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.
Yesterday the Treasury announced that the UK’s 12 sided £1 coin would be going global, as overseas territories and Crown Dependencies will soon be able to create their own bespoke versions of the coin to replace the older £1 currently in circulation.
In 2017, the new Nations of the Crown 12 sided £1 made its UK debut, described by the Government as “the most secure of its kind in the world” due to the new design, featuring intermittent milled edges and micro-engraved denomination and year date which protects against criminals producing counterfeits copies. Before this, around 1 in every 30 round pound coins were in fact fakes.
As many territories and dependencies currently circulate their own version of the older pound coin, they will now be able to protect their currency with this secure cutting edge technology. These coins will be produced by The Royal Mint to the same security standards as our UK coinage to thwart counterfeit activity.
The Nations of the Crown £1 was designed by 15-year-old David Pearce following a public competition in 2015. The design is made up of the English rose, the Welsh leek, the Scottish thistle and the Northern Irish shamrock emerging from one stem within a royal coronet to represent the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom.
The Treasury expects the new versions struck for overseas territories and Crown Dependencies to feature images celebrating their heritage, history and culture to symbolise the close links with the UK.
Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man all represent Crown Dependencies of the UK, whilst the UK overseas territories include Akrotiri and Dhekelia; Anguilla; British Antarctic Territory; Bermuda; British Indian Ocean Territory; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Falkland Islands; Gibraltar; Montserrat; St Helena and Dependencies (Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha); Turk and Caicos Islands; Pitcairn Island; and South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.
Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:“These new designs will reflect the rich and varying British communities across the world.”
Lord Ahmad, the overseas territories minister, said: “As well as helping to boost their identity, these new coins will also bring increased security to each of these economies.”
So Change Checkers from overseas territories and Crown Dependencies can look forward to the new coins being released soon, but what design do you think should be featured for each? Let us know in the comments below.
Is this the last Isle of Man Round Pound?
In 2017 the Isle of Man released this Raven and Falcon Uncirculated £1 Coin and following the Treasury’s update, this could now be the very last Isle of Man Round Pound!
Every Boxing Day on the Isle of Man, communities come together across the island to dance and sing in the streets around “the king of all birds“, the wren, who is paraded around on a decorative pole.
Hunt the Wren, as it is known on the island, has become one of the most popular yet more unusual Manx traditions in practice today.
The practice dates back to Pagan times and is thought to have descended from Celtic mythology and may have been influenced by Scandinavian Viking settlers during the 8th and 10th centuries.
Historically groups of boys dressed up in straw outfits, known as ‘wren boys’ would gather on St Stephen’s Day (Boxing Day) to hunt a sacred wren bird. They would then tie the bird to the top of a decorative pole and visit different houses, singing to receive money or presents for their display. Those who were generous and gave money to the boys would receive a feather from the bird as a thank you, and the collected money was used to host a village dance later in January.
Today the Hunt the Wren tradition is still a popular part of the islands seasonal festivities, and many communities come together to dance and raise money for charity. A replica of a wren is used nowadays instead of harming any real birds, and ribbons which are used to decorate the pole are handed out as good luck instead of the bird feathers.
This unusual community tradition is so special on the Isle of Man that it has been celebrated on a brand new £2 coin and only a limited number of these coins will enter circulation on the island.
But it’s not the first time that the Hunt the Wren tradition has been celebrated on a coin, it was also featured on a 50p coin 24 years ago in 1994.
So to celebrate this new festive coin release from the Isle of Man, what better reason is there to take a look back at some of the festive designs issued on Isle of Man coinage over the years.
Here are a few of our favourites which show off how exciting Isle of Man coinage can be…
Just yesterday, the UK Royal Mint issued the first ever Christmas themed 50p coin to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of Raymond Briggs’ much-loved festive tale The Snowman™. And it’s safe to say the demand for the much anticipated coin has been overwhelming. It has been so popular in fact that the Silver Proof and Gold versions of the coin have already completely SOLD OUT.
But the Isle of Man have been way ahead of the UK and have already issued a few 50p coins over the years featuring the much-loved children’s character the Snowman. Issued in 2003, the first coin to feature the Snowman and James, the hero of the story, holding hands and dancing 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 same design was issued in 2008 although these coins were not struck for general circulation. Fast forward to 2014 and the coin features the Snowman and James hugging with a Christmas tree in the background. As we already know, this coin regularly sells for 80 times its face value on secondary market selling sites such as eBay.
The Isle of Man have issued a wide range of Christmas themed 50ps over the last 40 years and it’s safe to say that any of these festive 50p coins would definitely be an envious addition to anyone’s collection. The mintages for Isle of Man festive 50ps have never exceeded 30,000 most likely due to the island having a population of less than 85,000 so it’s no wonder the coins are so sought-after.
Let us know your favourite design ever issued on a festive coin and whether you’ve been able to add it to your collection.
Own the first Festive £2 coin from the Isle of Man
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