|Issued||1997 - Present|
|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
1985- 1997 Raphael Maklouf
1998 to date Ian Rank-Broadley
|Reverse Designer||Bruce Rushin|
|Edge Inscription||Standing on the shoulders of giants|
1998 saw the introduction of a £2 coin into general circulation. Using state-of-the-art technology, the coin comprises two separate components of differing alloys and features a special security device at its centre. Representing the advances made in industrial and technological fields, the design spirals outward from the Iron Age core, to the Industrial era, o the age of the computer and finally ends with the outer ring symbolising the Internet. Design by Bruce Rushin, the reverse’s central area contains a latent feature which, when tilted, transforms the image of four separate scrolls into an image of eight intertwined scrolls. The edge inscription ‘STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS’ was taken from a letter written by Sir Isaac Newton, acknowledging how much he owed to the work of others.
When the £2 coin was struck, it established a number of important milestones in British numismatic history. It was the first base metal £2 coin intended for general circulation, the first bicolour coin of the United Kingdom made of two different alloys, and the first British coin to incorporate a latent feature as a security device.
The first base metal £2 coin was issued in the United Kingdom in 1986 to commemorate the Thirteenth Commonwealth Games which was held in Scotland. Commemorative £2 coins continued to be issued in single colour nickel-brass for special occasions. After a review of the United Kingdom’s coinage in 1994, it emerged that there was a requirement for a circulating £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 bicolour coin because it would be easily distinguishable from the other coins in circulation. The bimetallic £2 coin was launched on 15 June 1998 and millions were released into circulation.