Why you should be collecting £2 coins

With some truly fantastic releases recently, the UK has fallen head over heels for the 50p, with many collectors focusing on hunting down these seven sided gems for their collection.

But whilst collectors are busy scouring their change to find the latest and greatest 50p releases, the £2 coin, it seems, has taken a bit of a back seat…

So why should you be collecting £2 coins?

In this blog, we’ll take a look at which rare coins should take pride of place in your collection, which potential error coins might be out there and we’ll also share with you our top three £2 coins to look out for.

Rare and Error Coins

With over 37 different UK £2 coin designs in circulation, it’s worth paying attention to the £2 coins in your change, as you never know when you might come across something extra special…

2002 Commonwealth Games NI £2

2002 Commonwealth Games Ireland - Why you should be collecting £2 coins
The UK’s rarest £2 in circulation

The 2002 Commonwealth Games England £2 Coin is officially the most scarce £2 coin in the UK, ranking as 100 on our Scarcity Index.

Four coins were released in 2002 to celebrate the Commonwealth Games and at first glance, you might struggle to spot the difference between them. They all feature the same running athlete trailing a banner behind. But each has a different cameo, representing each of the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom.

The fact that this coin is so hard to spot and has such a low mintage of just 485,500 means that the Commonwealth Games NI £2 is the holy grail of £2 coin collections.

2015 Britannia £2

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Antony Dufort’s modern interpretation of Britannia.

It wasn’t until 2016, when The Mint released the mintage figures for the 2015 coins, that collectors realised just how special the new definitive £2 coin was.

Only 650,000 of the 2015 date Britannia £2 coins had been stuck for circulation, making it one of the most scarce UK £2 coins ever issued! So scarce in fact that there were fewer of this coin than the England and the Scotland coins from the famous 2002 Commonwealth Games series.

This makes the 2015 Britannia £2 joint third scarcest £2 coin in circulation, alongside the Navy £2.

Inverted Effigy Britannia £2

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First discovered by a Change Checker, and later confirmed as a genuine error by The Royal Mint, this unusual strike appears on a handful of the 2015 Britannia £2 Coins.

The Royal Mint has accounted for the seemingly impossible misalignment of the Queen’s effigy as almost certainly the result of one of the dies working loose and rotating during the striking process”.

The result is that the Queen’s head is offset by around 150 degrees compared to the Britannia design on the reverse of the coin.

We analysed 5,000 circulation Britannia £2 coins and our results suggested that the Inverted Effigy may have affected as few as 1 in 200 of the coins struck – in other words around just 3,250 coins.

2015 Navy with Flag

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We already know the 2015 Navy is one of the rarest £2 coins with just 650,000 struck for circulation, however Change Checkers have speculated whether there are two different design variations…

The original Navy £2 design (left) shows the coin without any markings on the top right of the mast, but the coin on the right looks like it has a flying flag.

The Royal Mint strike up to 5 billion coins a year and from time to time debris can get caught between the die and the coin whilst striking. It just so happens that this bit of debris has caused the markings on these coins to look like a flying flag on the ship – fuelling speculation that two different variations were struck.

Whilst it doesn’t add any extra value to the coin, it’s certainly one to look out for and makes for interesting collecting.

2005 ‘Pemember, Pemember’ Gunpowder Plot £2 

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The edge inscription of the Gunpowder Plot £2 appears to be spelt incorrectly

The 2005 Gunpowder Plot £2 commemorates the 400th anniversary of Guy Fawkes’ failed assassination attempt on King James I, but the coin is more familiar to collectors for having a spelling mistake in the edge inscription. The timeless quote “Remember, remember the fifth of November” has been found with various combinations of Pemember, Pemembep, Novemebep and so on. The common factor here is the ‘R’ which appears as a ‘P’.

Sadly for collectors this is apparently not a striking error. The explanation from the Royal Mint is that the down-stroke of the R coincides with the milling around the edge, and as the coin has worn over time, the letter has become less defined. This categorical statement from the Mint means that any mark-up in price for a supposed ‘error’ is completely unjustified, and although it makes the coin more interesting, it is not the mistake which it is often perceived to be.

1997 Maklouf ‘Queen with a Necklace’ £2

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The Maklouf ‘Necklace’ £2 was only issued in 1997

The ‘Queen with a Necklace’ £2 has an enduring legacy in the collecting world. The very first bi-metallic £2 coins were issued in 1997, just prior to the Queen’s portrait change in 1998. This meant that the older portrait by Raphael Maklouf was only used for one year: 1997. His version featured Queen Elizabeth II wearing a necklace, which is how the nickname was derived.

When the portrait change was announced, the new £2 coins were snapped up by collectors believing them to be a future rarity. As it turned out, a mintage of nearly 14 million means the ‘Queen with a Necklace’ £2 is not one of the rarest coins in circulation. Nevertheless, with only one year of issue, it still holds an undeniable interest for collectors.

2007 Abolition of Slavery £2

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There is a misconception that there were two types of the Abolition of Slavery £2 coin struck for circulation. It is true that two versions of the coins exist – one has a textured finish whereas the other has a smooth finish and features the artist, David Gentleman’s initials (circled).

The key difference is that only the textured version was struck for circulation, and if you find one of the smoother types in your change, you have actually found a coin which has been taken out of a presentation pack. This makes it considerably rarer than the circulating version, so it is worth keeping rather than spending!

The Top Three £2 Coins to Collect

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When it comes to collecting, £2 coins are some of our favourites to look out for, but out of the rare and wonderful coins mentioned above, here are our top three £2 coins to collect.

1) It’s no surprise that the UK’s scarcest £2 coin in circulation should come in first place, but you’ll not only have to be very lucky to come across one, you’ll also have to be eagle eyed to spot the correct flag for the Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland £2 coin.

2) Coming in close second is the third scarcest £2 coin, but can you challenge yourself to see if you can find one with the ‘flag’ variation as mentioned above?

3) And as our third placed coin, the 2015 Britannia actually sits in joint third place as the UK’s scarcest £2 in circulation and our challenge to you is to try and find the inverted effigy of this coin too!

Check out how we got on with our own £2 coin hunt and all the fantastic designs we were able to find in a £500 bank bag:

The £2 coins that haven’t entered circulation…

You may have noticed a lack of 2017 coins in your change, as to date The Royal Mint haven’t confirmed if they will enter circulation.

This all depends on demand for specific denominations at the time as UK Banks and Post Offices may not request every denomination every year if there is already sufficient coin in circulation.

Based on The Royal Mint’s figures, we do know that no 2017 Britannia coins were struck for circulation. But there have been 13 other coins designs issued since 2017 that we are yet to find in our change, including:

  • Jane Austen
  • WW1 Aviation
  • Frankenstein
  • Armistice
  • RAF Badge
  • RAF Spitfire
  • RAF Vulcan
  • RAF Sea King
  • RAF Lightning
  • Captain Cook
  • Samuel Pepys
  • D-Day Landings
  • Wedgwood

All of these coins are available to purchase in Brilliant Uncirculated quality here, but we will of course be the first to update you as soon as we have more information on their potential release.

A Treasure Hunt

It can be quite a challenge tracking down every single £2 coin for a complete collection. Remember, if you’re struggling to find those last few coins in your change, you can source them online, in auctions, on Facebook coin groups and of course by swapping with like-minded collectors on our web app.


If you’re interested in coin collecting, our Change Checker web app is completely free to use and allows users to:

– Find and identify the coins in their pocket
– Collect and track the coins they have
– Swap their spare coins with other Change Checkers

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Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app

  1. Paul on April 17, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    I have got a 1998 bailiwick of jersey £2 coin with the inverted edge inscription.Is this rare?

    • Rachel Hooper on April 17, 2019 at 12:28 pm

      Hi Paul, 720,000 Bailiwick of Jersey £2 coins were minted in 1998, which is considerably higher than the 10,000 minted in 2003 and 15,000 minted in 2006, so in terms of Jersey coinage this wouldn’t be considered rare, however compared to UK coins the mintage figures of British Isles coins are much lower due to the smaller population. The inverted edge inscription is actually quite common and you can find out more about it in this blog: https://www.changechecker.org/2016/06/24/mis-strikes-and-myths/

  2. PAUL QUINN on April 11, 2019 at 6:28 am

    I have a few £2 coins with no silver in the middle are they worth collecting

    • Rachel Hooper on April 11, 2019 at 8:31 am

      Hi Paul, is your coin all gold or has the silver centre come out? You’ll sometimes find coins in circulation that have been tampered with by people looking to claim it is a fake. It is relatively easy to prize the two parts of metal apart by freezing the coin and using a chisel to knock the middle section out. Unfortunately this isn’t an error and won’t add any value to the coin.

  3. Martin on April 11, 2019 at 12:57 am

    I got a Jane Austen 2017 £2 coin in my change just before Christmas that year and I’ve been holding on to it ever since. Only 1860 went in to circulation according to the Royal Mint!

    • Rachel Hooper on April 11, 2019 at 8:18 am

      That’s incredibly lucky! Such a small amount were released as part of a promotional event so it’s great that one has managed to find its way to you.

  4. Sandra Brown on April 10, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    I have a 10 pound bite dated 2016 beginning with AA01 is it worth nowt.

  5. Zee on April 10, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    The reason your not seeing the A-Z 10p’s, are that the post office and bank staff are keeping them to themselves then selling them on ebay as sealed bags obviously for a premium..

  6. Pauline on April 10, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    I have a salary coin is it worth anything

  7. Dorothy Kiang on April 10, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    What is the A-Z 10p coin as I have some many ten pence pieces,also what is the value of the kew gardens 50p coin…

    • Rachel Hooper on April 11, 2019 at 8:26 am

      The A-Z 10p coins were released by The Royal Mint last year. There are 26 designs (one for each letter of the alphabet), each featuring a Great British icon. Well done for finding one! Which letter do you have? The Kew Gardens 50p is currently selling on eBay for £97.

  8. Tania on April 10, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Does anyone know how to sell 50 p or £2 coind

  9. Hoora on April 10, 2019 at 11:22 am

    I looked at my change the other day and got one with 1999 on it and a rugby ball. I think its when England won the world cup

  10. Jason Potter on April 10, 2019 at 9:25 am

    Hi I have a 2011 scienceoligy £2 and the gold rim pattern has been struck on the wronge way round as if the inner circle has been flipped round .I am sure this is an error as every thing is sold and tight and fits flush. does any one have any info thanks

    • Rachel Hooper on April 10, 2019 at 12:29 pm

      Hi Jason, to get a better understanding of this coin would you be able to send a picture to info@changechecker.org please?

  11. LES kENT on April 8, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    whilst I know that Change Checker talk about circulated coins mostly you do from time to time talk about the
    proof coins so it may interest other collectors to know that there are actually 3 type of 2007 Slavery £2 coins the two as you said and a proof coin the same as the uncirculated coin but with a smooth frosted finish, and just to add salt to the wound a forth does exist with a wrong edge inscription and is a unique coin.
    I have been collecting £2 for a long time now which includes all the right way up and up side down edge inscriptions and there are 159 so far and the only one I am missing is the inverted Britannia.

    • Rachel Hooper on April 10, 2019 at 1:25 pm

      Thanks Les, it sounds like you’ve got a very comprehensive collection. Great work!

  12. Darren Williams on April 8, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Do you think the 2017 coins will ever enter circulation? The fact that many 50p and £2 designs are not being released into general circulation has really taken the joy out of coin collecting for me; they are so expensive to buy in BU form and yet to gain a full set of coins, you have to. The 2017 £2s have now sold out via Royal Mint and at that point Westminster put them up from £8.99 to £12.99 for a £2 face value coin, so it is putting them out of reach of the casual collector.

    • Rachel Hooper on April 10, 2019 at 12:07 pm

      Hi Darren, it’s looking more and more unlikely, which is a real shame as their have been some lovely £2 designs recently which we’d love to see in our change. The Royal Mint doesn’t actually decide which coins go into circulation, as this is based on demand from banks, post offices and cash distribution centres. Demand at the moment must be low, but hopefully we’ll see some of the coins issued this year released for circulation.

  13. Stephen Silverstein on April 8, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    The 2015 £2 with flag or “cat on the mast” error both sell for a slight premium on eBay.

  14. Stephen Silverstein on April 8, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    It is not true to suggest that the error 2015 Britannia can only be found with a 150 degree die rotation, as I have 25,70 and 165 degree rotation coins in my collection, as well as the 150.

    Also, why no mention of the rare 2010 doubled die £2?

    As for the 2005 “Pemember Pemember” coin, the Royal Mint explanation is nonsense, the problem is actually a damaged collar.

    • Rachel Hooper on April 10, 2019 at 1:24 pm

      It sounds like you’ve come across some very interesting error coins Stephen! As to be expected with the mass production process, there are many different variations in how coins are struck and this makes for really interesting collecting.

  15. Russ on April 8, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    The fact that so many of the coins are not in circulation and more than likely never will be is killing the hobby for me. I got into this hobby because of the fun of finding coins in your change. It is the same with the A to Z 10p coins. From a very wide social and work circle, not one person has seen or knows a person who has seen one of these 10p’s in their change.

    • Rachel Hooper on April 10, 2019 at 1:21 pm

      Hi Russ, it is really frustrating that many of the coins aren’t entering circulation and even though their are 7.3 million A-Z 10ps in circulation, they are proving really difficult to find. Coins are issued into circulation based on demand, so it may be that the banks, post offices and cash centres in your area don’t have a large demand for 10ps at the moment. We put together a video with some tips for finding the 10ps which you might be interested in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GapKLYmmNSQ

    • Claire on April 10, 2019 at 11:42 pm

      I cant tell you what one it is as im not able to get to my coins atm but i found 1x10p in my change

    • Alan Grice on April 11, 2019 at 8:49 am

      I found 007 in my change but that’s the only 10p coin I have I have loads of 50p and £2 coins

      • Rachel Hooper on April 11, 2019 at 3:27 pm

        Great find, well done Alan!



    • Tracy on April 11, 2019 at 9:57 am

      Hi i have a charles dickens 2 pound coin dated 2016 is this worth anything.

  16. James Allan on April 8, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Enjoyed that, didn’t know about the slavery coin, will have to check. Thank you.

  17. Brian Lowdell on April 8, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Very informative. Thank you

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