|Composition||Outer: Nickel-brass (76% copper, 4% nickel, 20% zinc)
Inner: Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)
|Obverse Designer||Jody Clark|
|Reverse Designer||Aaron West|
|Edge Inscription||THE WHOLE CITY IN DREADFUL FLAMES|
London in 1666 was very different to the city we know today. Wooden structures rather than soaring skyscrapers made up most of the homes and businesses in the capital: one of the reasons that a small fire, which notoriously began in a bakery in Pudding Lane, went on to rage across the city. Who can imagine the sight, as people fled the flames, leaving everything to the fire? Aaron West, a member of The Royal Mint’s team of graphic designers, has taken the perspective of one of the Londoners seeking sanctuary on the Thames to capture the devastating scenes of the time.
Such is the drama of 1666 that the tale of the Great Fire has been handed down, still studied at schools and brought to life in television dramas. Aaron’s dramatic design captures the stories of the moments that changed London forever.
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.