The British Pobjoy Mint will not produce Isle of Man coins in 2017 in a departure from more than four decades of tradition.
Without much explanation, the increasingly prominent Pobjoy Mint is upending its oldest relationship with a government that has the authority to issue its own money. This also means the end to one of the world’s more popular bullion coin programs, the gold and silver (and even platinum) Angel coins.
End of an Era
The Pobjoy Mint was founded more than 50 years ago. Unlike most major government mints that strike legal tender coinage, Pobjoy is actually privately owned and operated. Its first and oldest client is the Isle of Man.
For those who do not know, the Isle of Man is a small dependency of Great Britain that is situated in between Ireland and the U.K. in the Irish Sea. Although it is officially underneath the umbrella of the British Crown, it is a self-governing entity. It has been part of the United Kingdom since the mid-18th century. Thanks to its long partnership with the Pobjoy Mint, the Isle of Man has brought us many popular gold and silver coins, both bullion and collectibles.
The Pobjoy Mint itself is actually located on the British mainland in Surrey. Its production of coins and blanks usually focuses on helping smaller countries that lack the capacity to mass-produce their own coins. This includes 40 different countries around the world over the course of the mint’s history. It is the exclusive minting facility for six issuing authorities (sovereign governments) around the world: Ascension Island, the British Antarctic Territory, the British Indian Ocean Territory, the British Virgin Islands, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
The severing of the relationship between the Isle of Man and the Pobjoy Mint means that the mint will no longer produce any of the circulating coinage for the country beginning next year. Over time, the national coins in circulation will gradually be displaced by British coins and the British pound sterling standard, in all likelihood. This comes in addition to the island ceasing its collectible coin programs, like the Isle of Man Cats series, and its popular bullion coins that are led by the Gold Angel and Silver Angel. The Gold Angel coin series began in 1985 and has been produced annually since then.
Beyond electing not to disclose the reasoning behind its decision to end its partnership with the Pobjoy Mint, the Isle of Man has merely indicated that it will be scaling back its production of collectible coins. This also comes as a bit of a head-scratcher given the success of its various coin series. This means that the 2016 Isle of Man Silver Angel, the first issue in the series to use the eye-appealing Reverse Proof finish, will potentially be the last coin of its kind.
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