U.K. marks 25th anniversary of bi-metallic £2 coin

The Royal Mint has unveiled a commemorative issue marking 25 years since the introduction of the first bi-metallic £2 coin.

Featuring the iconic 1997 design by artist Bruce Rushin, the anniversary coin celebrates the United Kingdom’s largest circulating coin denomination, which has featured more than 50 designs commemorating significant moments in British culture, history, science, technology and sports. Rushin’s design features four concentric circles depicting industrial and technological progress from the Iron Age to the Internet.

“It was an astonishing feeling when my design was selected to appear on the first ever U.K. £2 coin,” said Rushin. “Twenty-five years later, it is an honour to have my design feature once again on the collectible £2 coin celebrating its anniversary. Visiting the Royal Mint to see the coins being struck has been fascinating. Being able to see the level of skill and craftsmanship that goes into making a collectable coin these days was very special. When compared to how the £2 coin was first produced, it shows just how much the technology has developed and was a real eye-opener for me.”

Combining tradition and technology, mint engraves added a security latent feature to the design to reveal the numeral “25” within the central cog when it’s shown under light—created using state-of-the-art laser technology to achieve sharper detail than the milling machine originally used in 1997.

The obverse of the anniversary coin also features an Iron Age privy mark to the bottom of the portrait of the late queen, a tribute to Rushin’s contribution. As with the 1997 design, the coin features the edge inscription “standing on the shoulders of giants,” taken from a letter written in 1676 by Sir Isaac Newton, who foreshadowed how today’s achievements would not be possible without the discoveries of the past.

“It has been 25 years since the U.K. £2 coin was first struck for circulation,” said Rebecca Morgan, the mint’s director of collector services, who added the £2 coin “has become a favoured piece amongst collectors, commemorating milestone anniversaries and events throughout the U.K.’s history.”

The commemorative coin bears the fifth coinage portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. The issue marks the first time in the history of the £2 coin that the definitive portrait by Jody Clark appears on the opposite side of the “technology” design.

The Royal Mint will release 2022-dated coins bearing Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait to ensure a sustainable transition to the coinage of King Charles III.

This anniversary coin is available as gold proof, silver proof, silver proof piedfort and Brilliant Uncirculated versions.

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