018, a 50p colour-printed ND DF coin
It seems that this colour-printed version is the first one made by the Pobjoy mint for Gibraltar. However, the disadvantage of this colour-printed version is painting so weak, might have a result of colour dropping over time.
*Most popular philatelic products are First Day Coin cover (i.g., FDC), and the key players are benham and westminstercollection in the UK. Others may exist but not included here. One 2018 Father Christmas 50p colour-printed DF coin was seen for sale and this FDC has a issue limit of 50. The number of 50 is very very small, but the story behind the 50 is very interesting to decipher. Eventually, this FDC programme was replaced by the Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau’s FDC. Both the 2 cases were achieved none! For collectors, they suffered a lot of pain during the course. (*Note: I wrote this paragraph after I put blog of Gibraltar Father Christmas 50p ND coin in 2019 online.)
Gibraltar £2 Bimetallic Silver Proof Coin the 12 Labours of Hercules (original issue) 1997
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In this part, you are going to see the labours of Hercules on £2 bimetallic metal in silver, made by the Pobjoy Mint on behalf of the government of Gibraltar during the period of 1997 to 2000. Based on KM# info, it is limited at 7,500 each, but the entire 12 coins in a presentation box only 1,000 sets available. List no. in Krause book is covering from KM#755a, KM#756a, KM#757a, … to KM#766a. It is extremely hard to see the 12-coin as set in a Pobjoy presentation box with set coa, especially in silver bimetallic proof grade. Note coins made before 2000 are so-called silver gilt, but gold plated on silver after 2000.
Slay the Nemean lion (KM#755a) (note: silver gilt)
Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra (#KM756a) (note: silver gilt)
Capture the Ceryneian Hind (KM#757a) (note: silver gilt)
Capture the Erymanthian Boar (KM#758a) (note: silver gilt)
Clean the Augean stables in a single day (KM#759a) (note: silver gilt)
Capture the Cretan Bull (KM#760a) (note: silver gilt)
Slay the Stymphalian Birds (KM#761a) (note: silver gilt)
Steal the Mares Diomedes (KM#762a) (note: silver gilt)
Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta (KM#763a) (note: partially gold plated)
Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon (KM#764a) (note: partially gold plated)
Steal the apples of the Hesperides (KM#765a) (note: partially gold plated)
Capture and bring back Cerberus (KM#766a) (note: partially gold plated)