Are you a collector of Isle of Man coinage?
The island has released some truly beautiful coins in recent years, and as their mintage figures are typically much lower than UK coins, they are often highly sought-after by collectors…
The recent release of a second Christmas themed £2 coin has got everyone at Change Checker HQ talking, and so in this blog I’ve decided to take a look at some of our favourite Isle of Man coins!
1) 2019 Santa £2
The Isle of Man is renowned for their Christmas themed coins.
Traditionally the island release Christmas themed 50ps most years, however last year an incredibly popular Christmas £2 coin was released for the very first time, and this has now been followed by a second £2 this Christmas.
This year’s magical design features an enchanting portrait of Old St. Nick and bears the inscription ‘Nollick Ghennal’ which is Manx for ‘Merry Christmas’.
At the top of the coin, the distinctive Isle of Man Triskelion (three armoured legs) can be seen.
2) 2019 Peter Pan Set
This year, collectors were swept off their feet by this set of 6 commemorative Peter Pan 50p coins.
These are the very first coins to feature ‘the boy who never grew up’ and the set has been issued to commemorative the 90th anniversary of Peter Pan author, JM Barrie, gifting the rights to the story to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The first coin in the series features an engraving of Peter Pan from David Wyatt’s illustration from the Oxford University Press edition and includes the iconic quote from the book, ‘Second to the right and straight on till morning’.
25,000 of each design entered circulation, but only on the Isle of Man so you’d be incredibly lucky if you managed to come across one in your UK change!
3) 2017 Triskelion £5 Coin
This £5 coin from 2017 features the Triskelion (three armoured legs) which is arguably the most recognised symbol of the island (featured on both the coat of arms and the flag).
The Isle of Man is the only country that circulates £5 coins, which means you could actually spend this coin in shops on the island!
But if you were lucky enough to have one I doubt you’d want to spend it, as it’s so unusual to have a circulation £5 coin in your change!
The coin is reasonably light when compared to our UK £5 coins. In fact, its size is 6mm smaller than the traditional UK commemorative £5 coins – so light enough to carry in your pocket!
4) 2003 Christmas 50p: The Snowman
2003 marked the very first time The Snowman featured on circulating coinage.
The Isle of Man released a limited-edition coin to mark the 25th anniversary of the release of the ‘The Snowman’ by Raymond Briggs.
Only 10,000 of these coins were ever minted, which makes it incredibly sought-after. In fact, this coin sells for well over face value on the secondary market, often fetching more than £200!
Since 2003, the Snowman has featured on a number of Isle of Man Christmas coins, and has even made two appearances on UK coins, which have been incredibly popular with collectors.
5) 1997 TT Races 50p
This highly sought-after 50p commemorates the 1997 TT races on the island – 90 years since the very first race in 1907.
The Isle of Man has become synonymous with the legendary TT races and each year since 1981 coins have been issued on the island to celebrate the occasion.
The 1997 coin celebrates eleven-time TT race winner Philip McCallen and is one of the most popular TT 50ps released by the Isle of Man.
Whilst there are many Isle of Man TT 50p coins in circulation, this isn’t the only denomination issued for the event…
6) 2018 TT £2 pair
£2 coins such as these have also been issued to celebrate the Isle of Man TT races.
These particular coins from 2018 mark 60 years since fan favourite ‘Mike the Bike’ first raced the International Isle of Man TT and 40 years since he returned to the event. They were officially licensed by the Isle of Man TT & Mike Haliwood foundation.
Mike Haliwood secured 14 Isle of Man victories during his racing career and his triumphant return to the TT has been described as ‘one of the most emotional moments of 20th century sport’.
Only 3,000 of each coin entered circulation on the Isle of Man, making them very hard to come by and practically impossible to find in your UK change.
7) 2011 Tosha Cat £2
In 2018, this coin caused a stir on Facebook coin groups and was even voted ‘Coin of the Year’ by the coin collecting community.
The £2 was actually issued in 2011 to commemorate the fourth Commonwealth Youth Games, held on the Isle of Man for the very first time.
However the coin seemed to be overlooked for the next 7 years until it piqued the interest of collectors on Facebook and prices on the secondary market started to skyrocket!
Sold prices for the coin vary and buyers must beware of fakes, however in some cases you’d be looking at parting with over £100 to get hold of one.
8) 2017 Round £1
In 2017, when the UK welcomed the brand new 12-sided £1 coin, the Isle of Man confirmed they would be keeping the familiar round pound coin – making them the only British Isles country to do so.
However, their round pound was to feature a complete redesign. It now featured a Falcon and a Raven which are symbolically associated with the Island and feature on the Coat of Arms.
The new round pound features Jody Clark’s sixth effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II, which also features on coins from Crown dependencies and Commonwealth countries.
You might recognise the portrait from the £5 coin mentioned earlier as both look fairly unusual due to the inclusion of the Queen’s shoulders on the design.
9) 1978 Definitive £1
When it comes to pound coins, the Isle of Man were ahead of the game…
In fact, the world’s first base-metal circulating £1 was actually issued on the Isle of Man – five years ahead of the first £1 coin issued in mainland Britain.
It features the Three Legs of Man against a map of the island on the reverse and was issued as part of the Isle of Man £1 coin series.
These old style £1 coins were withdrawn from circulation in 1983, but would certainly make for an interesting addition to any collection.
10) 1990 ‘Penny Black’ Crown
In 1990, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first postage stamp – the ‘Penny Black Stamp’ – the Isle of Man released this striking Crown coin.
The coin features an image of the stamp which was designed by Henry Corbould in 1840, showing the profile of the young Queen Victoria.
Struck in ‘pearl black’ Copper-Nickel, this highly innovative coin was awarded with three Coin of the Year Awards – Best Crown, Most Innovative Coinage and overall Coin of the Year.
A reissued version of this coin was struck in 2015 to celebrate the 175th anniversary.
Do you collect British Isles coinage and are you luck enough to have any of these beautiful Isle of Man coins in your change? Let us know in the comments below!
Celebrate the festive season with the BRAND NEW 2019 Isle of Man Christmas Santa £2 coin
The 2019 Isle of Man Christmas Santa £2 coin is a truly unique festive addition to any collection this Christmas season, or could even make the perfect Christmas gift or stocking filler for a friend or relative!
Every year since 1919, on the second Sunday of the 11th month, at the 11th hour, the nation falls silent for two minutes to pay their respects to the brave men and women who have lost their lives in conflict around the world, and for those who continue to safeguard our freedom.
Today marks 100 years of Remembrance and to commemorate this significant occasion, I’ve taken a look at the history of UK coins issued in tribute.
History of Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day first began as ‘Armistice Day’ in Great Britain on the 11th November 1919, in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the peace agreement that ended the First World War.
After the conclusion of WWII in 1945, the British government wanted to honor those who fought in the World Wars and decided to replace Armistice Day with a new Sunday observance, which thereafter was known as Remembrance Sunday.
UK Remembrance Coins
In 2017, The Royal Mint released the first official UK Remembrance Day £5 coin, designed by Stephen Taylor to honour the fallen and ensure their stories live on through the generations.
Traditionally, Remembrance Day £5 coins were produced by The Royal Mint on behalf of Alderney and would therefore have been Alderney tender, however 2017 marked the first time this important anniversary was commemorated on a UK coin.
In 2018 The Royal Mint released their second Brilliant Uncirculated Remembrance £5 coin to honour the sacrifices of all those who have risked, and continue to risk, their lives to protect our freedom.
This £5 coin features a design by Laura Clancy, including vibrant red selected colour printing, symbolic of the resilient and determined poppies that grew amidst the destruction in the valley of the Somme.
This year, a brand new UK £5 was released, featuring a design by artist Harry Brockway, incorporating the famous lines from ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon.
The intricate design has selected colour-printing highlighting a red poppy – the recognised symbol of Remembrance to honour those who have fought.
The use of selected colour printing is normally reserved for Proof quality coins, which makes the Remembrance Day £5 coins particularly special.
UK coins commemorating wartime
The Remembrance £5 coins are a poignant tribute to those who fought and lost their lives in the World Wars, and The Royal Mint have also issued a number of other wartime themed UK coins.
From 2014-2018, The Royal Mint issued a series of commemorative £2 coins to commemorate the wartime journey of the First World War from outbreak to armistice.
The first coin in the series was the 2014 Kitchener £2 which featured John Bergdahl’s depiction of Lord Kitchener’s famous call to arms, alongside the words ‘YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU’.
Kitchener was a British military leader and Secretary of State for War in the first years of the First World War. Unlike many others in the Government and the military, Kitchener foresaw a war lasting for years and he planned accordingly. He rapidly enlisted and trained huge numbers of volunteers for a succession of entirely new ‘Kitchener armies’. It was this enlistment campaign that coined the now famous phrase that appears on the reverse of this £2 coin.
5,720,000 of these coins entered circulation in 2014.
The second £2 coin in the Royal Mint’s five year programme to commemorate the centenary of the First World War pays tribute to the Royal Navy.
Renowned military artist David Rowlands designed the reverse of this coin, and it features a battleship approaching on the open sea, paying homage to the British fleet that defended coastal waters against the Germans. At the time, The Royal Navy was by far the most powerful navy in the world. The British economic blockade of Germany, afforded by the Royal Navy’s command of the sea, inflicted great damage on the war effort of Germany.
650,000 of these coins entered circulation in 2015, making it the third rarest £2 coin currently in circulation.
In 2016, the third issue of the First World War Centenary series commemorated the role of the Army.
Tim Sharp’s design marks a poignant moment in military history, honouring the ‘Pals Battalions’. As part of Lord Kitchener’s New Armies, it was realized that many more men would enlist if they could serve alongside their friends, relatives and workmates. This encouraged the coining of the term ‘Pals battalions.’ On 21 August 1914, the first Pals battalion was raised and in a matter of days, 1,600 men had joined what became the 10th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers.
9,550,000 of these coins entered circulation in 2016.
The fourth £2 coin in The Royal Mint Centenary of the First World War series paid tribute to the aviators of the First World War.
As technology developed, air combat became an innovative form of warfare. Fighter pilots were portrayed as noble gentleman duelists in the skies above the horror of the trenches. The edge lettering of this coin pays tribute to the first aviators to sacrifice their lives in ‘The War in the Air’ and the reverse design by Dan Flashman shows an aircraft from birds-eye view with land in the background.
This coin has not entered circulation.
In 2018, The Royal Mint issued their final commemorative £2 coin in their Centenary of the First World War series. This coin commemorated the 100th anniversary of Armistice.
Armistice marked the signing of agreements to end of the First World War and the victory of the allies on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918. The reverse of the coin was designed by Stephen Raw and features the words ‘The truth untold, the pity of war’ from the Wilfred Owen poem ‘Strange Meeting’.
This coin has not entered circulation.
Today, these coins act as a reminder of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and fought for our freedom and encourage the younger generations to learn about our country’s history.
Honour those who have fought and secure your 2019 Remembrance £5 today
This brand new UK issue is a poignant tribute to all the soldiers who have fought in conflicts across the world.
We’ve been eagerly awaiting this latest Scarcity Index update, which includes the newly released figures for the 2018 50p coins!
Find out how this has affected the Index and discover how sought-after the coins in your collection really are…
This information has been compiled using data from the Change Checker Swap Centre (find out how it works here) and presented in the easy to use indexes below, with arrows to signify how many places up or down a coin has moved since the last Scarcity Index.
You’ll notice stars have been included on the 50p Index and these show where the new 2018 coins have now been included.
50p Scarcity Index
The coin collecting community received some exciting news in October when the mintage figures were revealed for the 2018 50p coins, and this new data means that these coins can now be included on the Index.
And their introduction to the 50p Scarcity Index certainly has caused quite a stir!
With such low mintage figures (just 1,400,000 of each coin) the 2018 Peter Rabbit and Flopsy Bunny 50ps were bound to be scarce, but it’s remarkable to see just how high up the Scarcity Index they have actually placed.
In fact, these coins are now the second and third most sought-after 50ps in circulation (excluding the Olympic 50ps).
Mrs Tittlemouse has also infiltrated the Olympic 50ps, which currently dominate the first half of the index.
The other four 50p coins to enter circulation in 2018 are more common and therefore have found their way onto the second half of the Index.
However their addition has pushed the majority of the lower scoring coins down the chart and has had a significant impact on the Roger Bannister 50p, which has moved down the Index by 16 places.
Of course the top scorer is still that Kew Gardens 50p, which is considered by many to be the holy grail of change collecting, with a mintage of just 210,000!
A-Z 10p Scarcity Index
As well as revealing the 2018 50p mintage figures, The Royal Mint also published the figures for the 2018 A-Z 10p coins and we now know that 220,000 of each design entered circulation last year.
We’ve taken these figures, combined with the 2.1 million coins released in 2019 (split evenly over the 26 designs) to update the A-Z 10p Index.
Once again there has been quite a bit of movement from the A-Z 10ps and excitingly B for Bond has now taken top spot.
This coin has been a firm favourite with collectors since the coins were released last year and it seems likely that anyone lucky enough to come across one will be keeping tight hold of it.
The biggest mover on the 10p Index is F for Fish and Chips which has moved up 15 places since last quarter.
This will certainly be one to watch out for on the next update.
£2 Scarcity Index
The £2 Index has remained fairly consistent since last quarter, which is to be expected as no new £2 coins have entered circulation since 2016.
Last quarter we saw the Rugby World Cup £2 drop by 10 places, however this has now moved back up 9 places to sit just below the middle of the pack. This could have potentially been influenced by the 2019 Rugby World Cup increasing interest in the coin.
Nearer the top of the Index, the Olympic Handover £2 has moved up 5 places into the top 5 scarcest £2 coins in circulation.
However it comes as no surprise that the scarcest UK £2 coin in circulation is still the Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland £2, with that tiny mintage figure of just 485,500.
How your Scarcity Index works
Generally collectors have had to rely upon mintage figures to identify the scarcest coins. But they only tell part of the story. Trying to find a good quality coin from 15 – 20 years ago, even for a higher mintage issue, is much more challenging than a more recent issue, as coins become damaged over time and are ultimately removed from circulation.
Additionally, some designs are more hoarded than others by people who might not normally collect coins – the poignant First World War £2 Coin series being an example. Finally, it can be up to a couple of years before the Royal Mint eventually confirms the actual mintage for an issue.
That’s why we have combined the mintage information with two other key pieces of information.
- How many of each design are listed as “collected” by Change Checkers, indicating the relative ease of finding a particular coin.
- The number of times a design has been requested as a swap over the previous 3 months, showing the current level of collector demand.
Importantly, as new coins are released and popularity rises and falls across different designs the Scarcity Index will be updated quarterly allowing Change Checkers to track the relative performance of the UK’s circulation coins.
How much are my coins worth?
The Scarcity Index does not necessarily equate to value but it is certainly an effective indicator. For example, the Kew Gardens 50p coin commands a premium of up to 200 times face value on eBay.
You can use the 6 point guide to help you determine a more realistic value for your coins.
What about £1 Coins?
If you’re interested in coin collecting, our Change Checker web app is completely free to use and allows users to:
– Find and identify the coins in their pocket
– Collect and track the coins they have
– Swap their spare coins with other Change Checkers
Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app