Outer: Nickel-brass (76% copper, 4% nickel, 20% zinc)
|Obverse Designer||Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS|
|Reverse Designer||John Bergdahl|
|Edge Inscription||The lamps are going out all over Europe|
In 2014 this coin marked the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and was the first coin in a five-year series, on a journey from ‘outbreak to armistice’. The coin remembers one of the most significant moments in British history with a design that recalls the spirit, and with hindsight, the poignancy, of the rush to enlist encouraged by Lord Kitchener.
In 1914 Lord Kitchener was appointed to mastermind a recruitment campaign that would go on to create one of the largest volunteer armies ever known in Britain. Though many posters encouraged the men of Britain to enlist, the image of Kitchener himself came to stand for the call to fight for ‘King and Country’ that saw men respond in their thousands. It is to this instantly recognisable image that experienced coinage artist John Bergdahl turned to create his stirring design.
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.