PCGS Specials

HomeWorld CoinsThe Pobjoy Mint - A History of Coin Design Innovations

The Pobjoy Mint – A History of Coin Design Innovations

From the development of the world’s first man-made precious metal, Virenium, to the world’s highest relief coin, Pobjoy Mint are renowned for their innovation in the world of numismatics.

Beyond the list of “Firsts” presented below, we have selected five coins produced by Pobjoy that reflects both the technical achievements and aesthtic craftsmanship that has distinguished Pobjoy over the years as one of the finest and most innovative mint in the world/

CoinWeek’s Top 5 Pobjoy “Firsts”

Isle of Man 2008 – International Year of Planet Earth – Silver and Four Colour Titanium Coin


The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed the year 2008 to be the United Nations International Year of Planet Earth and to support the international observance initiative Pobjoy Mint is pleased to announce the release of the World’s First 4 Colour Titanium Bi-Metal coin on behalf of the Isle of Man Government.

Our spectacular new coin represents the four spheres recognized in Earth Science: the lithosphere (earth), the atmosphere (air), the hydrosphere (water) and the biosphere (fire) and therefore the four Greek Gods representing these elements are depicted in the four-color Titanium middle section of the coin: Demeter for Earth – brown, Zeus for Air – light blue, Poseidon for Water – mid. blue and Hephaestus for Fire – purple.

The outer ring contains the 12 signs of the zodiac which have been arranged so that the relevant signs – Earth, Air, Water and Fire – appear above the God representing that particular element and the central circle depicts an image of Planet Earth.

This incredible IOM collector’s coin has been issued with the outer and inner rings made from 999. Proof Fine Silver.

Due to the difficulty of striking titanium, the metal is as strong as steel but 45% lighter, each coin in this series is truly exclusive as no two titanium coins are exactly the same. Each collector’s coin also features a lined effect that is present as a result of the unmistakeable qualities of titanium.

Coin Highlights
  • 2008 4 Colour Titanium Bi-Metal Coin
  • Issued on behalf of the Isle of Man
  • Issue: 3,000
  • Unique presentation box and certificate



Ascension Island 2012 – Diamond Jubilee Celebration – Proof Fine Silver 60oz Coin with 60 Diamonds


2012 marks the 60th Anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Accession to the throne. Her Majesty is only the second Monarch in British History, after Queen Victoria, to achieve a Diamond Jubilee. To commemorate this historic event, the Government of Ascension Island has approved the release of a spectacular new commemorative coin which is an amazing celebration of 60 Years.

This magnificent collector’s coin is made with 60oz of Fine Silver and contains a stunning 60 diamonds, totaling 1ct, which have been set into the Crown on the design of the profile portrait of Her Majesty. The crown on the coin has been gold-plated to show off these diamonds to their full effect and is a fitting tribute for Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.

The coins are struck to the highest quality and are produced with a stunning ‘proof’ finish. The design is in relief with a glorious mirror-finish background. There will only ever be 60 of these coins produced worldwide.

Coin Highlights
  • 2012 Proof Fine Silver 60oz Coin with 60 Diamonds
  • Issued on behalf of Ascension Island
  • Issue: 60
  • Unique presentation box and certificate


Isle of Man 2009 – World’s First Pyramid Shaped Coin Encapsulated with Sand – Proof Fine Silver Coin


For the first time in 35 years, London welcomed back the treasures of the world’s most famous pharaoh, Tutankhamun.  In 1972, the unprecedented Tutankhamun Exhibition fascinated visitors worldwide with London striking attendance records of 1.7 million.  In November 2007 these marvellous historical artefacts and more returned to London – the only city in Europe to host the ‘Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs’ exhibition – and to celebrate this momentous event, Pobjoy Mint is thrilled to announce the release of another collector’s coin on behalf of the Isle of Man Treasury, which is the world’s first pyramid shaped commemorative coin containing sand from Tutankhamun’s tomb! This sand was collected by our very own Managing Director, Taya Pobjoy, as shown in the certificate.

The central image is taken from a wall decoration from Tutankhamun’s tomb and depicts the Pharaoh in the centre with his cartouche being welcomed by Anubis – God of the Underworld and Hathor – Goddess of Love and Beauty (and also the Goddess who offered comfort to the newly dead) who is offering Tutankhamun the ‘key of life’. Two baboons appear on either side representing the 12 hours. The sun disc appears at the top of the design and this is where the magical ancient sand from Tutankhamun’s tomb will appear encapsulated by a sheet of glass.

On the obverse, this proof fine silver coin bears a fine effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS FSNAD surrounded by a pattern of hieroglyphics and the word Tutankhamun. Each beautifully hand crafted precious metal coin has been struck four times to create the Pobjoy proof, producing a stunning mirror finish background with the design sculpted in striking relief.

What makes these exceptional IOM coins even more special is the packaging for which we have developed a triangular shaped box with a striking gold metallic finish to simulate the richness of all things Egyptian.

Coin Highlights
  • 2009 Proof Fine Silver
  • Issued on behalf of the Isle of Man
  • Issue: 3,000
  • Unique Crafted Pyramid Presentation Pack


175th Anniversary of the Penny Black Stamp – 2015 Proof Sterling Silver Crown


Pobjoy Mint is delighted to announce the release of a new Proof Sterling Silver commemorative coin which is issued on behalf of the Isle of Man Government to celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the Penny Black Stamp.

Back in 1990, Pobjoy Mint issued a coin which was recognized as the most innovative coin of its time, and which was awarded no less than three Coin of the Year (COTY) AwardsBest Crown, Most Innovative Coinage and overall Coin of the Year.

The coin in question was produced to commemorate the anniversary of the world’s first adhesive stamp which was introduced in Britain in 1840 by famous reformer, Rowland Hill. The stamp made philatelic history, with a beautiful but simple design by Henry Corbould showing the profile of the young Queen Victoria. This stamp became popularly known the world over as the ‘Penny Black’.

This year sees the 175th Anniversary of the Penny Black, and to commemorate the event, the 2015 coin is being issued with the same design as the coin released in 1990. The design remains the same showing the image from the stamp, but there is a change in the anniversary date and this year’s coin has been issued in various sizes, with the Cupro-Nickel and Sterling Silver editions both having the lustrous ‘pearl black’ finish created from a unique technique employed by Pobjoy Mint to create the beautiful black color. This year’s coin also differs from the original as it portrays a different effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The obverse of the coin carries an incuse effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Lord of Mann, by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS.

The Managing Director of England’s Pobjoy Mint, Taya Pobjoy, takes us on a personal guided tour of the Pobjoy Mint to explore how their award winning “Penny Black” silver proof is created: from die carving andpolishing, through meticulous proof striking, and finally to the impeccable hand finishing that makes each and every Penny Black 5oz Silver Proof a masterpiece of the mint. Taya takes us on a rare, behind-the-scenes mint tour (although the actual Pearl Black finish applied to the Penny Black coin is top secret and cannot be revealed!)

Coin Highlights
  • 2015 Proof Sterling Silver
  • Issued on behalf of the Isle of Man
  • Issue: 10,000
  • Unique presentation box and certificate
  • Also available as: 1/25oz Proof Fine 999.9 Gold, 1/5oz Proof Fine 999.9 Gold, 1oz Proof Fine 999.9 Gold, Uncirculated Cupro Nickel Crown


British Virgin Islands 2005 – World First – Inverted Swan Stamp Turquoise Coin


Continuing the theme of ‘World’s firsts’ from Pobjoy Mint featuring Victorian stamps, we are delighted to introduce a new innovative legal tender coin on behalf of the Government of the British Virgin Islands – the release of the World’s first Turquoise Titanium Bi-Metal and Turquoise Titanium coins.

In 1854, Western Australia issued its first stamps, featuring the colony’s symbol, the Black Swan. The 1d black was engraved in England by Perkins Bacon and other values, including the 4d blue, were originally produced by Horace Samson in Perth using lithography, and with different frames around the swan design for each value. In January 1855 additional 4d stamps were needed but when Alfred Hillman brought the stone out of storage, he found that two of the impressions were damaged, and had to redo them. One of the replaced frames was tilted, and the other accidentally redone upside-down. The stone’s block of 60 was transferred four times to make the printing stone, and 97 sheets were printed before Hillman discovered the mistake and corrected it, resulting in a total of 388 errors being printed. The error went unrecognized and unreported for several years and only 15 complete copies have survived with no unused copies known of.

Due to the difficulty of striking titanium, the metal is as strong as steel but 45% lighter, each coin in this series is truly exclusive as no two titanium coins are exactly the same. Each collector’s coin also features a lined effect that is present as a result of the unmistakeable qualities of titanium.

One copy was discovered in Ireland in the 1860s, acquired by the Duke of Leinster, and bequeathed to Ireland in 1897. It is on display at a museum in Dublin. Other copies are in the Tapling Collection of the British Museum, and at a museum in Sydney.  In 1980 one copy of this stamp was sold at auction for US$ 80,000.

Coin Highlights
  • 2005 990 Titanium
  • Issued on behalf of the British Virgin Islands
  • Issue: 7,500
  • Unique presentation box and certificate
  • Also available as: Bi-Metal – Fine 999.9 Gold (9 grams)

Complete list  of ‘World Firsts’ from the Pobjoy Mint collection:

  • First Eiffel Tower Shaped Coin – British Virgin Islands, Eiffel Tower 2014
  • First Diamond Shaped Coin – Isle of Man, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 2012
  • World’s Highest Relief Coin – Ascension Island, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee 2012
  • First Two Colour Titanium Coin – British VI, Hans Christian Andersen 2010
  • First Silver & Crystal Coin – South Georgia, Lifecycle of the Penguin 2008
  • First Coin with Sand – Isle of Man, Wonders of the World 2008
  • First Death Mask Shaped Coin – Isle of Man, Tutankhamun 2008
  • First Triangular Shaped Coins – Isle of Man, Tutankhamun 2008
  • First Blackened Coin with Diamonds – Sierra Leone, Nocturnal Animals 2008
  • First Four Colour Titanium Coin – Isle of Man, Year of Planet Earth 2008
  • First Quad Metal Coin – British Virgin Islands, 2006
  • First Magnetic Coin – Falkland Islands, John Ross & James Clarke Ross 2006
  • First Turquoise Titanium Coin – British Virgin Islands, Inverted Swan 2005
  • First Purple & Gold Niobium Coin – Sierra Leone, Pope John Paul II 2005
  • World’s Largest Coin – British Virgin Islands, 5 Kilo Pizarro 2004
  • First Red Titanium – British Virgin Islands, Red Guiana 2004
  • Largest Palladium Coin – Isle of Man, 2004
  • First Coloured 50p – Isle of Man, The Snowman 2003
  • First Bi-Metal Star Coin – Gibraltar, Europa & the Bull 2003
  • First Electrum Coin – Gibraltar, 2002
  • First Spinning Coin – Isle of Man, Currency Converter 2002
  • First 3 precious stone set – Gibraltar, Coin Crown Jewels 2002
  • First Silver/Black Coin – Isle of Man, Queen Mother 2002
  • First Tri-Gold Coin – Isle of Man, Golden Jubilee 2002
  • First Silver/Titanium Coin – Gibraltar, Solar System 2001
  • First Tri-Metal Coin – Gibraltar, 21st Century 2001
  • First Pearl Set Coin – Isle of Man, Queen Mother’s 100th Birthday 2000
  • First Blue Titanium Coin – Gibraltar, Tuppenny Blue 2000
  • First Coin with Copper Insert – Isle of Man, Own a Piece of Time 2000
  • First Legal Tender Bullion Bar – Isle of Man, Bullion Bar 1999
  • First Titanium Coin – Gibraltar, Millennium Time 1999
  • First White Gold Coin – Isle of Man, Platina1999
  • First Latent Image Coin – Seychelles, Latent Image 1999
  • First Gold Ring Coin – Gibraltar, Wedding Coin1997
  • First Diamond Set Coin – Sierra Leone, Queen Victoria 1997
  • First Coins with Coin – Isle of Man, 10oz Cat with 1/25oz gold coins 1997
  • First Euro – Isle of Man, Euro 1996
  • First Hologram Coin – Isle of Man, Noble 1996
  • First 1 Kilo Silver Coin – Liberia, T-Rex 1993
  • First ECU – Gibraltar, Ecu 1991
  • First Black Coin – Isle of Man, Penny Black 1990
  • First Gold Angel – Isle of Man, 1983
  • First Platinum Coin – Isle of Man, Platinum Noble 1983
  • First Braille Coin – Isle of Man, Year of the Disabled 1981
  • First Circulating Base Metal £1 Coin – Isle of Man, 1979


Coinweek is the top independent online media source for rare coin and currency news, with analysis and information contributed by leading experts across the numismatic spectrum.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Bullion Sharks Silver

AU Capital Management US gold Coins

Blanchard and Company Gold and Precious Metals