Over the years that we’ve been minting coins for the Isle of Man government, we’ve produced some of the world’s most beautiful and unusual coins. And, with the news that the Pobjoy Mint is no longer going to produce coins for the Isle of Man, these coins won’t be available for much longer.
So it’s an ideal time to look back at some of the most celebrated, unusual coins that we’ve released on behalf of the Isle of Man government.
The Penny Black 175th Anniversary Coin
2015 was the 175th anniversary of the world’s first adhesive stamp, the Penny Black. Philatelists look back on the Penny Black with reverence – and rightly so. It’s a beautiful, simple design with the profile of a young Queen Victoria, designed by Henry Corbould.
Therefore, we thought it was a good time to re-issue the 1990 coin that celebrated this stamp.
The coin is Proof Fine 999.9 1/25oz Gold, with a mintage of 2,000, and comes in a unique presentation box with a certificate. It is also available as 1/5oz Proof Fine 999.9 Gold, 1oz Proof Fine 999.9 Gold, Sterling Silver Crown and Cupro Nickel Crown.
All editions have the ‘pearl black’ finish that made it so popular at the time, which made it a three-time winner at the Coin of the Year Awards (COTY) for Best Crown, Most Innovative Coinage and the ultimate award – Coin of the Year.
This coin carries an incused effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Lord of Mann, on the obverse.
The Terracotta Army Coins
In 2009, the Terracotta Army came to the British Museum in London, and to celebrate this, the Pobjoy Mint released a pair of silver coins that replicate the ‘Banliang’ coins of the state of Qin, which were in circulation when the Terracotta Army was being built.
Banliang means ‘half-ounce’, but what really differentiates these coins is that they were made with a hole in the middle. These are the first coins made by the Pobjoy Mint that came with a hole in the middle, and around that hole, you will see an illustration of the production techniques behind the creation of the Terracotta Army.
The Terracotta Army coins are available as a 2 coin set in a presentation box, or on their own – and form part of the “History of Man’ series produced by the Pobjoy Mint.
International Year of Planet Earth Coloured Coins
The year 2008 was proclaimed as the United Nations International Year of Planet Earth. To support the international observance initiative, Pobjoy Mint released the World’s First 4 Colour Titanium Bi-Metal coin on behalf of the Isle of Man Government.
The coin represents the four spheres that are recognised in Earth Science; these are the lithosphere (earth), the atmosphere (air), the hydrosphere (water) and the biosphere (fire). The four Greek Gods were chosen to represent these elements in the four-coloured titanium middle section of the coin.
Striking titanium has a high level of difficulty; which means that each coin in this series is unique as no two titanium coins are exactly the same. Each collector’s coin also features a lined effect, which is present as a result of the unmistakeable qualities of titanium.
Battle of Britain commemorated Coloured Uncirculated Coin
Pobjoy Mint released a new uncirculated cupro nickel commemorative coin on behalf of the Isle of Man Government. This was to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The Battle of Britain is the name that was given to the Second World War air campaign that was instigated by the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) against the United Kingdom in 1940.
The coin features a British Spitfire flying over the White Cliffs of Dover with a German Messerschmitt on its tail. On the reverse of the coin you will find a fine effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, Lord of Mann, by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS.
This coin is available in Cupro Nickel and Proof Sterling Silver, with both versions available with the searchlights coloured. These coloured searchlights draw your attention to the centre of the air battle. Each one of these coins is beautifully engineered precious metal that has been struck four times to produce the superlative Pobjoy proof finish.
Seven Wonders of the Modern World
1997 saw a series of coins struck to commemorate the seven man-made constructions of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Ten years later, to celebrate what constitutes the modern-day Seven Wonders of the World, Pobjoy Mint released an exciting issue where some of the versions contain sand from the Great Pyramid of Giza!
The centre of the coin features one of the original Ancient Wonders still standing, The Great Pyramid of Giza. This coin is made especially unique due to the layer of sand that covers the central image. This sand has been encapsulated under a thin plate of glass. This is genuine sand, which was collected by Pobjoy’s Managing Director, Taya Pobjoy.
You can find two versions of this coin, the first being a 2oz piece struck in 999 Proof Fine Silver. The second variation is a 1oz made from 999.9 Proof Fine Gold. This coin is also available in UNC, Cupro Nickel although this version does not include any of the sand in the centre.
Tutankhamun: Canopic Coffinette Bronze Pyramid-Shaped Coin
London welcomed back the treasures of the world’s most famous pharaoh, Tutankhamen in 2008. The last time London saw this exhibition was back in 1972, which fascinated visitors worldwide with London having incredible attendance records of 1.7 million people.
November 2008 saw the return of these marvellous historical artefacts and more, to London. London was the only city in Europe to hose the “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” exhibition. To celebrate the momentous event, Pobjoy Mint announced the release of a phenomenal series of coins on behalf of the Isle of Man Treasury. This series included the world’s first pyramid shaped coins.
During the process of mummification, the pharaoh’s internal organs were removed from the body and preserved in four miniature coffins. One of Tutankhamen’s coffinettes appears in the centre of this design with one cartouches on each side. These spell the young pharaoh’s birth name, Tutankhamen and his throne name, Nebkheperure in hieroglyphics.
There are a number of unique Isle of Man coins you can find at Pobjoy Mint. From historic coins to sporting events and special occasions, you can find the perfect coin to add to your collection.