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£2 coin

First issued

15 June 1998

Diameter

28.4mm

Weight

12.0g

Composition

Outer Nickel-Brass (76% copper, 4% nickel, 20% zinc)
Inner Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)

Edge

Milled

Key dates

1986

Commemorative £2 coins in the single metal of nickel-brass were struck on several occasions between 1986 and 1996 to mark special occasions. Further details about these coins may be found by clicking on the box opposite. 

1997

As a result of inflation, it was decided to issue a £2 coin into circulation. The launch was originally scheduled for November 1997 – and millions of 1997-dated pieces were struck in readiness – but a potential problem in vending machines caused a delay.

1998

In the event the £2 coin was finally launched in June 1998, the pieces dated 1997 being issued alongside others dated 1998. The 1997-dated coins bore the royal portrait by Raphael Maklouf – which includes a necklace – while those dated 1998 were struck with the new portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley. There is a long-standing myth that £2 coins with the Maklouf portrait are rare and valuable. But given that more than 13 million 1997-dated £2 coins were issued, this is certainly not the case.

Design

Obverse

1997
1998 to date

Designed by Raphael Maklouf
Designed by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS

Definitive reverse

1998 to date Four concentric circles representing stages in technological development from the Iron Age to the modern computer
1997
to date

Four concentric circles representing stages in technological development from the Iron Age to the modern computer

Edge – STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS

Designed by Bruce Rushin

Commemorative reverse

1999 Rugby World Cup
1999

Rugby World Cup

A stadium on which has been superimposed a rugby ball and goalposts, with additional goalposts in the outer border

Edge – RUBGY WORLD CUP 1999

Designed by Ron Dutton

2001 100th anniversary of Marconi’s wireless transmission across the Atlantic

2001



100th anniversary of Marconi’s wireless transmission across the Atlantic

Circles expanding from the date 2001
– the zeros in the date joined by a spark
– enclosed within a border of offset waves, while beams, each with two groups of three dots, radiate from the date to the outer edge

Edge – WIRELESS BRIDGES THE ATLANTIC MARCONI 1901

Designed by Robert Evans

2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester
2002

Commonwealth Games in Manchester

The stylised figure of an athlete holding a banner, with a circular cartouche containing a flag representing either Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or England

Edge – SPIRIT OF FRIENDSHIP MANCHESTER 2002

Designed by Matthew Bonaccorsi

2003 50th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA

2003



50th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA

A representation of the double helical structure of deoxyribonucleic acid

Edge – DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID

Designed by John Mills

2004 200th anniversary of Richard Trevithick’s steam locomotive

2004




200th anniversary of Richard Trevithick’s steam locomotive

A locomotive engine inside a cog wheel

Edge – Arched railway line motif

Designed by Robert Lowe

2005 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder PlotAn arrangement of crosiers, maces and swords, surrounded by stars

2005




400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot

An arrangement of crosiers, maces and swords, surrounded by stars

Edge – REMEMBER REMEMBER THE FIFTH OF NOVEMBER

Designed by Peter Forster

2005 60th anniversary of the end of World War IISt Paul’s Cathedral illuminated by searchlights

2005



60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War

St Paul’s Cathedral illuminated by searchlights

Edge – IN VICTORY MAGNANIMITY IN PEACE GOODWILL

Designed by Robert Elderton

2006 200th anniversary of the birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel

2006




200th anniversary of the birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel

A section of the roof of Paddington Station, with the name BRUNEL

Edge – SO MANY IRONS IN THE FIRE

Designed by Robert Evans

2006 200th anniversary of the birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel

2006



200th anniversary of the birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel

A portrait of Brunel with two of his engineering achievements, the whole design being encircled by a chain

Edge – 1806-1859 ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL ENGINEER

Designed by Rod Kelly

2007 300th anniversary of the Act of Union between England and Scotland

2007





300th anniversary of the Act of Union between England and Scotland

A design dividing the coin into four quarters, with a rose and a thistle occupying two of the quarters and a portcullis in the other two – the whole design is overlaid with a linking jigsaw motif

Edge – UNITED INTO ONE KINGDOM

Designed by Yvonne Holten

2007 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade

2007






200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade

The date 1807 with the 0 depicted as a broken chain link

Edge – AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER

Designed by David Gentleman

2008 100th anniversary of the London 1908 Olympic Games
2008

100th anniversary of the London 1908 Olympic Games

A running track on which is superimposed the anniversary dates and the denomination

Edge – THE 4TH OLYMPIAD LONDON

Designed by Thomas T Docherty

2009 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns
2009

250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns

A quote from the song Auld Lang Syne, WE’LL TAK A CUP A’ KINDNESS YET, FOR AULD LANG SYNE, the calligraphy of which is based on the handwriting of Robert Burns

Edge – SHOULD AULD ACQUAINTANCE BE FORGOT

Designed by the Royal Mint Engraving Team

2009 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin
2009

200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin

A portrait of Charles Darwin facing an ape

Edge – ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES 1859

Designed by Suzie Zamit

2010 100th anniversary of the death of Florence Nightingale and 150th anniversary of the publication of Notes on Nursing
2010

100th anniversary of the death of Florence Nightingale and 150th anniversary of the publication of Notes on Nursing

A depiction of the pulse of a patient being taken, set against a background texture of lines symbolising rays of light from a lamp

Edge – 150 YEARS OF NURSING

Designed by Gordon Summers

2011 400th anniversary of the King James Bible
2011

400th anniversary of the King James Bible

A design focusing on the opening verse of St John’s Gospel, IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, showing the verse as printing blocks on the left and the printed page on the right

Edge – THE AUTHORISED VERSION

Designed by Paul Stafford & Benjamin Wright

2011 500th anniversary of the maiden voyage of the Mary Rose
2011

500th anniversary of the maiden voyage of the Mary Rose

A depiction of the ship based on a contemporary painting, the lettering of the inscription being rendered in the Lombardic style employed on the coins of Henry VIII

Edge – YOUR NOBLEST SHIPPE 1511

Designed by John Bergdahl

2012 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens
2012

200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens

A silhouette profile of the writer through the titles of his works, greater prominence being given to those that are more well known

Edge – SOMETHING WILL TURN UP

Designed by Matthew Dent

2013 350th anniversary of the first striking of the guinea
2013

350th anniversary of the first striking of the guinea

The heraldic shield used on the spade guinea of George III

Edge – WHAT IS A GUINEA? ‘TIS A SPLENDID THING

Designed by Anthony Smith

2013 150th anniversary of the London Underground
2013

150th anniversary of the London Underground

The London Underground roundel at an angle with the word, UNDERGROUND, through the middle

Edge – MIND THE GAP

Designed by Edwina Ellis

2013 150th anniversary of the London Underground
2013

150th anniversary of the London Underground

A train emerging from a tunnel, with the surrounding inscription on the tunnel walls

Edge – Decorative feature symbolising an Underground line and station tube map

Designed by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby

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£2 coin: single metal

First issued

1986-96

Diameter

28.4mm

Weight

15.976g

Composition

Nickel-brass (70% copper, 24.5% zinc, 5.5% nickel)

Edge

Milled

Prior to the introduction of the bi-metallic £2 into general circulation the Royal Mint issued a number of nickel-brass, commemorative £2 coins.

The commemorative £2 coins were issued to mark special occasions rather than for use in general circulation. They are legal tender but contrary to popular belief this does not mean that banks and retailers automatically have to accept them.

If you are looking to dispose of commemorative £2 coins, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions.

Design

Obverse

Reverse

1986 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
1986

Commonwealth Games in Scotland

A St Andrew’s Cross surmounted by a Thistle of Scotland and a crown of laurel leaves

Edge – XIII COMMONWEALTH GAMES SCOTLAND 1986

Designed by Norman Sillman

1989 300th anniversary of the Bill of Rights
1989

300th anniversary of the Bill of Rights

A cypher of the letters W and M interlaced and surmounting a Parliamentary Mace, with a representation of the Royal Crown above

Designed by John Lobban

1989 300th anniversary of the Claim of Right
1989

300th anniversary of the Claim of Right

A cypher of the letters W and M interlaced and surmounting a Parliamentary Mace, with a representation of the Crown of Scotland above

Designed by John Lobban

1994 300th anniversary of the Bank of England
1994

300th anniversary of the Bank of England

A central medallion bearing a representation of the Seal of the Bank of England showing Britannia looking upon a bank of money, with a cypher comprising the interlaced letters W and M above

Edge – SIC VOS NON VOBIS

Designed by Leslie Durbin

50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War
1995

50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War

A stylised representation of a dove as the symbol of peace

Edge – 1945 IN PEACE GOODWILL 1995

Designed by John Mills

50th anniversary of the United Nations
1995

50th anniversary of the United Nations

The 50th anniversary symbol of the United Nations and a fanning pattern of flags, with the inscription NATIONS UNITED FOR PEACE above

Designed by Michael Rizzello

1996 European Football Championship in England
1996

European Football Championship in England

A stylised representation of a football, with the date centrally placed and encircled by 16 small rings

Edge – TENTH EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

Designed by John Mills

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