The UK Coins that tell the story of Britain’s Warfare History

Victory in Europe Day – more commonly known as VE Day – is celebrated across Europe and America as the official end of the Second World War. Following the Allies’ acceptance of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender on the 8th May 1945, the war had finally come to a close after six long years.

This year marks 79 years since VE Day, so we’re taking a look back at some of the UK coins that tell the story of Britain’s warfare history.

2020 Victory in Europe £2

In 2020, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, The Royal Mint issued the Victory in Europe £2.

It features a woman holding a newspaper aloft in a crowd of celebrating people, set against a backdrop of the word VICTORY. Also inscribed on the coin’s reverse design are the years 1945-2020 and the words ‘VICTORY IN EUROPE DAY’. The edge inscription reads ‘JUST TRIUMPH AND PROUD SORROW’.

2020 Victory in Europe £2
2020 Victory in Europe £2

The coin, designed by Dominque Evans, was originally issued as part of the 2020 Annual Coin set, but was individually released later that year to coincide with the anniversary.

2019 D-Day £2

The Royal Mint issued a £2 coin in 2019, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day – the largest seaborne invasion in history. The invasion took place on the 6th June 1944 and began the liberation of German occupied France and laid the foundations for the Allied Victory.

UK 2019 75th Anniversary of D-Day £2

Initially issued as part of the 2019 Annual Coin Set, the D-Day £2 was favoured among collectors for its innovative design by Stephen Taylor.

The reverse design features arrows pointing across the English Channel to Normandy; each arrow has one of the five code-names for the beaches where Allied Troops landed: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword.

2015 Battle of Britain 50p

The Battle of Britain was an intense air battle fought mainly throughout the summer of 1940 between Germany and Britain. To commemorate 75 years since the great battle, The Royal Mint issued this 50p in 2015.

UK 2015 Battle of Britain 50p

Designed by sculptor Gary Breeze, this coin quickly gained interest from collectors due to the three different obverses when it was initially minted. Find out more about that here >>

This coin was re-issued in 2019 as part of the 50th Anniversary of the 50p celebrations in the Military History 50p Collection.

2005 St. Paul’s Cathedral £2

In 2005, The Royal Mint issued a £2 coin to commemorate 60 years since the end of the Second World War.

UK 2005 St. Paul’s Cathedral £2

Interestingly, the reverse design depicts St. Paul’s Cathedral. This is because the cathedral was one of only a few structures which survived the Blitz to become a great symbol of hope to a war-torn nation.

The edge inscription reads ‘IN VICTORY: MAGNAMITY, IN PEACE: GOODWILL’ which is part of the famous maxim that prefaces Churchill’s history of the Second World War.

This coin has a staggeringly high mintage of 10,191,000, meaning it ranks as ‘Common’ on the Change Checker Scarcity Index.

1995 Dove £2

This old-style £2 was issued in 1995 to mark 50 years since the end of the Second World War. The reverse design, by John Mills, features a dove as a symbol of peace since the end of the war. The edge inscription reads ‘1945 IN PEACE GOODWILL 1995’, highlighting fifty years since the truce.

UK 1995 Dove £2

The Dove £2 was one of only seven commemorative £2 coins to be issued in the older specifications before the change in 1997.

1994 D-Day 50p

In 1994, a UK 50p was issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings – the final 50p issued in the older 50p specification.

1994 UK 50th Anniversary of D-Day Landings 50p
1994 UK 50th Anniversary of D-Day Landings 50p

With a mintage of 6,705,520 it’s the second rarest of the pre-1997 50p coins, and despite the larger 50p specification being withdrawn from circulation in 1998, they do sometimes still pop up in our change – as proven in our latest 50p coin hunt!

This coin was also re-issed in 2019 as part of the 50th Anniversary of the 50p celebrations, but interestingly, the 1994 D-Day 50p was voted Change Checkers’ ‘Favourite Ever’ 50p!


It’s fair to say the UK has a great history of celebrating important warfare anniversaries on our coinage, and they certainly are popular with our collectors!

We know that we can expect to see a new UK 50p coin issued this year to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day, you can find out everything we know so far about it here >>


Sign up to our BU Coin subscription service to make sure you never miss a UK coin issue! Sign up >>

A work of art…the 2024 National Gallery £2

There’s one building in London that has a certain grandeur, a place that holds over 2,300 works of art dating back to the 13th century…

I am of course talking about the National Gallery, and to mark the gallery’s 200th anniversary, The Royal Mint have issued a new UK £2 coin!

2024 UK National Gallery £2
2024 UK National Gallery £2

Secure your 2024 UK National Gallery £2 >>

You might recognize this coin, because it was actually part of the 2024 Annual Coin Set issued earlier this year, but it’s now been individually released. It’s also the first individually issued £2 coin of 2024!

2024 Annual Coin Set
The National Gallery featured in the 2024 Annual Coin Set

Where it all began…

The year is 1824, and recently deceased banker John Julius Angerstein’s collection of 38 historical paintings is looking for a new home. In an initiative led by politician George Agar Ellis, the government agreed to purchase the art and display it in the newly opened National Gallery, situated in Angerstein’s former townhouse on Pall Mall.

The National Gallery at No. 100 Pall Mall
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Over the next 10 years, the gallery acquired more and more paintings until eventually due to overcrowding and national embarrassment when compared to the likes of the Louvre, relocation was on the cards. In 1832, construction began on the Trafalgar Square site where the gallery resides today. 

The National Gallery building
The National Gallery moved to Trafalgar Square in 1838
Credit: Morio, via Wikimedia Commons

A beacon of artistic inspiration

The National Gallery has been a beacon of artistic inspiration for two whole centuries, and its rich history is perfectly represented on this new £2 coin. The design showcases the iconic façade of the National Gallery building, paired with the inscription ‘200 years of the National Gallery’, a tribute to the milestone anniversary and the countless masterpieces housed within its walls.

National Gallery £2 coin in a gloved hand
The coin features the inscription ‘200 YEARS OF THE NATIONAL GALLERY’, celebrating its milestone anniversary.

Art enthusiasts will know that the National Gallery is home to some of the world’s most treasured works of art, from the tranquillity of Monet’s Water Lily Pond, to the vibrant hues of Vincent Van Gough’s Sunflowers. And you can own a piece of its artistic history by adding the National Gallery £2 to your collection.


Have you been to the National Gallery? What was your favourite piece of art you saw there? Let us know in the comments!

Own a piece of artistic history

Add the 2024 UK National Gallery £2 to your collection in Brilliant Uncirculated quality for just £9.99 (p&p) >>

Could this be the ONLY way to own the 2024 Winston Churchill £2?

The 2024 Annual Coin Set celebrates some of the most significant anniversaries and events taking place this year, one of which being 150 years since the birth of Sir Winston Churchill.

The 2024 Winston Churchill £2 depicts him as a young man during his time in the Cavalry army, with the years of his life 1874-1965 either side of his portrait.

However, rather unusually, the Winston Churchill £2 will be the only coin from the 2024 Annual Set NOT to be released individually.

2024 UK Winston Churchill £2 in hand
2024 UK Winston Churchill £2 in hand

A collecting ‘first’

At the beginning of each year, collectors eagerly anticipate the release of The Royal Mint’s Annual Coin Set, which includes 5 of the best commemorative coins from the year to come. Securing the Annual Set is usually the only way for collectors to get their hands on the coins until they’re individually released later in the year.

2024 Annual Coin Set
2024 Annual Coin Set

Get your 2024 Annual Coin Set for just £42 (+postage) >>

However, this year is a bit different as the Winston Churchill £2 WON’T be issued individually – meaning that currently, the only way to own it is in the 2024 Annual Set. This is extremely unusual, but we have seen similar situations a handful of times before.

Serious collectors know why it’s important to own both the Annual Set and individual release versions of coins, but in case you didn’t know, here are a few examples of previous design differences…

2022 Platinum Jubilee 50p

The most recent example is the 2022 Platinum Jubilee 50p, issued to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s incredible 70 year reign.

2022 Platinum Jubilee 50p
2022 Platinum Jubilee 50p

At the beginning of 2022, the Annual Coin Set included the Platinum Jubilee 50p which featured the number 70 and the Queen’s cypher on the reverse and the Jody Clark portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. However, when the coin was individually released later in the year, it featured a special obverse design of Her Majesty on horseback – a nod to the design on the 1952 Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Crown.

Team GB 50p

Back in 2020, the Team GB 50p was released as part of the 2020 Annual Coin Set, to celebrate Team GB’s participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The reverse design featured a depiction of various Olympic sports, the official Team GB logo and the year 2020, whilst the obverse featured Jody Clark’s Queen Elizabeth II portrait and the date 2020.

2020 Team GB 50p
2020 Team GB 50p

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to 2021, this 50p was never individually released in 2020.

The Team GB 50p was eventually individually issued in 2021, however due to the delayed release, it featured two different dates – 2020 on the reverse design and 2021 on the obverse. This made it one of just a few UK coins to feature a dual-date.

2020 Team GB 50p from the 2020 Annual Set
2020 Team GB 50p from the 2020 Annual Set
2021 individually released Team GB 50p
Individually released 2021 Team GB 50p

2021 Decimal Day 50p

The Decimal Day 50p was issued as part of the 2021 Annual Set to mark the 50th anniversary of Decimalisation.

2021 Decimal Day 50p
2021 Decimal Day 50p

The Decimal Day 50p in the 2021 Annual Set featured overlapping pre-decimal coins and the date ‘1971’ on the reverse and the original Arnold Machin portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse – which featured on the very first 50p back in 1969. However, when it was individually released later in 2021, the Decimal Day 50p featured the standard Jody Clark portrait of Her Majesty on the obverse.

2021 Decimal Day 50p from the 2021 Annual Set featuring Arnold Machin portrait
2021 Decimal Day 50p from the 2021 Annual Set featuring Arnold Machin portrait
Individually released 2021 Decimal Day 50p featuring Jody Clark portrait
Individually released 2021 Decimal Day 50p featuring Jody Clark portrait

The above three examples show how some UK coins are individually released with slightly different variations to their Annual Set counterpart, however the 2024 Winston Churchill £2 is highly unusual in that it won’t be individually released at all! As collectors will know, an unusual story like this is sure to add to the collectability of this coin and the 2024 Annual Set.


The return of Winston Churchill on UK currency

Winston Churchill is one of the most memorable figures in British politics, and the 2024 Winston Churchill £2 isn’t the first time we’ve seen him feature on our UK currency.

The 1965 Churchill Crown was issued to mark the death of Sir Winston Churchill, making him the first non-royal to be portrayed on a British coin.

The reverse design features a sombre-looking head and shoulders portrait of Churchill wearing a ‘siren suit’ – overalls designed to be worn in wartime air-raid shelters, invented and popularised by Churchill.

In the lead up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games being held in London, the Royal Mint issued the 2010 London Olympic Games Sir Winston Churchill £5.

The design was inspired by a statue of wartime Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill accompanied by a quote: ‘Be daring, be first, be different, be just’.

Half a century after his death, the 2015 Churchill £5 was issued.

Engraver Mark Richards FRBS, who designed the reverse of this coin, said he wanted to convey Churchill as larger than life by creating an image larger than the coin itself.

Winston Churchill on a UK £5 bank note 
Credit: The Bank of England
Winston Churchill on a UK £5 bank note
Credit: The Bank of England

In 2016, Sir Winston Churchill replaced Elizabeth Fry on the UK £5 bank note.

The design features the famous portrait of Churchill in 1941 known as the ‘Roaring Lion’ as well as his famous quote “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat” which he made on the day he became Prime Minister.


So, considering the rarity of a scenario like this, will you be adding the 2024 Annual Set to your collection to guarantee the 2024 Winston Churchill £2? Perhaps you have all the previous Churchill coins in your collection and don’t want to miss the latest issue, let us know in the comments!

Secure the Winston Churchill £2 as part of the 2024 Annual Set