The Castle Rushen Clock 20p is a peculiar coin that you may run across in the UK despite the fact that it isn’t in circulation there, but how much is it worth and is it rare?
While there are several dates for the Castle Rushen Clock 20p, you can expect to pay between £1.00 and £2.00 depending on the condition of the coin according to average values on eBay in 2022.
Let’s dive into the history of this fascinating coin to learn more about it and to determine whether it is worth adding to your collection.
When was the Castle Rushen Clock 20p Minted?
The Castle Rushen clock 20p was first minted in 2004 and continued to be minted between the years 2004 and 2012.
The coin was issued on the Isle of Man by the Isle of Man Treasury, rather than the Royal Mint which produces coins in the UK. Due to this, the official mintage numbers are unknown.
However, since the Isle of Man has a small population- just over 80,000 in 2020 – the mintage for the coin is assumed to be quite small.
This is similar to other Isle of Man coins, such as the 1997 TT 50p, that are also sought after by collectors.
Regularly Found In The UK
Given the close proximity of the Isle of Man, and also how popular it is for holidaymakers, there is no surprise that some Isle of Man coins are commonly found in the UK.
While these coins are not legal tender in the UK, the similarities between the coins make them easily mistakable for Uk coins.
What Does The Coin Represent?
Castle Rushen is a medieval castle located in the Isle of Man’s historic capital known as Castletown. Castletown is in the south part of the island. The castle towers over the Market Square on one side and the harbour on the other.
The castle also serves as a home to a clock that is thought to have been a gift from Queen Elizabeth I in 1597 when the Queen was holding the island in trust. It was during a time when rival claims between Ferdinand and William’s heirs were being legally sorted out. The clock’s workings were housed inside what used to be the chapel in the castle.
The castle represents one of the best examples of a European medieval castle. Since it was built in about 1200AD for a Norse king, the castle has been used as a fortress, a place for the Manx Parliament to meet, a mint, and even a prison. Today, it is used as a museum and an educational centre.
The clock is a 16th-century wood-framed turret clock with only one hand to tell the time. It is thought to have been a gift from Queen Elizabeth.
A turret clock was among the very first mechanical clocks invented and represents one of the first engineering technologies on which all geared machinery was developed. It pre-dates pendulum clocks.
This style of the clock was used in monasteries and abbeys of Central Europe in the late 13th century. The clock was intended to sound when it was time for prayer. There are weights that hang on ropes wrapped around wooden barrels to drive the clock.
In 2009, the clock was damaged when its striking weight fixing failed. In this type of turret clock, the movement of the big wheels transfers to little pinions. These pinions take a lot of stress when operating and eventually wear out. During the restoration, all six pinions were replaced with cast iron leaf to keep them historically accurate.
In 2011, the clock was removed for repairs. It was eventually raised back into position and is still working today.
Castle Rushen Clock 20p Design
The Castle Rushen Clock 20p is a 7-sided angular heptagonal coin. 21.5mm in diameter and weighs 5.00g. It is made of Cupronickel, 84% copper, and 16% nickel. The edge is smooth.
The Castle Rushen Clock 20p features the face of the historic clock with the one hand positioned pointing to the Roman numerals and positioned at 12:00, or XII, inside a square diamond shape. To the left and right of the clock are the Manx triskelion, which is the symbol of the Isle of Man with three rotating legs.
The clock is crowned above the 12:00 position with what looks to be a British Imperial State Crown, and a different crown with 7-points is seen below the 6:00 position of the clock. In the middle of the clock, to the left and right of the single hand, are what looks like the words Eliz.Reg. Which is probably short for Elizabeth Regina meaning queen, and the date 1597 below, also separated by the clock’s single hand.
The inscription on the reverse side reads CASTLE RUSHEN CLOCK above the design with a small Manx triskelion before and after. The Number 20 is seen toward the bottom of the design.
The designer of the Reverse side image is unknown.
The initials PM on the outside of the diamond shape surrounding the clock indicate that the coin was minted at Pobjoy Mint, the Isle of Man Treasury, and not the Royal Mint. On the other side, there are notations indicating what die was used. These can be seen on the coins as follows:
- 2004 AA or AB
- 2005 AA or AB
- 2006 AA or AB
- 2007 AA, AB, or BA
- 2008 AA, AB, or BA
- 2009 AA, AB
- 2010 AA
- 2011 AA
- 2012 AA
- 2013 AA
- 2014 AA, or BA
- 2015 AA or CA
- 2016 AA or AB
The Obverse of the coin features the Fourth Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II as done by Ian Rank-Broadley. She is facing to the right and is crowned with the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara. The initials IRB are seen below her portrait truncated in her neckline to indicate the artist.
Around the rim of the coin on the Obverse side are the words ISLE OF MAN ELIZABETH II with the date centred on the bottom. In between the incuse inscription and the date as well as separating ISLE OF MAN from ELIZABETH II are the Manx triskelion, three rotating legs, which is the symbol of the Isle of Man.