Two Pound Coin
United Kingdom £2 Coin Reverse Designs
|First Issued||15 June 1998|
|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 2015 - Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
2015 to date - Jody Clark
|See table below|
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 £2 coin to enter general circulation. 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 that a competition, open to members of the general public, was the way to proceed. 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. However, since millions of these coins were minted this is simply not the case.
The £2 coin is legal tender for any amount.
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 were held in Scotland that year. Commemorative £2 coins continued to be issued in single colour nickel-brass for special occasions.
|Coin Image||Year of Issue||Edge Inscription||Designer Information|
|1986||XIII COMMONWEALTH GAMES SCOTLAND 1986||XIII Commonwealth Games
Cross of St Andrew, crown of laurel leaves and Scottish Thistle designed by Norman Sillman
|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||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||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||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||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