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
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!
In September 2011, the fourth Commonwealth Youth Games were hosted on the Isle of Man and to commemorate this sporting event, Pobjoy Mint issued a new £2 coin on behalf of the Isle of Man Treasury.
This £2 coin featured the official Commonwealth Youth Games Mascot, Tosha the Cat and the official logo of the games.
But what makes this £2 coin so special?
The name ‘Tosha’, meaning ‘first’ in Manx Gaelic is fitting considering this was the first time the games were held on the island. However, even though this significant sporting event and the fun design representing it would make this coin a great find for collectors, the popularity of the Tosha Cat £2 on the secondary market remains a force to be reckoned with…
The rise of the Tosha Cat £2
So how did this £2 coin come to be so popular?
Whilst rarity is normally a large factor in how collectable a coin is, mintage figures for British Isles coins are notoriously hard to track down and this coin is no exception. No one actually knows the true mintage figure, so it can’t be said how rare the coin is, although we do know that British Isles coins typically have lower mintages than UK coins due to the smaller population.
One thing we do know for certain is that the Isle of Man Tosha Cat £2 is definitely sought-after amongst collectors.
Although the Tosha Cat £2 was issued in 2011, it wasn’t until it was posted on Facebook coin groups in 2018 that the price started skyrocketing on the secondary market. In fact, in 2018 this coin became ‘Coin of the Year’ on Facebook coin groups, and this is where it really found its success.
Following the Facebook hype surrounding the Tosha £2, eBay bidding wars began. At a time when the Kew Gardens was selling for around £80 on eBay, this coin was regularly selling for double that!
Listed for thousands of pounds on eBay!
In fact, listings on eBay continue to regularly exceed £100 and even go up to thousands of pounds for this Isle of Man coin!
Although the coin may not actually sell for such eye watering amounts, a quick check of the recent ‘sold’ listings shows that some collectors are willing to pay more than 50 times face value to own this coin!
More commonly the coin sells for around £12, which is still an impressive 6 times its face value.
Beware of Fakes!
As is the story with the Kew Gardens 50p, the popularity of this coin has unfortunately led to fakes being produced and sold on the secondary market, taking advantage of unsuspecting collectors who would be willing to pay well over face value to own the coin.
If you’re looking to secure the Isle of Man Tosha Cat £2 for your collection, it’s certainly worth doing your research, buying/swapping from a reputable seller (look for eBay feedback or successful swaps on Facebook groups) and checking the images of the coin to make sure it looks legitimate.
The image above gives you an idea of what a fake Tosha Cat £2 coin may look like.
Fake coins will be overly shiny, the strike will be much less defined and the coin may well weigh less than the standard 12g £2 coin.
Popular Isle of Man Coins
As the Isle of Man has some wonderful coin designs and really exciting collecting opportunities, you can see why more and more UK collectors are turning their attention to British Isles coins. But do you have any in your collection?
Own both 2019 Isle of Man TT £2 coins!
If you’re interested in collecting Isle of Man coins, you’ll love the 2019 Isle of Man TT £2 coin duo, which is now available in Brilliant Uncirculated condition.