Outer: Nickel-brass (76% copper, 4% nickel, 20% zinc)
|Obverse Designer||Ian Rank-Broadley|
|Reverse Designer||Yvonne Holton|
|Edge Inscription||UNITED INTO ONE KINGDOM|
The design divides the coin into four quarters, with a rose and a thistle occupying two of the quarters and a portcullis in each of the other two quarters. The whole design is overlaid with a linking jigsaw motif and surrounded by the dates ‘1707’, ‘2007’ and the denomination ‘TWO POUNDS’
When James VI of Scotland became James I of England in 1603, the two countries were united under one monarchy. Over the course of the seventeenth century, there were several attempts to bring about a closer union between the two countries but more than a century passed before Scotland and England were finally united under one Parliament. The Act was passed in 1707 and to commemorate the 300th anniversary of a remarkable union, The Royal Mint issued a special £2 coin. Created by Yvonne Holton FRSA, the reverse design symbolises the joining of Scotland and England in a political union through a rose and thistle growing from a single stem, accompanied by a portcullis to signify Parliament and overlaid with a linking device of a jigsaw. The obverse bears the portrait of Her Majesty The Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS.
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.