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.
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.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to secure your Isle of Man TT £2 Coin Duo. Click here to secure yours.