The Royal Navy £2 commemorates the Royal Navy’s efforts in World War One and is known as the 3rd rarest £2 coin in circulation.
The coin features a battleship design by military artist David Rowlands and the 5th portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, but just 650,000 2015 Navy £2 coins were struck for circulation, making it very sought-after amongst collectors.
But you may have also heard about the small number of Royal Navy £2 coins which were issued to HMS Belfast and its visitor facilities in 2015 – 100 of them to be precise. The story was widely covered, including being featured by the BBC. Naturally plenty of excitement ensued amongst collectors, many of whom flocked to HMS Belfast in the hope of finding one.
The distinguishing feature of these 100 coins is that they all carry the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank Broadley FRBS whereas those issued for general circulation later in the year then featured the Queen’s new portrait which was announced 2nd March 2015.
However, the Brilliant Uncirculated Royal Navy £2 packs which were originally made available in 2014 also feature Ian Rank-Broadley’s current effigy of the Queen, and there is nothing fundamentally different between these and the 100 issued to HMS Belfast.
Inevitably, scammers capitalised on these blurred lines and a large number of coins purporting to be from HMS Belfast started to crop up on eBay for extortionate amounts. Whilst we can’t prove or disprove the legitimacy of the listings it is nonsensical to bid on a coin which can in no way be authenticated as one of the 100 rare issues. And as we know, when it comes to collecting, there is one fact which is always inevitable – the rarest coins are always in highest demand.
So although the dust has settled and the Navy £2 is no longer the talk of the town, it is still a staple coin for any collection (even without the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait) and if you come across one in your change, it might just be worth hanging on to!
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