The Commonwealth Games Celebrated on UK Coins!

Next year Birmingham is set to host the international multi-sport event, the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The first-ever edition of the Commonwealth Games took place in Canada in 1930. The games consists of 400 athletes from 11 countries who take part in six sports and 59 events.

Since then, the Games have been conducted every four years (except for 1942 and 1946 due to World War II). Team England has competed at every Games – one of only six nations to do so and Team Scotland has hosted the games THREE times!

The Commonwealth Games have been incredibly influential in the sporting world but they’ve also provided the UK with some incredible coin issues!

In our blog, we take a look back at some of the UK coins celebrating the Commonwealth Games…

1986 UK Commonwealth Games £2

The 1986 Commonwealth Games £2 coin changed the face of UK commemorative coins, being the first of its denomination to be struck and the first British coin being issued to commemorate a sporting event.

The thirteenth Commonwealth Games were held in Edinburgh in 1986, and are well remembered for being boycotted by 32 of the 59 eligible countries who did not agree with Britain’s sporting connections to South Africa during the Apartheid era.

These original £2 coins were never commonly found in circulation, as they were mainly struck for collectors. This made them much rarer than their successor, the bi-metallic £2 coin, as their mintage figures were much lower.

The pre-1997 £2 coins are still legal tender but they’re not used in circulation and banks/shops can refuse to accept them. Despite this, they still remain incredibly popular amongst collectors!

The reverse design of this coin features a thistle encircled by a laurel wreath over the cross of St Andrew and it has a mintage of 8,212,184.

This coin is no longer in circulation but Change Checker has strictly limited stock remaining for collectors. To secure yours with FREE p&p today, simply click here >>

2002 Commonwealth Games £2 Series

These four coins were issued in 2002 – again issued to celebrate the Commonwealth Games – this time held in Manchester.

At first glance, you might struggle to spot the difference between them as they all feature the same running athlete trailing a banner behind. 

However, each has a different cameo, representing each of the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom.

They are some of the scarcest £2 coins now in circulation, with the Northern Ireland design having a mintage of JUST 485,500!

The other coin designs have the following mintage figures:

  • 2002 Commonwealth Games Wales £2: 588,500
  • 2002 Commonwealth Games England £2: 650,500
  • 2002 Commonwealth Games Scotland £2: 771,750

Find out more about these coins here >>

2014 Commonwealth Games 50p

To celebrate Glasgow holding the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the Royal Mint issued an official XX Commonwealth Games 50p coin the very same year

Designed by Alex Loudon, the reverse features a cyclist and athlete depicting the power of sport.

The home of the Games are reflected in the choice of Scottish Saltire and lettering inspired by Glasgow-born architect, artist and designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

This coin is the least rare of the Commonwealth Games coins, with a total of 6,500,000 entering circulation.

Vote for your favourite Commonwealth Games coin!

With a total of 6 coins commemorating the Commonwealth Games, we want you to have your say and vote for your favourite!

Secure the 1986 UK Commonwealth Games £2 for your collection!

This coin can no longer be found in circulation, so this could be one of your last chances of securing this coin for your collection!

To secure yours for JUST £13.00 (+ FREE p&p!) click here >>


  1. Les kent on April 21, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    I have quite a few of the commonwealth sets with the edge inscription right way up and upside down and I also have a planchette with the with the same edge inscription Spirit of Manchester 2002, I only know of two.

  2. Nigel Daft on April 14, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    One of my favourite two pound coins

  3. MR Colin G Evans on April 14, 2021 at 11:54 am

    Hi, I have six of these 1986 £2.00 coins. I got them in my change when they were first issued and thought I would keep them. Glad I did.

    • Rachel Hooper on April 15, 2021 at 12:22 pm

      That’s very lucky! Good thing you kept hold of them 🙂

  4. john hamilton on April 14, 2021 at 11:54 am

    2014 Commonwealth Games 50p is a good design

  5. Helen James on April 14, 2021 at 10:52 am

    Sorry I’ve miss read it , I’ve got 1986 £2 , need England ???????, if I can get that one ?

  6. Karen Channing on April 14, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Well designed weighty coin

  7. Stephen Patrick on April 14, 2021 at 9:03 am

    England for being the heart of the entire commonwealth

  8. Robin de Winton on April 14, 2021 at 8:38 am

    All special sporting events plus many more as per Olympic 50 pence and island games Gibraltar

  9. robert roberts on April 14, 2021 at 8:36 am

    it is a very nice coin to own I all ready own this coin I also have the silver coin