The Royal Mint issues special £2 coins into circulation
11 Feb 2015
From this week onwards visitors to the HMS Belfast in London should keep a close lookout for limited edition £2 coins which have been produced to honour the role that the Royal Navy played during the First World War.
The Royal Mint recently announced that a new Royal Navy £2 coin will enter circulation at some stage during 2015, the same year that the definitive coinage portrait of Her Majesty The Queen will be replaced for the first time since 1998.
The Royal Mint has now revealed that while the Royal Navy 2015 £2 circulating coins released later this year will feature the new portrait of The Queen, which will be unveiled in March, a very small number has also been struck with the current definitive coinage portrait of The Queen.
To celebrate the release of precious metal versions of the coin, which marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War, The Royal Mint has issued just 100 special commemorative Royal Navy 2015 £2 coins into general circulation through the Imperial War Museum’s HMS Belfast, giving a small number of people the rare opportunity to find one in their change.
Visitors to the restored warship, which is docked at The Queen's Walk in London, are being urged to keep a close eye on their change just in case they should be one of the lucky few to find one of the coins.
The detailed design, by respected military artist David Rowlands, features a Royal Navy battleship and honours the force whose contribution to victory in the First World War deserves to be remembered.
IWM (Imperial War Museums) and The Royal Mint have formed a partnership to deliver a five-year commemoration programme of coins, including the Royal Navy 2015 UK £2, to mark the centenary of the First World War and the conflict’s on-going legacy.
Shane Bissett, Director of Commemorative Coin and Medals at The Royal Mint, said, “The Royal Mint has been producing coins in Britain for over 1000 years, recording the passing of history and documenting changes in monarchs, our customs and significant national anniversaries. We also have strong connections to the military, having produced medals awarded to our armed forces personnel since the Battle of Waterloo. As such, we felt it right that we should dedicate that expertise and heritage to telling the story of the First World War throughout this centenary anniversary.
“As an island nation, Britain has been largely dependent on the seas for supplies and communications. The Royal Navy’s command of the oceans during the First World War kept Britain supplied and the front line reinforced until victory finally came, and we wanted to mark the important role that they played during the conflict. By the time the bulk of these new coins appear in our change later in the year, they will be among the first UK circulating coins to feature the new portrait of The Queen, but we thought it a fitting tribute the Royal Navy’s role in the First World War centenary commemorations to strike this small run of 100 £2 coins featuring the current effigy, and release them through the shop at HMS Belfast.”
Have you found one of the new Royal Navy £2 coins in your change? If so, let The Royal Mint know by sharing a photo on The Royal Mint Facebook page or posting it on Twitter using the hashtag #coinhunt