To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the most-famous journey of the Mayflower, The Royal Mint has issued a brand new £2 coin.
2020 UK Mayflower £2
This year marks 400 years since the Mayflower set sail on its famous voyage from Plymouth, England to the ‘New World’ in 1620 – a key event in British history.
Issued initially in January as part of The Royal Mint’s 2020 Commemorative Coin Set, this £2 has JUST been individually released today!
Chris Costello’s reverse design of this coin depicts the Mayflower’s sails majestically billowing in the wind and the anniversary dates as an inscription – ‘1620-2020’.
This coin is available in a number of specifications, including Brilliant Uncirculated quality, for just £8.99 (+p&p)
Journey to the Unknown
In September 1620, a merchant ship called the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, a port on the southern coast of England in hope of a fresh start.
102 Pilgrims and around 30 crew aboard the ship spent two months at sea, battling against the North Atlantic wind on their ground-breaking journey to America.
After a 66-day voyage, it first landed November 21 on Cape Cod at what is now Massachusetts.
There are an estimated 10 million living Americans and 35 million people around the world who are descended from the original passengers on the Mayflower.
To mark the 400th anniversary of this British vessel departing Plymouth, this £2 coin brings its history to life once more.
But, eagle-eyed collectors may recognise the iconic Mayflower ship from a previous £2 coin…
1994 Mayflower £2 Trial Piece
The UK’s first bi-metallic coin was issued for general circulation in 1997 but in order to prepare for the change over, a trial piece was struck, to test if tills and vending machines would accept it.
Featuring on the reverse design of this new style of coin, was none-other than the famous Mayflower ship!
Issued in a special presentation pack, the 1994 Mayflower Trial £2 was housed next to samples, demonstrating the different stages of its production.
Just over 4,500 of these packs were issued, making the 1994 Mayflower Trial £2 coin incredibly rare, especially if you compare this to the rarest £2 coin in circulation, the 2002 Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland £2, which has a mintage of 485,500!
But the Mayflower £2 coins aren’t the only UK nautical themed coins we’ve seen…
2011 Mary Rose £2
This £2 coin was in 2011 issued to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the launch of the Mary Rose.
The Mary Rose was a ship built and completed at Portsmouth Harbour in 1511 for Henry VIII and named after his favourite sister, Mary Tudor. It was the pride and joy of England’s Royal Navy but in 1545 it met with a tragic end whilst leading an attack against a French invasion fleet in the Solent.
For reasons still not concluded, the Mary Rose listed to one side and sank with the loss of all but 35 men…
It has a mintage of JUST 1,040,000, making it one of the rarest £2 coins in circulation!
2015 First World War (Navy) £2
In 2014. The Royal Mint announced a new five-year First World War commemoration £2 coin series. This £2 coin was the second coin in this series, issued in 2015, and pays tribute to the Royal Navy.
At the time, it was by far the most powerful navy in the world, and was a major asset to Britain in defending coastal waters against the Germans.
Renowned military artist David Rowlands designed the reverse of this coin, and it features a battleship approaching on the open sea.
It has a circulating mintage of JUST 650,000, making it particularly scarce and hard to come by! So, consider yourself very lucky if you have this coin in your collection!
Captain Cook £2 Series
This £2 coin series first stared in 2018 to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the famed British Explorer, Captain Cook, setting sail on his legendary Voyage of Discovery.
Cook’s pioneering expedition for the ‘Great South Land’ expanded our understanding of the world beyond known horizons and 250 years on is being celebrated with this unique £2 coin series.
His famous ship, HM Bark Endeavour features on the design and, just like a secret map, when all three coins in the collection are placed together the design can be seen as a whole!
You can find out more about this incredible series here!
2005 Trafalgar £5 Coin
One of the greatest landmarks in British history, the Battle of Trafalgar was fought on 21st October 1805.
The Battle of Trafalgar was won by the Royal Navy, commanded by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, over the combined French and Spanish fleets.
The Royal Mint marked the bicentenary of this battle with two £5 coins. The first of these designs by Clive Duncan, shows Nelson’s flagship ‘Victory‘ leading the fleet into battle.
HMS Victory is in service to this day as the flagship of the Commander-In-Chief, moored in Portsmouth dockyard!
Let us know in the comments below if you have this £5 coin in your collection!
We’re very excited by the release of this brand new £2 coin and we’re sure collectors will be sailing this coin straight into their collections!
Are there any other nautical success stories or significant historical moments that you’d like to see celebrated on UK coinage? Let us know in the comments below!
Secure the BRAND NEW Mayflower £2 in the CUSTOM Change Checker Display Card for just £10.99 (+p&p)
To honour the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the British Red Cross, The Royal Mint has issued a brand new £5 coin.
2020 UK British Red Cross £5
Currently supported by more than 18,000 domestic volunteers, the humanitarian mission of the British Red Cross exemplifies human kindness in times of great crisis, not just in the UK, but the world over.
Henry Gray’s bespoke design of this coin features a scarlet red cross at the heart of the coin, with the inscription ‘The Power of Kindness’ which echoes the organisation’s principles of selflessness, compassion and goodwill.
This coin also features an edge inscription that bears the motto of the British Red Cross, ‘PER HUMANITATEM AD PACEM’ which translates to ‘THROUGH HUMANITY TO PEACE’.
This coin is available in a number of specifications, including Brilliant Uncirculated quality, for just £14.99 (+p&p).
Inspiring Hope for a Kinder World
The British Red Cross is part of the world’s largest humanitarian network – the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent Movement.
The history of the Red Cross dates back to 1870 where a petition was raised by Colonel Loyd-Lindsay, to provide aid and relief to both warring armies during the Franco-Prussian War, and in other wars and campaigns during the 19th century.
From hiring a wheelchair or dealing with loneliness, to adjusting to life in a new country, the British Red Cross help anyone, anywhere in the UK and around the world, to get the support they need if crisis strikes.
Around the world, whenever a humanitarian crisis occurs, the Red Cross or Red Crescent is always one of the first organisations on the scene thanks to kind volunteers.
The message of kindness is echoed in the inscription of this brand new 2020 UK British Red Cross £5, but it isn’t the only UK coin issued to celebrate humanitarian and charitable efforts…
The Worldwide Fund for Nature was formed in 1961 in Switzerland and the world’s leading independent conservation organisation.
WWF’s work is mostly focused on saving endangered species and conserving the world’s most precious natural places.
In 2011, to celebrate its 50th anniversary, The Royal Mint issued this 50p coin. It features 50 different icons to represent the variety of work which the organisation is involved with.
It entered circulation with a mintage of 3,400,000.
Florence Nightingale £2
Named after the Italian city in which she was born in 1820, Florence Nightingale is famous for her work in the military hospitals during the Crimean War where she tended to wounded soldiers.
In 1860 she laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of her nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. Her book Notes on Nursing proved to be influential in changing the way hospitals were run and the role of nurses within them.
This coin was issued in 2010 to mark both the centenary of the death of Florence Nightingale and the 150th anniversary of the publication of her Notes on Nursing, celebrated in 2009.
It has a circulating mintage of 6,175,000.
2016 ‘Lest We Forget’ Poppy Coin
In 2016, as a tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, the 2016 ‘Lest We Forget’ Proof £5 Poppy Coin was issued in Jersey in support of The Royal British Legion.
Inspired by the falling poppies at the Festival of Remembrance, the reverse features 11 masterfully engraved poppies struck to a proof finish.
Individual poppies have been selectively picked out in red ink and the words Lest We Forget can be seen in the background in gold ink.
It has an edition limit of just 4,950!
Although the NHS isn’t a charity, or a donation funded service, it was founded in 1948 with the principle aim of providing a health service that would be available to all, based on a person’s clinical need, rather than their ability to pay.
It was the first ever health service to provide free health care and this year celebrates its 72nd birthday.
This coin was issued in 1998 to celebrate its 50th anniversary and has a circulating mintage of 5,001,000.
We’re so excited by this brand new £5 coin and we’re sure collectors will be racing to add this to their collections!
What other charitable, humanitarian or environment organisations would you like to see celebrated on a UK coin? Let us know below!
Secure the BRAND NEW 2020 UK British Red Cross £5 for JUST £14.99 (+p&p)
*A small percentage of the net wholesale price from the sale of this commemorative coin will be paid by The Royal Mint to Britcross Limited, a subsidiary of the British Red Cross Society, which makes an annual donation to the charity.*
For decades, UK coinage has celebrated some of the most influential and significant people in British history.
However, a lack of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic figures (BAME) being recognised on legal tender has led to campaigning for greater inclusivity.
This comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak stated he was considering proposals from a campaign group. He has since asked the Royal Mint to come up with new designs honouring BAME figures who have served the nation – such as military figures and nurses.
Will Mahatma Gandhi be the first to feature?
It has been confirmed that the first figure to be considered in a new series of UK coins that will recognise and celebrate BAME figures on UK currency will be Mahatma Gandhi.
Gandhi is most well known for leading the successful campaign for India’s independence, using nonviolent resistance which inspired human rights movements across the world.
However, he also has strong ties with London, having attended the University College of London law school in 1888.
Despite leaving for India after being called to the bar in 1891, he continued to return to London, right up until his final visit in 1931 where he attended a conference on the future of India.
Military nurse Mary Seacole and spy Noor Inayat Khan also being considered
The Jamaican-born business woman and nurse, Mary Seacole is being considered as one of the figures to feature on a British currency.
At the outbreak of the Crimean War, Seacole travelled to England hoping to join Florence Nightingale’s famous team of nurses.
However, she was turned down and instead travelled to Crimea herself where she established the “British Hotel”, intended to be somewhere soldiers could rest and eat.
With the location of her hotel being so close to the conflict, she was able to visit the battlefield, sometimes under fire, to nurse the wounded. Indeed, she nursed sick soldiers so kindly that they called her ‘Mother Seacole’.
In May, a community hospital was named after the pioneering nurse and there is also now a trust in her name, which aims to educate and inform the public about her life, work and achievements.
Noor Inayat Khan is also another figure in consideration. Khan was a wartime British secret agent of Indian descent who was the first female radio operator sent into Nazi-occupied France in 1943, by the Special Operations Executive (SOE).
Many members of the same network were arrested not long after entering France, but she spent the summer moving from place to place, trying to send messages back to London while avoiding capture.
In November 1943, she was sent to Pforzheim prison in Germany where she was kept in chains and in solitary confinement. Despite repeated torture, she refused to reveal any information about British Intelligence.
2014 Walter Tull £5
In 2014, a commemorative Silver Proof £5 coin was issued within a series of coins commemorating the First World War.
Recognised as the first black officer in Britain’s Armed Forces, Walter Tull is celebrated on this £5 coin as a hero and famous figure from the war.
However, coins such as this celebrating BAME figures on UK coins are few and far between, and when issued as higher specification precious metal coins, they end up being less accessible to the general public.
Banknotes of Colour Campaign
A ‘Banknotes of Colour’ campaign is currently being led by former Conservative parliamentary candidate, Zehra Zaidi in efforts to see the better representation of non-white peoples on British currency.
She said, “We must tell the story of inclusive representation as it matters for cohesion and it matters in the narrative of who we are as a nation.”
We look forward to hearing more as the story unfolds as Rishi Sunak considers these proposals which would recognise and celebrate BAME figures on UK currency.
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