Outer: Nickel-brass (76% copper, 4% nickel, 20% zinc)
Inner: Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)
|Obverse Designer||Ian Rank-Broadley|
|Reverse Designer||John Mills|
|Edge Inscription||DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID|
In 1953 two scientists discovered the structure of DNA. The true significance of their research was perhaps not fully understood at the time but today, DNA is used as a vital tool in many fields of science, including forensics, medicine and genetics. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of what is arguably the most important scientific development of the twentieth century, The Royal Mint issued a new £2 coin. The reverse design is the work of the sculptor John Mills. It features the double helix spiralling across the face of the coin, highlighting the strands of chromosomes and the familiar letter notations for the four basic building blocks.
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.