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!
Coins from Crown dependencies and overseas British territories can sometimes make an unexpected appearance in our change.
Sure, this can be an annoyance as technically the coins are not legal tender in the UK, but from a collecting point of view, new and interesting designs are always a bonus!
In our latest coin hunt competition, we went head to head with 10 YouTube Coin Hunters for a 50p coin hunt and it was amazing to see how many of the teams stumbled across coins that shouldn’t be in our change…
Here are some of the unexpected coins we came across:
2012 Bailiwick of Jersey 50p
Yasmin and I were lucky enough to come across this 2012 Bailiwick of Jersey 50p in our coin hunt.
The coin features Jersey’s Grosnez Castle on the reverse surrounded by the lettering ‘Bailiwick of Jersey’. The obverse features the Arnold Machin engraving of Queen Elizabeth II.
Interestingly, 2012 dated Bailiwick of Jersey 50p coins were also struck in 2013 and 2014, giving this particular coin a total mintage of 365,000.
Jersey’s coinage is not legal tender in the rest of the UK, but the lower mintage figures of the island’s coins compared to the UK makes them particularly scarce and collectible, so it was a great surprise to find a Jersey coin amongst our 50ps!
Jersey’s coin mintages are significantly lower because of their smaller population of only 100,000.
2012 Guernsey Freesia Flowers 50p
During his coin hunt, Christopher Collects managed to find a 2012 Freesia Flowers coin from Guernsey.
This beautiful 50p features two crossed freesia flowers on the reverse design, however it is the obverse design which is particularly special.
The obverse features Raphael Maklouf’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II with the lettering ‘Bailiwick of Guernsey’ above, and also a small Guernsey Coat of Arms to the left.
This addition on the obverse makes the Guernsey 50p stand out when compared to UK 50p coins.
We don’t know the mintage figures for this coin, however it will likely be fairly low when compared to UK figures, due to Guernsey’s smaller population.
2018 Isle of Man Imperial State Crown 50p
Coin Cupboard was very lucky and also found a Bailiwick of Jersey 50p, as well as an Imperial State Crown 50p from the Isle of Man.
The Imperial State Crown 50p was issued in 2018 as part of a five coin set celebrating the Sapphire Coronation Anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
A limited number of each coin entered circulation on the Isle of Man, although we don’t know the exact mintage figure for this coin.
The reverse design shows the Coronation Crown and the obverse features Jody Clark’s most recent portrait of the Queen which, unlike UK coins, includes her shoulders.
1999 East Caribbean States 1 Dollar
Whilst you might expect a few British Isles coins to turn up every now and again, we certainly weren’t expecting to find this coin in our 50p bank bag!
In fact, both team Change Checker and Dom Collects came across one of these unusual coins in our change.
This 1 dollar was issued from 1989 to 2000 in the Eastern Caribbean States, but how did it find its way into our UK change?
As a British Overseas Territory, the East Caribbean States currency features the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.
This, along with the coin’s size which is very close to the UK 50p, means it has managed to get mixed up with UK change and passed off as a 50p.
However, there is one very significant difference between this coin and a 50p, and that’s the shape. The East Caribbean States dollar is actually decagonal (10 sided) and features milling along every other edge of the coin.
You can imagine just how surprising it was to come across this coin in the middle of our 50p hunt, and how unusual still that we weren’t the only team to find one!
It just goes to show how many fascinating coins find their way into our change and why it’s always worthing checking to see if you’ve found a coin which was intended for circulation in the UK.
Secure your Guernsey Freesia Flowers 50p coin today!
You can now secure the Guernsey Freesia Flowers 50p for your British Isles collection.
In September 2011, the fourth Commonwealth Youth Games were hosted on the Isle of Man and to commemorate this sporting event, Pobjoy Mint issued a new £2 coin on behalf of the Isle of Man Treasury.
This £2 coin featured the official Commonwealth Youth Games Mascot, Tosha the Cat and the official logo of the games.
But what makes this £2 coin so special?
The name ‘Tosha’, meaning ‘first’ in Manx Gaelic is fitting considering this was the first time the games were held on the island. However, even though this significant sporting event and the fun design representing it would make this coin a great find for collectors, the popularity of the Tosha Cat £2 on the secondary market remains a force to be reckoned with…
The rise of the Tosha Cat £2
So how did this £2 coin come to be so popular?
Whilst rarity is normally a large factor in how collectable a coin is, mintage figures for British Isles coins are notoriously hard to track down and this coin is no exception. No one actually knows the true mintage figure, so it can’t be said how rare the coin is, although we do know that British Isles coins typically have lower mintages than UK coins due to the smaller population.
One thing we do know for certain is that the Isle of Man Tosha Cat £2 is definitely sought-after amongst collectors.
Although the Tosha Cat £2 was issued in 2011, it wasn’t until it was posted on Facebook coin groups in 2018 that the price started skyrocketing on the secondary market. In fact, in 2018 this coin became ‘Coin of the Year’ on Facebook coin groups, and this is where it really found its success.
Following the Facebook hype surrounding the Tosha £2, eBay bidding wars began. At a time when the Kew Gardens was selling for around £80 on eBay, this coin was regularly selling for double that!
Listed for thousands of pounds on eBay!
In fact, listings on eBay continue to regularly exceed £100 and even go up to thousands of pounds for this Isle of Man coin!
Although the coin may not actually sell for such eye watering amounts, a quick check of the recent ‘sold’ listings shows that some collectors are willing to pay more than 50 times face value to own this coin!
More commonly the coin sells for around £12, which is still an impressive 6 times its face value.
Beware of Fakes!
As is the story with the Kew Gardens 50p, the popularity of this coin has unfortunately led to fakes being produced and sold on the secondary market, taking advantage of unsuspecting collectors who would be willing to pay well over face value to own the coin.
If you’re looking to secure the Isle of Man Tosha Cat £2 for your collection, it’s certainly worth doing your research, buying/swapping from a reputable seller (look for eBay feedback or successful swaps on Facebook groups) and checking the images of the coin to make sure it looks legitimate.
The image above gives you an idea of what a fake Tosha Cat £2 coin may look like.
Fake coins will be overly shiny, the strike will be much less defined and the coin may well weigh less than the standard 12g £2 coin.
Popular Isle of Man Coins
As the Isle of Man has some wonderful coin designs and really exciting collecting opportunities, you can see why more and more UK collectors are turning their attention to British Isles coins. But do you have any in your collection?
Own both 2019 Isle of Man TT £2 coins!
If you’re interested in collecting Isle of Man coins, you’ll love the 2019 Isle of Man TT £2 coin duo, which is now available in Brilliant Uncirculated condition.