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!
During its lifetime, The Royal Mint has struck coins for over 100 different countries from around the globe.
But do you know the story of how they came to strike Icelandic coinage?
The ‘inauguration’ of Iceland’s coinage
The story of how The Royal Mint came to strike Iceland’s coins began in World War Two.
After a night where the windows and roofs of The Royal Mint at Tower Hill had been destroyed by enemy action, the very first British-struck Icelandic coins were born as “a glacial wind whirled round the coining presses to inaugurate this coinage of Iceland” (explained by John Craig, The Deputy Master of The Royal Mint, in his annual report).
Prior to World War II, Iceland was ruled by the Danish crown and Icelandic coins had been struck by The Copenhagen Mint.
But the fall of Denmark into enemy hands during the war meant that Iceland had to look elsewhere for its coinage requirements…
First ever British-struck Icelandic coins
It was in 1940 that The Royal Mint received its first order to strike the five Icelandic denominations from 1 Eyrir (0.01 Krόnur) to 25 Aurar (0.25 Krόnur).
This was soon followed by additional orders for Krόnur and 2 Krόnur coins.
Not only did The Royal Mint experience damages to the building during WWII, but the price of nickel also rose substantially as the metal was in extremely high demand for munitions.
This meant it became necessary to strike the 1942 dated 10 and 25 Icelandic Aurar coins in the ‘poor metal’ of zinc rather than the now commonly used Cupro-nickel.
The new coins series
In June 1944 Iceland became a republic. A new series of coins were introduced in 1946, which remained in use for the next 35 years.
A full rendering of the national Coat of Arms appeared on the Krόnur and 2 Krόnur, complete with the bull, eagle, dragon and giant supporters.
Four new denominations were added in the late 1960s, including the 50 Aurar, 5 Krόnur, 10 Krόnur and 50 Krόnur.
Iceland’s first commemorative coins
Iceland’s first commemorative coin was struck at The Royal Mint in 1961 – a gold 500 Krόnur marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of the scholar and statements, Jόn Sigurdsson.
Iceland became a free and sovereign nation in 1918 when the Union Treaty with Denmark came into effect on the 1st December. To commemorate 50 years since this historic moment, a 50 Krόnur coin was issued.
In its first year of issue in 1968, the reverse design of the 50 Krόnur included a representation of the Althing (Parliament) building and carried an inscription marking the 50th anniversary of the achievement of Icelandic national sovereignty.
In 1974, The Royal Mint issued a three coin series of gold and silver coins, designed by Throstur Magnusson to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of the settlement of Iceland.
A major reform to Iceland’s coinage
The Icelandic financial market suffered hyperinflation in 1981, which was settled by a major reform of the coinage, resulting in a complete redesign and revaluation of the circulating coins.
100 old Krόnur was now worth just 1 new Krόna. As well as 1 and 5 Krόna coins, denominations of 5, 10 and 50 Aurar were also introduced.
The new obverses, in keeping with Magnusson’s designs, depicted the traditional protector spirits (“Landvættir”) of Iceland.
Each reverse portrays a variety of aquatic life, including dolphins, cod and northern shrimp.
As Iceland’s economy has been founded on fishing for so long, the pungent smell of fish smelting came to be known as “money smell”.
It’s great to discover more about different coins from around the world, and I’m sure you’ll agree that the stories behind Icelandic coinage are really fascinating.
If you’re lucky enough to have come across any Icelandic coins during your trips abroad, let us know in the comments below.
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
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as Guernsey release a brand new set of Christmas Pantomime 50p coins!
These fantastic new coins feature designs based on five beloved Pantomimes which are sure to take you to a whole new world as you experience the magic of the theatre brought to life on a 50p coin.
Complete BU Set
Whilst 4,000 of each design will be entering circulation, they will only be released in Guernsey and you can bet your bottom dollar that any lucky Guernsey Change Checkers coming across these coins will be sure to hold on to them.
Unfortunately we don’t all have a Fairy Godmother who can wave a magic wand and make these coins appear in our UK change (but wouldn’t that be nice!).
However, the complete set is now available to purchase in Brilliant Uncirculated quality here.
Authorised by the Guernsey Treasury and fully approved by Her Majesty the Queen, the set includes some of the most loved pantomime themes:
- Snow White
- Jack and the Beanstalk
- Dick Whittington
Silver Proof Set
But that’s not all… As if by magic, these coins have been brought to life in vibrant colour for the Silver Proof Pantomime 50p coin set.
Each beautiful coin is struck from Solid Silver and features selective colour printing to capture the fun of the theatre.
Only 2,019 of the Guernsey Silver Christmas Pantomime 50p sets are available and we all know how quickly Silver 50p coins sell out – the Silver Gruffalo 50p sold out within the first day of launch and had an edition limit of 25,000!
The first Guernsey Christmas coins
Did you know that Guernsey has never released a Christmas coin before? This is bound to make these Christmas Panto 50ps particularly special for coin collectors.
However it’s fair to say that Christmas themed coins make an envious addition to anyone’s collection, with the numerous festive 50ps from the Isle of Man proving to be incredibly popular.
One of the most-loved Christmas themes to feature on a coin has got to be the Snowman.
In 2003, the first coin to feature the Snowman was issued by the Isle of Man and had a tiny mintage of just 10,000.
Although not many of these coins are available on the secondary market, if you did want to add one to your collection, you’d be looking at parting with a minimum of £200!
The Snowman has since featured on a number of Isle of Man Christmas coins, and even made his first appearance on a UK coin last year.
Just 20,000 issued for circulation
With such a wonderful Christmas theme and the fact that just 4,000 of each Panto 50p will initially be released into circulation in Guernsey, these coins are sure to follow in the Snowman’s footprints and be incredibly sought-after.
But it’s not just the theme which makes these coins so special…
Mintage figures for Isle of Man 50ps have never exceeded 30,000, and as the new Guernsey coins have a combined mintage of just 20,000 I’m sure you’ll agree that they are bound to be hugely collectable!
Guernsey mintage figures are known for being much smaller than the UK, which is down to their much smaller population of just over 63,000.
Vote for your favourite!
Pantomime has a long theatrical history and is especially popular during the festive period. So now it’s time to get the show started and celebrate with the fantastic new Christmas Pantomime 50p set from Guernsey.
We’d love to hear which of these coins is your favourite, so let us know by voting in the poll below!
Secure your Brilliant Uncirculated Christmas Pantomime Set
Celebrate the Christmas season with five brand new Brilliant Uncirculated Pantomime 50ps from Guernsey.