The Milner’s Tower 50p is quite unique as it was issued on the Isle of Man between 2004 and 2016 as a standard edition 50p; but how much is it worth today?
You can expect to pay around £1.54 according to the most recent values on eBay in 2022, but this varies greatly depending on the grade and year of the coin.
Let’s waste no time and jump into the specifications of the coin.
How Rare is the Milner’s Tower 50p Coin?
Since the coin was not issued by the Royal Mint, but rather the Isle of Man, the mintage figures are low. It is a scarce and collectable coin. It is a special edition that was issued on the Isle of Man, so you won’t find it in general circulation in the UK, however, it is not uncommon to find coins from there in your change.
Another well-known rare 50p produced by the Isle of Man is the 1997 TT 50p which is also quite collectable.
The total mintage of the Milner’s Tower 50p Coin that entered circulation was low, and the exact total is unknown. It was a standard circulation coin with no special Proof versions. It has been issued a few times between 2004 and 2016.
Tiny marks on the reverse side distinguish it from other coins minted the same year. On the bottom right, you will see a small PM which indicates that it was minted by the Pobjoy Mint, a private mint in Surrey.
On the bottom left, you will see two-letter combinations such as AA or AB. These are the die marks that reveal which die was used to stamp the coin. When the AA die begins to show wear, they replaced it with the AB die, etc.
Design of the Milner’s Tower 50p Coin
The coin was issued by the Isle of Man and not the Royal Mint. Still, it is designed in the style of the 50 pence coin with a 7-sided shape that forms an equilateral curve heptagon.
Until 1971, The Isle of Man coins were part of the Manx pound which is the currency of the Isle of Man. It is in parity with the pound sterling.
The Island’s Manx Pound is divided into 100 pence with coins denominated in pounds and pence issued by the Isle of Man. In 1971 the UK moved to a decimal currency. At that time, the Isle of Man approached the Royal Mint to request its own versions of these decimal coins.
This coin was designed to celebrate William Milner and the unusual tower built in his honour. The coin consists of a Cupro-nickel alloy with an 8.00g weight, a diameter of 27.3mm, and it is 1.78mm thick.
The Obverse design is that of a mature crowned head of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Ian Rank-Broadley. The image features Her Majesty facing right and wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland diamond tiara. The tiara had been a wedding gift from Queen Mary, her grandmother, in 1947. She is seen wearing this tiara in the Machin and Gottwald portraits as well.
In this version, her mature head is crowned and facing right. Surrounding her portrait are the words ISLE OF MAN ELIZABETH II * and the minting year. The Isle of Man symbol is seen surrounding the date and at the center top of the coin between the words MAN and ELIZABETH.
This logo is the famous three legs of Man that is part of the royal coat of arms for three kings of the Isle of Man, whose realm at the time included the Hebrides in the Western Isles of Scotland.
Small letters just below her head are the signature mark of the artist, Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS, of the Royal Society of Sculptors, IRB.
The edge is plain with no inscription.
The reverse side features an image of the unusual lock and key shape tower that pays tribute to William Milner who was a safe maker. The coin was to honor the Island’s most famous landmark which had been built in William Milner’s honor, named Milner’s Tower.
The image on the reverse of the coin features the iconic tower with birds flying near the top. Around the top of the coin are the words MILNER’S TOWER and the Isle of Man three-legged symbol on each side.
It is not known who designed the reverse image.
The Man Behind the Coin
To an uninformed observer, the tower may look dark and gloomy. However, the lonely spire of stone that rises up from the rocky Bradda Head on the Isle of Man as seen over Port Erin was intended to be an honorable tribute to William Milner.
William Milner was a wealthy safe maker who settled in Port Erin from Liverpool in the mid-1800s. His reason for moving to the Island was to recuperate from an illness. He fell in love with the little seaside town and began investing in its livelihood.
He took care of local impoverished families and fishermen. He also contributed to building a church and helping the local area survive and thrive long after the mines had closed. Because of his generosity, the local community loved him.
The tower can be seen for miles near Port Erin Bay. It was built in 1871 as a tribute and memorial to William Milner. Milner was a safe maker from Liverpool who made numerous charitable contributions to the people of the Island.
The tower was built in the shape of a lock and key to represent Milner’s safe-making days which brought him the wealth he shared with locals. The structure was intended to be a surprise to him, but he discovered it was being built and donated money to take care of the costs himself.