United Kingdom £2 Coin

First Issued 15 June 1998
Specifications
Diameter 28.4mm
Weight 12.0g
Thickness 2.50mm
Composition
Outer Nickel-Brass (76% copper, 4% nickel, 20% zinc)
Inner Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)
Obverse Designers Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen
1997 - Raphael Maklouf
1998 to date - Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
Reverse
Designers
See table below
Edge Milled

Click here to learn moreBackground Information

The first £2 coins

The first base metal £2 coin was issued in the United Kingdom in 1986 to commemorate the Thirteenth Commonwealth Games which that year were held in Scotland. Commemorative £2 coins continued to be issued in single colour nickel-brass for special occasions.

The introduction of the bi-colour £2 coin

After a review of the United Kingdom coinage in 1994, it emerged that there was a requirement for a general circulation £2 coin. A consultation process took place with the vending machine industry, members of the public and special interest groups such as the RNIB and Age Concern. The consensus of opinion from the consultation favoured a bi-colour coin because it would be easily distinguishable from the other coins in circulation.

A new design was required for the reverse and it was decided to proceed by way of a competition open to members of the general public. The winning artist, Bruce Rushin, an art teacher from Norfolk, based his design on a series of concentric circles telling the story, through symbolic devices, of technological development from the Iron Age to the Industrial Revolution and from the Computer Age to the Internet.

An appropriate Edge Inscription had to be chosen before the recommended design could be submitted to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and then to the Queen for approval. The words that were eventually chosen were taken from a letter written in 1676 by Isaac Newton to his fellow scientist Robert Hooke, acknowledging the debt he owed to others, 'if I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants'

Originally the intention was to issue the £2 coin in November 1997 and millions of coins were struck with the Raphael Maklouf portrait of the Queen on the obverse in readiness for launch. Concerns, however, emerged from the vending industry prior to the issue date. Production was placed on hold whilst further tests were carried out and resumed in 1998, featuring the new portrait of the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley on the obverse.

The £2 coin was eventually launched on 15 June 1998, when millions of both versions of the coin were released. Because of the two different portraits, however, many confusing stories have arisen. The most common misconception is that the £2 coin bearing the Raphael Maklouf portrait of the Queen in which she is wearing a necklace, was made in very modest numbers, Since millions of these coins were minted this is simply not the case.

Our new £2 collector album is now available – can you find them all? Click here to learn more.

The £2 coin is legal tender for any amount.

Coin Image Year of Issue Edge Inscription Designer Information
1997 Two Pound Coin 1997 - 2012 STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS History of Technological Achievement

Design in four concentric circles depicts mankind's industrial and technological progress from the Iron Age to the Internet designed by Bruce Rushin
1999 Two Pound Coin 1999 Rugby World Cup 1999 Rugby World Cup

Design depicts a stadium, on which is superimposed a rugby ball and goalpost. The date '1999' above separated by goal-posts from the value 'TWO POUNDS' below designed by Ron Dutton
2001 Two Pound Coin 2001 WIRELESS BRIDGES THE ATLANTIC...MARCONI 1901... 100th Anniversary of Marconi's 1st Wireless Transmission across the Atlantic

Radio waves decorating centre and outer border while a spark of electricity linking the zeros of the date represents the generation of the signal designed by Robert Evans
2002 Two Pound Coin 2002 SPIRIT OF FRIENDSHIP,MANCHESTER 2002 XVII Commonwealth Games in Manchester

Stylised figure of an athlete holding a banner and the inscription XVII Commonwealth Games 2002 designed by Matthew Bonaccorsi
2003 Two Pound Coin 2003 DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID 50th Anniversary of the discovery of DNA

A representation of the double helical structure of DNA with the words DNA Double Helix above and 'TWO POUNDS' and the dates '1953-2003' below designed by John Mills
2004 Two Pound Coin 2004 Is milled with an incuse railway line motif. 200th Anniversary of the first steam locomotive by Richard Trevithick

A representation of a steam locomotive engine with the words 'TWO POUNDS' above and inside a cog wheel, the words R.TREVITHICK 1804 INVENTION INDUSTRY PROGRESS 2004 as a circumscription designed by Robert Lowe
2005 Two Pound Coin 2005 REMEMBER REMEMBER FIFTH OF NOVEMBER 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot

An arrangement of crossiers, maces and swords surrounded by stars and the dates 1605 & 2005. Denomination TWO POUNDS below. Designed by Peter Forster
2005 Two Pound Coin 2005 In Victory Magnanimity in Peace Goodwill Design depicts St Paul's Cathedral illuminated by searchlights and the value 'TWO POUNDS' sbove and the dates 1945-2005 below. Designed by Bob Elderton
2006 Two Pound Coin 2006 SO MANY IRONS IN THE FIRE Design Depiction of a section of the roof of Paddington Station with the dates 2006 above and the name BRUNEL to the right and the denomination TWO POUNDS below Designed by Robert Evans
2006 Two Pound Coin 2006 1806-1859 ISAMBARD KINGDOM BRUNEL ENGINEER Design A portrait of Isambard Kingdom Brunel with two of his engineering achievments, encircled by a chain with the denomination TWO POUNDS above and the date 2006 below Designed by Rod Kelly
2007 Two Pound Coin 2007 UNITED INTO ONE KINGDOM Tercentenary 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 each of the other two quarters. The whole design is overlaid with a linking jigsaw motif and surrounded by the dates "1707" and "2007", and the denomination "TWO POUNDS" Designed by Yvonne Holton
2007 Two Pound Coin 2007 AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade in the British Empire

The date "1807" with the "0" depicted as a broken chain link, surrounded by the inscription "AN ACT FOR THE ABOLITION OF THE SLAVE TRADE" and the date "2007" Designed by David Gentleman
2008 Two Pound Coin
2008

I CALL UPON THE YOUTH OF THE WORLD

Olympic Handover Ceremony

Designed by
The Royal Mint Engraving Team
2008 Two Pound Coin
2008 THE 4TH OLYMPIAD LONDON The Centenary of the London Olympic Games of 1908

Designed by
Thomas T Docherty
2009 Two Pound Coin 2009 SHOULD AULD ACQUAINTANCE BE FORGOT 250th Anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns

Designed by
The Royal Mint Engraving Team
2009 Two Pound Coin

2009 ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES 1859 200th Anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth

Designed by
Suzie Zamit
2010 Two Pound Coin
2010 150 YEARS OF NURSING 100th Anniversary of the death of Florence Nightingale

Designed by
Gordon Summers
2011 Two Pound Coin  2011 THE AUTHORISED VERSION

400th Anniversary of the King James Bible

Designed by
Paul Stafford & Benjamin Wright

2011 Two Pound Coin  2011 YOUR NOBLEST SHIPPE 1511

500th Anniversary of the maiden voyage of the Mary Rose

Designed by
John Bergdahl

2012 Two Pound Coin  2012 SOMETHING WILL TURN UP

200th Anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens

Designed by
Matthew Dent

Rio Handover 2012 I CALL UPON THE YOUTH OF THE WORLD

The London 2012 Handover to Rio

Designed by
Jonathan Olliffe

Underground £2 2013 Linear representation of the Tube map

London Underground 150th Anniversary - The Train

Designed by
Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby

View products that feature this coin

Underground £2 2013 MIND THE GAP

London Underground 150th Anniversary - The Roundel

Designed by
Edwina Ellis

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Guinea £2 2013 WHAT IS A GUINEA? ‘TIS A SPLENDID THING

The 350th Anniversary of the Guinea

Designed by
Anthony Smith ARBS

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2014 THE LAMPS ARE GOING OUT ALL OVER EUROPE The 100th Anniversary of the First World War – Outbreak

Designed by
John Bergdahl

2014

SERVING THE MARINER The 500th Anniversary of Trinity House

Designed by
Joe Whitlock Blundell with David Eccles

2015

  800th Anniversary of Magna Carta

Designed by
John Bergdahl
2015   The 100th Anniversary of the First World War - The Royal Navy

Designed by
David Rowlands




Coin Image Year of Issue Edge Inscription Designer Information
1986 Two Pound Coin 1986 XIII COMMONWEALTH GAMES JULY 1986 XIII Commonwealth Games

Cross of St Andrew, crown of laurel leaves and Scottish Thistle designed by Norman Sillman
1989 Two Pound Coin
1989 Milled Tercentenary of the Bill of Rights

and Claim of Right Cypher of 'W&M' (King William and Queen Mary) interlaced surmounting a horizontal Parliamentary Mace and representation of the Royal Crown above and the dates 1689 and 1989 below, all within the inscription 'Tercentenary of the Bill of Rights' or 'Tercentenary of Claim of Right' (latter Scotland only) designed by John Lobban
1994 Two Pound Coin 1994 SIC VOS NON VOBIS (thus you labour but not for yourselves) Tercentenary of the Bank of England

The Bank's Corporate Seal including the Crown and Cypher of King William and Queen Mary and the dates 1694 ? 1994 designed by Leslie Durbin
1995 Two Pound Coin  1995 1945 IN PEACE GOODWILL 1995 50th Anniversary of the end of The Second World War

A stylised representation of a Dove as the symbol of peace designed by John Mills
1995 Two Pound Coin 1995 Milled 50th Anniversary of the founding of the United Nations

50th anniversary symbol of United Nations and a fanning pattern of flags with the inscription NATIONS UNITED FOR PEACE above and the dates '1945-1995' below designed by Michael Rizzello
1996 Two Pound Coin 1996 TENTH EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 10th European Football Championship

A stylised representation of a football, with the date of 1996 centrally placed and encircled by sixteen small rings designed by John Mills