1997 Two Pounds

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One £2 coin was issued dated 1997. It is the only £2 coin that features the 3rd coin portrait of the Queen, by Raphael Maklouf. There were rumours at the time that this coin was in some way rare, because it showed the Queen ‘wearing a necklace’ (i.e. featured the Maklouf portrait). It was introduced  into circulation later than planned, in the middle of 1998 and at the same time as the 1998 dated coin with the 4th portrait of the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley. I think this confused the public a little and I can remember people paying many times face value for them. The 1997 dated coin was struck in large numbers and is not rare.

Obverse Type 1 (bust design by Raphael Maklouf):

2pounds1997obv

Reverse Type 1 (design by Bruce Rushin):

2poundsStandardrev

Edge: STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS.

Mintage for Circulation: 13,734,625.

Collectability/Scarcity: 1 (for scale details see here)

The story behind the design:

The obverse portrait of the Queen by Raphael Maklouf was used on all UK coinage from 1985 to 1997 and was the third portrait of the Queen used on coinage.

The reverse design shows the ages of man. Represented are the Iron Age, the Industrial Revolution, the Electronic Age and the Internet Age. The edge quote ‘STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS’ is from a letter by Sir Isaac Newton from 1676 in which he wrote: ‘If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’, which may have been a modest nod to other scientists, but some say that it may have been poking fun at the stature of the recipient of the letter, Robert Hooke. The expression ‘Standing on the shoulders of giants’ pre-dates Newton by many centuries:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_on_the_shoulders_of_giants 

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