It’s common knowledge among Change Checkers that The Royal Mint strikes all the coins in the United Kingdom – and has done for centuries.

But what may come as a surprise to many collectors is The Royal Mint has historically struck coins for a variety of countries around the world!

Currently, outside of the UK, The Royal Mint provides services for over 60 different countries, including New Zealand and many Caribbean nations.

In the past, The Royal Mint has struck coins for North and South America, Africa and the Middle East!

In this blog, we take a look at our Top Five most interesting world coins struck by our very own UK Royal Mint and the stories behind them.


“From Norway to New Zealand, from Bermuda to Brunei, coins have been struck at The Royal Mint for countries all over the world.”

– The Royal Mint Museum


New Brunswick 1861 Half-Cent

Across the 18th and 19th centuries The Royal Mint, which was then based in London, minted several coins for North American states and the Caribbean.

Interestingly, in 1861 a half-cent coin, made of bronze, was minted for New Brunswick. More than 200,000 of these half-cent coins were struck, even though the denomination wasn’t actually needed.

It is said these coins were struck as a misunderstanding at The Royal Mint (that’s quite a misunderstanding!) and the majority of these were melted down. However, there has been reports that a lucky few coins have survived!

New Brunswick 1861 Half-Cent (Credit: The Royal Mint Museum Blog)

Norway 1942 25 Aurar

Many Change Checkers might be familiar with some of the coins struck by the UK Royal Mint throughout the Second World after reading our blog featuring coins struck in the UK for Iceland.

In addition to this a coinage was undertaken in the Second World War for the Norwegian government in anticipation of the country’s liberation from occupying forces.

Made out of Nickel-Brass and shipped to Norway ready for their liberation, this could have been one of the most exciting Norwegian coins in circulation.

However, the coin was never issued and the large majority of these were returned to The Royal Mint a few years later and melted down.

Norway 1942 25 Aurar (Credit: The Royal Mint Museum Blog)

Nigeria 1959 Shilling

This Nigerian Shilling was made out of Cupro-Nickel, the same composition we are familiar with on modern United Kingdom 50 pence coins.

With an order of more than 1,000 million pieces for this new, distinctive Nigerian coinage, this is by far the largest international coin order The Royal Mint had ever received – quite the honour!

Nigeria 1959 Shilling (Credit: The Royal Mint Museum Blog)

Hong Kong 1863 Mil

Introduced in 1863, the Hong Kong Mils were the first-ever perforated coins to be produced at The Royal Mint.

Perforated coins usually refer to coins which have a hole punched through the middle.

To date, although The Royal Mint have produced this style of coins for several other nations including East Africa, the United Kingdom has never had a perforated coin in their tender.

Hong Kong 1863 Mil (Credit: The Royal Mint Museum Blog)

Australia 1951 Penny

Demand for Australian coinage in 1951 exceeded the capacity of the Brand Mints in Melbourne and Perth, and so the UK Royal Mint was approached for assistance.

Interestingly, the Australian coinage pieces struck in London are distinguishable by the addition of the tiny letters ‘PL’ which recalls a mintmark used by the UK Mint in Roman times.

Australia 1951 Penny (Credit: The Royal Mint Museum Blog)

So, there we have it! Our Top Five most interesting coins struck by the UK Royal Mint for countries around the world!

These coins tell quite the story of The Royal Mint’s long and important history in world coinage.

If you have any exciting coins from around the world or stories you’d like to share, 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

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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

2019 Isle of Man 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

2019 Isle of Man Peter Pan 50p 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

2017 Isle of Man Triskelion £5

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 Isle of Man Snowman 50p. Credit: Numista

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

1997 Isle of Man TT 50p. Credit: Numista

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

2018 Isle of Man 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

2011 Isle of Man 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

1978 Isle of Man £1. Credit: Numista

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

1990 Isle of Man Penny Black Crown. Credit: Numista

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!

Click here to secure yours in Brilliant Uncirculated quality.

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).

1940 1 Eyrir. Credit: Numista

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.

1942 10 Aurar made from zinc. Credit: Numista

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.

1 Krόnur coin depicting the national Coat of Arms. Credit: Numista

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.

1961 Gold 500 Krόnur. Credit: CoinArchives.com

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.

1968 50 Krόnur. Credit: Numista

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.

1974 Gold Proof 10,000 Krόnur. Credit: Numista

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.

1 – 100 Krόnur. Credit: Numista

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

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Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app