A dependency of the British Crown since 1765, the Isle of Man, situated in the Irish Sea, midway between England, Scotland and Ireland has the oldest parliament in the world in continuous existence (since 979) and was the first country anywhere to give women the vote (in 1881). It is an Independent State with a long history, distinctive language and culture, and many proud traditions. Manx coinage was used intermittently from the Middle Ages onwards and regularly from 1679 to 1841. It was revived again in the 1960s and both circulating coins and collectors’ versions are now issued. The Isle of Man has established an enviable reputation for innovation combined with technical excellence, with such notable achievements including the World’s first circulation base-metal pound coin (1979), the only seven sided coin with an edge inscription, the first coin inscribed in Braille, the World’s first bi-metal coin in gold and titanium and the first Christmas coins. Such coins as the platinum Noble, the gold Angel and the award-winning Penny Black Crown have placed the Isle of Man in the forefront of contemporary numismatics.