The Royal Mint has unveiled a new collectable £2 coin to celebrate its 25th anniversary, with the coin bearing the same design as the first version.
Artist Bruce Rushin, who created the 1997 bi-metallic design, visited the Mint to celebrate the launch of the new version. He said it was an “astonishing feeling” when his design was selected to appear on the first ever UK £2 coin and now “twenty-five years later, it is an honour to have my design feature once again on the collectable £2 coin celebrating its anniversary”.
The need for a £2 coin emerged after a review of UK coinage in 1994. A consultation process took place and opinion favoured a two-coloured coin, which would be easily distinguishable from others in circulation.
Mr Rushin was the winning artist in a competition to design the new coin. He added: “Visiting the Royal Mint to see the coins being struck has been fascinating. Being able to see the level of skill and craftsmanship that goes into making a collectable coin these days was very special. When compared to how the £2 coin was first produced, it shows just how much the technology has developed and was a real eye-opener for me.”
What was the design of the first ever £2 coin?
Mr Rushin’s 1997 design featured four concentric circles, depicting industrial and technological progress from the Iron Age to the internet.
Since it was first struck 25 years ago, the bi-metallic £2 is the largest circulating coin denomination in the UK. It featured more than 50 unique designs commemorating significant scientific, technological, sporting, and literary achievements.
The design features on circulating £2 coins dated from 1997 to 2015. It has been released for the new commemorative edition and enhanced with special features.
What does the collectable £2 coin look like?
A latent feature has been added to the design to reveal the number “25” within the central cog when it catches the light. The Mint said that state-of-the-art laser technology has been used to achieve a sharper detail than the milling machine used in 1997.
The commemorative edition also bears the fifth coinage portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse side of the coin. The Mint said this is the first time in the history of the £2 coin that the portrait by Jody Clark features on the opposite side of the design.
The Royal Mint has committed to releasing coins dated 2022 bearing the Queen’s portrait to ensure a sustainable transition to coinage featuring the King. The obverse side of the anniversary coin features an “iron age” privy mark to the bottom of the portrait of the Queen. As with the 1997 design, the coin features the edge inscription “standing on the shoulders of giants”, taken from a letter written in 1676 by Sir Isaac Newton.
Rebecca Morgan, director of collector services at the Royal Mint, said: “It has been 25 years since the UK £2 coin was first struck for circulation, we are delighted to be celebrating this occasion with a new collectable £2 coin bearing the same design that first appeared in people’s change. As the largest denomination in circulation, the £2 coin has become a favoured piece amongst collectors, commemorating milestone anniversaries and events throughout the UK’s history.”
How much will the new coin cost?
Prices for the anniversary edition of the £2 coin range from £12 for a brilliant uncirculated version to £1,225 for a gold coin.
The range of new £2 coins can be purchased from the Royal Mint website.