After a review of the United Kingdom coinage in 1994, it emerged that there was a requirement for a £2 coin to enter general circulation.
After extensive consultation, it was decided this would be a bi-colour coin, making it easily distinguishable from the other coins in circulation.
Originally, the intention was to issue the £2 coin in November 1997. However, concerns emerged from the vending industry over their size. The £2 coin was eventually launched on 15 June 1998, with millions of the coin released into circulation.
Since then we’ve seen over 35 different designs enter circulation!
And in 2022, the bi-metallic £2 coin celebrates its 25th birthday!
£2 coin vote – winning design revealed!
We asked you to vote for your favourite bi-metallic £2 coin design and the results are in!
Our winning coin design is the Great Fire of London £2, taking an impressive 17% of all votes! This coin was issued in 2016 to mark the 350th anniversary of one of the most well-known disasters to hit London.
However, three years after this coin was issued into circulation, it was revealed that its mintage figure was mistakenly listed and the coin is in fact rarer than once thought…
The previous figure of 5,135,000 meant this coin was fairly common but the updated figure of 1,625,000, makes this coin one of the rarest £2 coins in circulation!
Did your favourite coin design make the top 5? Let us know in the comments below!
Never miss a UK coin issue!
Every keen collector knows that it is worthwhile paying close attention to the small details of your coins – it’s the only way you can ever hope to spot an error.
From edge inscription mix ups to inverted effigies, there are a few stories that crop up more often than not. However, recently, a couple of ‘error’ stories have cropped up, that Change Checker really think you should pay attention to – involving an H.G. Wells £2 and the Technology £2…
Stay tuned as we take a closer look at these ‘errors’ and help you determine if your £2 coin is a genuine rarity!
H.G. Wells £2 – Blank ‘Error’
This £2 coin was issued as part of the 2021 UK Commemorative Coin set and it marks the 75th anniversary of the death of science fiction novelist, H. G. Wells.
With the clue in the name, this bi-metallic coin is made up of a combination of a silver coloured cupro-nickel disc and an outer yellow nickel-brass ring.
In the case of this H.G. Wells £2 coin however, it appears that the blank used has a thicker yellow ring, much wider than what we’d see on normal £2 coins.
When striking £2 coins, the first step is to punch a hole through a blank planchet to create the outer section. The inner core is taken from a different metal, sized to fit inside the outer ring.
There have already been estimations that if this coin was to be sold at auction, it could fetch over £1,000! We’re going to be eagerly awaiting confirmation from The Royal Mint whether this error is genuine or not. Nonetheless, it certainly makes for interesting collecting!
This coin is yet to be individually issued, so any ‘error’ versions will have come exclusively from the 2021 UK Annual Set. It’ll certainly be interesting to see if any other stories crop up after the coin’s individual issue….
Whilst there are no identical examples to compare the H.G. Wells £2 ‘error’ to, there have been previous instances of the inner and outer sections of £2 coins not quite matching up:
In the above image, the inner core was punched out from the end of the sheet of metal used for blanks, forming a straight or ragged edge clip.
Whilst this also occurs with monometallic coins, the pairing with an outer ring exposes a large gap which is much more noticeable.
The Royal Mint strike millions of coins each year so it is inevitable that variances will occur during the striking process and can’t always be picked up during quality control, despite the fact that this particular coin would weigh less than the standard 12g £2 coin.
Off Centre Inner Core
The inner core of this coin hasn’t been united properly prior to being struck, resulting in an off centre inner core.
Due to the way the inner and outer core are struck together with the two metals being lined up and then fused together during striking, a misalignment will mean that the inner core spills into the outer ring, as seen in the image above. There might also be a gap between the two metals on the opposing join.
Faulty Outer Ring
This particular mis-strike, shows a faulty planchet or outer ring, where the inner core is exposed.
In the image above, you can actually see the specific engineering design features where the inner core is grooved to help the metal flow bond to the outer ring and fuse during striking.
Similar to the first mis-strike we looked at, this could be caused by a clipped planchet, this time created when the outer ring was punched, however coins like this may also be caused by tampering post striking, for example by fakers trying to replace the inner core of a £2 with another coin to pass off as a rare error.
Bronze £2 Error
The ‘Monometallic’ £2 is described as the Holy Grail of bimetallic ‘errors’ and is the result of the nickel-brass £2 blank not having the inner core section punched out before being struck.
This means that the £2 coin is made from one full piece of nickel-brass, completely contrasting the very idea of a bimetallic coin.
A 2007 monometallic £2 was verified by The Royal Mint and in the email confirming the mis-strike it was mentioned that they had only seen 4-5 similar coins before.
However, in 2021, Change Checker was contacted by a collector called Amin who informed us that he had found this exact error coin but with a 2010 date.
After sending details of his coin to The Royal Mint for further information, it was confirmed to be genuine error as a result of the minting process.
This rare striking error is highly sought-after and coins have achieved extraordinary prices in private sales and auctions.
Whilst information of this coin’s sale has remained private, it’s certainly a very interesting story and we imagine the collector can expect to see a very impressive return on this coin…
We look forward to the individual release of the HG Wells £2 later this year and will certainly be keeping our eyes peeled for any unusual looking variations!
Have you ever come across any of these £2 error coins in your collection?
We’d love to know! Comment below.
Secure the 2021 UK Commemorative Coin Set – featuring the H. G. Wells £2!
We’re delighted to announce the 2020 Change Checker Awards in association with All About Coins, where we’ll be celebrating the very best of the change collecting world from 2020!
We’re looking for the 2020 Change Checker of the Year and the 2020 Junior Change Checker of the year and we need your help!
Do you know somebody who deserves to be crowned ‘Change Checker of the year’? If so, we’d love to hear why.
Has someone you know completed an epic collection? Do you know somebody who’s gone above and beyond to help other Change Checkers complete their collections? Or have you been introduced to the world of change collecting by another Change Checker?
If you know someone who has been the perfect Change Checker, we want to hear from you.
Send an email outlining why your family or friend[s] deserve to win this coveted award to [email protected].
Alternatively, you can submit your entry using the sign-up form at the bottom of this blog.
Finally, you can leave a comment on any of our social media pages but be sure to use the hashtag #CCAwards2020.
To qualify for Junior Change Checker of the year the application must be aged 16 or younger. The closing date for entries is 5pm on Friday 4th December.
All entries will be judged by our panel and the results announced on Wednesday 9th December. Please see terms and conditions.
The victorious Change Checker and Junior Change Checker of the year will each win an exclusive Change Checker trophy and a bundle of goodies worth more than £50, including a year’s subscription to Coin Collector magazine!
The other categories that make up the Change Checker Awards are:
- Coin Story of the Year 2020 – chosen by our panel.
- Top 3 Pieces of 2020 Coin Art – judged by our panel and chosen from your email submissions and social media posts. To submit your coin art, please email [email protected]
- UK Coin Design of the Year 2020 – judged by you!
UK Coin Design of the Year 2020
Votes for the Top UK Coin Design of the Year has now closed.
The winners for all Change Checker Award categories will be announced on the 9th December.
Submissions for the 2020 Change Checker of the Year nomination have now closed. Tune in on the 9th December to find out the winners.
Terms and Conditions
- The winners will receive an exclusive Change Checker trophy and a bundle of goodies, as well as a year’s subscription to Coin Collector magazine. There is no cash alternative.
- Participants agree to meet reasonable requests to assist publicity.
- The Change Checker Awards 2020 are promoted by The Westminster Collection / Change Checker, trading divisions of 288 Group Ltd.
- Employees of 288 Group and their families are not eligible to enter.
- The judges’ decision will be final and no explanation, correspondence or discussion will be offered or entered into before or following the judges’ decision.
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
Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app