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.*
Built during the Norman Conquest in 1066, Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and fortress of the Tower of London has been used as a prison, jewel house, mint and even a menagerie.
It’s been home to kings and queens, thieves and traitors and lions and bears.
In tribute to the Tower, The Royal Mint issued a four coin series throughout 2019 celebrating the history of the Tower of London, one of Britain’s most iconic attractions. The series included coins depicting the following:
- The Legend of the Ravens
- The Yeoman Warders
- The Ceremony of the Keys
- The Crown Jewels
The collection continues in 2020 with four new £5 coins featuring original designs, each exploring a different element of the Tower of London’s history. The series will include coins depicting the following:
- The Royal Mint
- The Royal Menagerie
- The White Tower
- The Notorious Prison
2020 Royal Mint £5
The third coin in The Royal Mint’s 2020 Tower of London £5 series has JUST been released and it celebrates the Tower’s minting history.
Wales has long been the location of The Royal Mint, but did you know that before this, it had two previous homes? It was kept secure at Tower Hill for a period of time but before that, it was housed within the walls of the Tower of London for 500 years!
The Royal Mint was first established by Edward I in the dedicated area which became known as Mint Street.
In 2020, The Royal Mint’s historic ties to the Tower of London has been celebrated on this brand new £5 coin!
Heraldic artist Timothy Noad has designed this brand new Royal Mint £5, which also features the second jigsaw-style section of the Norman arched window which will be seen in full when all four 2020 Tower of London £5 coins are placed together.
The Royal Mint £5 is available in a number of specifications, including Brilliant Uncirculated quality for JUST £10.99! (+p&p). Click here to secure yours >>
From 1272 until 1810, the Tower of London was home to The Royal Mint. Coins of the realm were produced in a dedicated area in the outer ward known as ‘Mint Street’. This dangerous task involved working with scorching furnaces, deadly chemicals and poisonous gases and many Mint workers suffered injuries including loss of fingers and eyes from the process.
In the 1600s, coins were no longer made by hand, but instead a screw-operated press was introduced. However, risk still befell the Mint workers, as they faced severe punishments should they be caught tampering with or forging coins.
In 1810, the Mint moved from the Tower to a new site at Tower Hill and eventually on to its present location in Wales to allow for expansion.
2020 Royal Menagerie £5
The second coin in The Royal Mint’s 2020 Tower of London series celebrates the Royal Menagerie.
There was once a time when monkeys, elephants and even polar bears roamed the Tower of London, in an area of the castle called The Royal Menagerie.
Heraldic artist Timothy Noad has designed this Royal Menagerie £5 with some of the castle’s old inhabitants – lions! This coin also features the second jigsaw-style section of the Norman arched window which will be seen in full when all four 2020 Tower of London £5 coins are placed together.
The Royal Menagerie £5 is available in a number of specifications, including Brilliant Uncirculated quality for JUST £10.99! (+p&p)
The Royal Menagerie
From the 1200s to 1835, the Tower of London housed a menagerie of exotic wild animals, never before seen in London, including Elephants, Lions, and Polar Bears.
The Royal Menagerie began as a result of medieval monarchs exchanging rare and strange animals as gifts (Historic Royal Palaces). In 1235, Henry III was presented with three leopards by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, inspiring him to open a zoo at the Tower.
Although many of the animals had brand new houses and dedicated keepers, they did not survive in the cramped conditions.
Therefore, Edward I (1239-1307) created a permanent new home for the Menagerie, known as the Lion Tower, named after the beasts kept there. During this time, visitors to the Tower would have first crossed a drawbridge to the Lion Tower, experiencing the terrifying sounds and smells of the animals.
Today’s world-famous London Zoo in Regent’s Park was founded by the original 150 animals moving from the Tower Menagerie.
The animals of the menagerie are commemorated by 13 wire sculptures around the Tower, by artist Kendra Haste.
2020 White Tower £5
The first £5 coin to be released in the 2020 Tower of London series celebrates the White Tower.
Designed by heraldic artist, Timothy Noad, the reverse of the coin depicts the model of the White Tower, which sits on top of the mace that the Chief Yeoman Warder carries.
In a nod to the previous collection, when all four coins are placed together, a full image of a Norman arched window can be seen, framing the design of each coin.
The White Tower £5 is available in Gold Proof, Silver Proof and Brilliant Uncirculated quality and I’m sure collectors will be eager to add this representation of our royal history to their collection.
The White Tower
Built 1078-1097 under William the Conqueror’s rule, the White Tower is the oldest part of the Tower of London and is the most famous castle keep in the world.
Built to awe, subdue and terrify Londoners, the White Tower’s ramparts, which are 90ft high, would have cast dark shadows over the wooden buildings of medieval London.
In 1674, the skeletons of two children were discovered in the White Tower, during the demolition of a staircase leading to the chapel of St. John. The bones have, for years, been speculated as the remains of the Princes in the Tower, Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York. Richard III is the name most associated with the mystery of the two little princes. It is believed that he had them killed as their right to the throne was stronger than his… Whilst this mystery is still yet to be solved, one thing’s for definite, this Tower really is a centre-piece of British History.
Now, the White Tower showcases the awe-inspiring historic and world-class Royal Armouries collections, including the royal armours of Henry VIII, Charles I and James II.
From the late 15th century and during its peak period as a prison in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Tower housed some of Britain’s most notorious criminals, including Guy Fawkes, Anne Boleyn and even Elizabeth I before she became queen.
For those in a position of wealth, serving time at the Tower could be relatively comfortable, with some captive kings allowed to go out on hunting or shopping trips and even allowed to bring in their servants. However, for those less fortunate, the phrase “sent to the Tower” would conjure up gruesome images of torture and execution, such was its fearsome reputation.
Despite this reputation, only 7 people were executed at the Tower before the World Wars of the 20th century, where 12 men were then executed for espionage.
The 2020 Tower of London series is already proving to be a huge success with collectors. We can’t wait to see the designs for the other coins!