Outer: Nickel-brass (76% copper, 4% nickel, 20% zinc)
|Obverse Designer||Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS|
|Reverse Designer||Ron Dutton|
|Edge Inscription||Rugby World Cup 1999|
In 1999 the world’s finest rugby-playing nations came together in the spirit of competition to battle for the Wed Ellis Cup in the finals of the Rugby World Cup. Hosted by the Welsh Rugby Union, the matches were played at venues throughout the five nations of England, France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Ron Dutton has captured the pulsating atmosphere, movement, sound and colour of the great game of rugby, and the enthusiasm of its spectators, on the reverse of the 1999 £2 coin struck to commemorate this sporting event.
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.