Outer: Nickel-brass (76% copper, 4% nickel, 20% zinc)
Inner: Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)
|Obverse Designer||Ian Rank-Broadley|
|Reverse Designer||Matthew Bonaccorsi|
|Edge Inscription||SPIRIT OF FRIENDSHIP,MANCHESTER 2002|
|Mintage||771,750 Scotland, 588,500 Wales, 485,500 Ireland, 650,500 England*|
From 25 July to 4 August 2002, the city of Manchester played host to the Commonwealth Games. In the biggest competition in the 72-year history of the Games, some of the world’s greatest athletes competed in fourteen individual sports and three team sports over ten days of sporting and cultural activity. To mark this celebration of sporting excellence, The Royal Mint issued a commemorative £2 coin. Matthew Bonaccorsi’s reverse design represents celebration, victory and sportsmanship. It depicts a moving figure holding aloft a banner, the top of which is divided into lines symbolising the lanes of a swimming pool. The design is completed with the edge inscription ‘· SPIRIT OF FRIENDSHIP · MANCHESTER 2002’. Four versions of the coin were produced, one for each of the participating teams from the United Kingdom and distinguished by a cameo version of their respective flags.
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.