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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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Isle of Man 50p Coin In 1994, 1997 & 2017 (Circulating Commemorative Coin)


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Isle of Man Circulating Commemorative 50p coin in 1994 1997 and 2017





It is very tricky to talk about this topic here. In terms of circulating coin (i.e., currency) and circulating commemorative coin, there is no a significant difference that tells you how to define/recognise them (i.e., benchmark). But, it is only occasionally addressed by officials over years. A final and solid outcome was written in black and write in 2017, due to an error made by the Tower Mint.

The Isle of Man is one of the Crown Dependence Isles, and is not part of the U.K. but is self-governing dependency of the Crown (Ministry of Justice). The government of the Isle of Man is called the Tynwald Court (hereafter Tynwald). Tynwald has two branches on the island, the House of Keys, and the Legislative Council (British-Irish Council). With regard to the two branch themes above on Fifty pence coins, they can be found in 2017 and 1994 respectively.

Probably, we have seen enormous coins or related-medals (either circulating currency coins or circulating commemorative coins) struck at the Pobjoy mint under permission of the Isle of Man government, this is because “The issue of its own currency is a positive statement of independence and the power of self-determination. It is also an important source of investment income which would otherwise accrue to the United Kingdom if that country’s currency was allowed to displace it” (Treasury, the Isle of Man Government). How many coins are they (the Mint) able to mint, it all depends on the IOM government demand.

It is clear right now that you have seen coins well-related with Tynwald itself only a few, like 1994 and 2017, but the amount of coins well-related with Queen E II struck at the Pobjoy mint (before 2017) is huge like 1978, 1979 and 2012 etc. In this blog, we will go through a set of three circulating commemorative coins, covering 1994, 2017 and 1997, as below.

  • 1994 Legislative building 50p UNC coin

  • 2017 the House of Keys 50p UNC coin (version I)
  • Note: this type of coin, named version I, was minted by the Tower Mint in England that is the brand new minter of the Isle of Man government since 2017.

  • 2017 the House of Keys 50p PF coin (version II)
  • Note: this type of coin, named version II, was minted by the Tower Mint, but the Tynwald claimed they were PROOFLIKE coins (see the apology letter). Because of this apology letter, it tells us that a) diamond finish coins by Pobjoy Mint are at least prooflike coins, and b) the coin in folder is actually a proof coin made by the Tower mint, but the Tynwald only say it is a prooflike coin, last not least c) the consistency of the Isle of Man coinage could never be broken, and also remember who is the big boss behind, the Tynwald Court.

  • 1997 Philip McCallen and Nigel Davies T.T.-related 50p UNC coin
  • Note: only large-sized 50p coins made in 1997 are collector’s coin due to in high demand.

The above three 50p coins tell us that how the Tynwald Court think and behave on the numismatic markets. Also, it is a solid way to understand how the Tynwald make its coinage business profitable and commercial-preferred. A very interesting question is going to be asked, who was the person put bets on 50p coin after the Decimalisation Day (D-day)? The Tynwald Court, or the Mint, or …? It is not hard to make a guess on a binary question (50/50), especially getting rid of the Mint quickly after more than 40 years last long standing relationship.

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