U.K. Royal Mint celebrates life, work of Alexander Graham Bell on £2 collector coin

The U.K.’s Royal Mint has launched a collector coin, as well as a set of other historical coins, celebrating Alexander Graham Bell 100 years after his death.

The £2 coin honouring the life and work of Bell – one of both Britain and Canada’s most renowned inventors – belongs to the Royal Mint’s “Innovation in Science” series, which recognizes groundbreaking British scientists and inventors. The new coin’s reverse design, by artist Henry Gray, depicts the dial of a push-button phone along with the words “PIONEER OF THE TELEPHONE” inscribed on the buttons.

“Alexander Graham Bell revolutionized the world of communication,” said Rebecca Morgan, the mint’s collector services director. “We hope collectors will treasure this wonderful coin celebrating one of Britain’s most renowned inventors.”

Born in Scotland in 1847, Bell left that country 23 years later to settle in Tutela Heights, a community near Brantford, Ont., where he developed the telephone over several years. While the first telephone was manufactured and tested in 1875 in Boston, Mass., Bell made the world’s first successful long-distance telephone call a year later between Brantford and nearby Paris, Ont.

It was March 10, 1876, when Bell completely revolutionized the world of communication upon achieving the world’s first successful telephone transmission. Changing the way in which we communicate forever, his innovation stands among the most important breakthroughs in modern history.


Canada’s federal government also recently authorized three new commemorative circulation coins, incluidng a $1 issue featuring Alexander Graham Bell, slated for release later this year. Announced in a July 6 article in the Canada Gazette, the official newspaper of the Canadian government, the issues include two $1 coins honouring Bell and jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. The $1 coin honouring Bell and his 175th birth anniversary will depict the Scottish-born inventor alongside two of his inventions, the “HD-4” hydrofoil and the “Silver Dart” aircraft – both developed in Canada – plus his signature. Bell has also graced several collector issues this year to mark his birth anniversary.

Issued in the 1870s, a U.S. $5 coin honours Bell’s breakthrough invention in Boston.


In addition to the Royal Mint’s £2 collector coin, the more than 1,100-year-old minting operation has also issued a set of historical coins relating to Bell’s life that were struck more than 100 years ago.

A classic Canadian sovereign commemorates Bell’s settlement in Canada.

The set features three coins, including a U.S. $5 coin from the 1870s honouring Bell’s breakthrough in Boston; a classic Canadian sovereign commemorating his settlement in Canada in 1870; and an 1847 London sovereign marking the year of his birth.

Both the £2 coin and historical coin set are available from the Royal Mint at royalmint.com/alexander-graham-bell.

Previous scientists honoured in the Innovation in Science series include Stephen Hawking, Rosalind Franklin and Alan Turing.

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