Last year, two Isle of Man £2 coins were released for the special anniversary year of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, and now that the legendary races are in full swing, I’m sure you’ll be just as excited as I am to hear that two brand new TT £2 coins have been issued for 2019!
These coins are particularly special, as they mark 112 years since the first TT race in 1907 and the 100th race which will take place this year, due to no races being held during war time.
The reverse designs feature legendary rider, Steve Hislop racing the Tourist Trophy track.
The obverse features Jody Clark’s new portrait of HRH Queen Elizabeth II as seen on last year’s TT £2s and you might notice that this portrait looks quite different to UK coins, as the Queen’s shoulders are present in the design.
Commemorating racing hero, Steve ‘Hizzy’ Hislop
These coins celebrate Steve ‘Hizzy’ Hislop, 11 time winner of the notorious Tourist Trophy races.
Known by motoring enthusiasts world-wide as the ultimate road race, the 37.73 mile monster course takes place each year across the winding public roads on the Isle of Man.
In 1989 Hizzy rode into the history books as the first rider to lap at over 120mph! The 30th anniversary of this epic achievement has now been commemorated with two brand new coins that will enter circulation on the Isle of Man.
Hislop’s first win was in 1987, although he really stole the show in 1989 and 1991, winning three races in a week! His extraordinary racing career has cemented him as a hero of the TT mountain circuit.
Isle of Man TT numismatic history
Since the first Isle of Man TT coins were issued in 1981, they have proved incredibly popular amongst collectors and motoring enthusiasts alike, with some selling for over £700 on eBay!
The first Isle of Man TT coin was a 50p which featured famous motorcyclist Joey Dunlop and only 5,000 coins of this design were struck.
A new TT 50p has been released most years since 1981 by the Isle of Man, however commemorative £2, £5 and Crown coins have also been issued to mark the event, which just goes to show how important and incredibly popular the TT races are.
Last year the Isle of Man release two £2 coins commemorating racing legend Mike Hailwood’s 60th year since his first TT race and 40th year since his triumphant return.
Just 3,000 of each coin entered circulation on the Isle of Man and we saw unprecedented demand from collectors looking to add the coins to their British Isles collection.
In 2017 a special commemorative £5 coin was issued to celebrate 110 years of the TT. This coin featured the Roman God, Mercury, the Winged God of the Messengers.
Unusually, the coin was re-struck and re-dated in 2018, specially for collectors.
Another Isle of Man £2 coin to grip the attention of collectors isn’t actually another TT themed coin, but features three old-style cars racing and was issued in 1998 to celebrate the annual Rally, formerly known as the Manx Trophy Rally.
As with all Isle of Man coins, this coin isn’t actually legal tender in the UK, however we were lucky enough to come across this coin in our £2 coin hunt, which just goes to show why you should always be checking your change, as you never know which rare and interesting coins might turn up.
Due to the popularity of the previous motor racing themed coins, we expect that the brand new Isle of Man TT £2 coins featuring Steve Hislop will be very sought-after by collectors.
And, with just 15,000 of each design initially entering circulation on the Isle of Man, Isle of Man based Change Checkers are sure to become the envy of collectors everywhere!
Own both Isle of Man TT £2 coins!
Own the Isle of Man TT £2 coin duo in Brilliant Uncirculated condition.
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Have you ever wondered how the coins in your change are made?
From the drawing board to your pocket, there’s a lot that goes into the production of UK coins, and so we’ve put together a 5 stage infographic to break it down for you…
First, The Royal Mint’s marketing team look at possible themes and develop a brief for the designer. They work with internal artists, graphic designers and external artists such as competition winners.
The designer sketches a concept either by hand or on a computer and this is sent to The Royal Mint Advisory Committee for feedback and approval.
The final stage in design is to send the coin to the Queen for final sign off of the design.
It was actually revealed recently that the Queen took a particular liking to the 2019 Stephen Hawking 50p, which has proven to be a big success and a hugely popular design this year.
2) Moulding and Engraving the Master Die
Designs are transferred and sculpted onto a plaster mould 5 times the size of the coin.
This model will be scanned and stored as a digital image to be used by an engraving machine.
The transfer-engraver reproduces the design onto a master die the same diameter as the coin to be struck.
This will be used to make the dies that will actually strike the coins.
Sheets of metal are pressed into the exact thickness of the coin required and then rolled into coils.
These huge coiled strips of metal are then cut into the correct shapes by blanking presses.
The presses punch out blank discs with a pressure of around 60 tonnes, creating coins at a speed of 850 strikes per minute!
The blanks are checked before being annealed and blanched to create a lustre suitable for coining.
To transfer the design onto the blanks to be struck, the coin blank is pressed between two dies using a hydraulic press.
The variable pressure of the press is up to hundreds of pounds per square inch.
This forms the shape and design of the finished coin, striking up to 25,000 coins every hour!
5) Inspecting, Sorting and Bagging
The final stage involves checking the coins for imperfections and sorting them into the correct denominations or designs.
They are wrapped and stacked in bags to be stored in ‘the long room’, ready for despatch.
The Royal Mint and cash distribution services regularly review the amount of coins in circulation and it’s only when they are short of a particular denomination that stocks will be called from The Royal Mint, and these coins will be issued into circulation, ready and waiting to be found in your change!
I don’t know about you, but the next time I check my change I’ll certainly be considering the journey the coins have been through to end up in my purse and the incredible production process that goes into creating UK 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
With 37 different £2 coin designs in circulation, it’s very tough to choose a favourite, but one of mine is certainly the Great Fire of London £2, issued in 2016 to mark the 350th anniversary of one of the most well-known disasters to hit London.
The reverse of the coin, designed by Aaron West, depicts the city of London burning in flames from a distance and makes for an eye catching design which I’m sure many collectors love just as much as I do.
But are you lucky enough to have one of these coins in your collection?
Whilst this coin was previously considered ‘Less Common’ (as rated on our Scarcity Index), it has now been confirmed that the mintage figure for the Great Fire of London £2 was mistakenly listed and the coin is in fact rarer than we once thought…
To reflect the change to the Great Fire of London £2 coin’s mintage figure, we’ve updated our mintage charts to show you how rare this coin actually is compared to the other £2’s in circulation.
The Great Fire of London has actually jumped up 15 places on the mintage chart now that the correct figure of 1,625,000 has been confirmed.
The previous figure of 5,135,000 placed the coin in the middle of the pack, just slightly rarer than the Gunpowder Plot £2, however it can now be found amongst the London Underground £2 coins, nearer the top of the mintage chart.
These changes are also evident on our latest Scarcity Index update.
Whilst the coin has only moved up the index by 4 coin places, this is the biggest movement on the £2 index and the coin’s Scarcity Index score has actually jumped up from 18 to 34 – almost doubling from the previous index!
Historically, the Great Fire of London £2 has always scored in the mid to high teens, but the updated mintage figures now reflect the fact that the coin is in fact harder than previously believed to find in your change.
Have any other coins been affected?
It wasn’t just the Great Fire of London £2 coin which was affected by the updated mintage figures… There were in fact 4 coins from 2016 with previously incorrect figures.
The changes haven’t made much of an impact to either of these coin’s rankings for the Scarcity Index, with both coins actually moving down 1 place on the index pictured above.
With regards to our mintage figure charts, the two coins have simply swapped positions, as can be seen below.
With regards to 50p coins, the only coin affected was the 2016 Peter Rabbit 50p.
This relatively small increase has had no effect on the coin’s ranking on the Scarcity Index or position on the mintage figure chart, which can be seen below.
Whilst the changes to the mintage figures for the Shakespeare £2s and Peter Rabbit 50p have made minimal impact, it’s fair to say that with almost 4 million less Great Fire of London £2 coins in circulation than previously thought, the scarcity of this coin has definitely increased, making it even more special for those of you lucky enough to have one in your collection.
Add the Great Fire of London circulation £2 to your collection!
Following the updated mintage figures, I’m sure collectors will be keen to make sure this coin is added to their collection.