2015 Two Pounds

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Six different £2 coins were issued dated 2015. Four different commemorative coins; one as part of a WWI series (with 2 difference reverses) to mark the Royal Navy involvement in the first world war and another to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta (also with 2 different obverses). The standard coin with the ages of man reverse was also issued (with the 1998-2015 portrait) as was an all-new £2 coin with the new portrait of the Queen and a new Britannia reverse, which from now on replaces the standard annual technology reverse.

Commemorative £2 Coin, Type 33a: (info on coin type numbers here)

Obverse Type 2b (bust design by Ian Rank-Broadley):

Reverse Type (design by David Rowlands):

2pounds2015WW1rev

Edge: THE SURE SHIELD OF BRITAIN.

Mintage for Circulation: None, these coins were included in sets only.

Collectability/Scarcity: currently 3 (for scale details see here)

 

Commemorative £2 Coin, Type 33b: (info on coin type numbers here)

Obverse Type 3b (bust design by Mr Jody Clark):

twopounds2016obv3b

Reverse Type (design by David Rowlands):

2pounds2015WW1rev

Edge: THE SURE SHIELD OF BRITAIN.

Mintage for Circulation: 650,000.

Collectability/Scarcity: currently 3 (for scale details see here)

NOTE THAT FAKES ARE KNOWN TO EXIST OF COIN 33a – See here. There is also a known die-break variety which has added something that very much resembles a flag to the top of the mast.

The story behind the design:

Two obverses were used with this Royal Navy reverse. One with the portrait of the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley and the other with the portrait by Jody Clark. The reverse omits the denomination, so this has been incorporated into the obverse, in the case of 33a at the bottom as ‘TWO POUNDS’ and for 33b as ‘2 POUNDS’ to the left of the Queen. Coin 33a was only made available in annual sets and coin 33b appeared in circulation about a year later, during October 2016. The low reported mintage of 33b will probably make these coins go silly on eBay etc! Recent circulation quality coins tend to be flawed in terms of quality so I predict that truly perfect or near perfect examples will genuinely be hard to find.

The reverse by David Rowlands shows a Royal Navy battleship. This is the second coin in the centenary of WWI series. In February 2015 there was media hype concerning these after 100 of them (coin 33a) were deliberately given in change to visitors of HMS Belfast in London. The story seemed to imply that only 100 of these coins were made and that when they came to be circulated in large numbers they would feature the new portrait of the Queen! In actual fact, this was only half true – the coins that were eventually circulated may do have the new portrait of the Queen, but many thousands of this type have been made are were being sold very inexpensively in Royal Mint packs and year sets. I can’t help thinking that the release of 100 into circulation (which I suspect were either originally destined for year sets/packs or were broken out of packs) was a sales gimmick. Here’s the story from the Daily Mirror:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/fortune-your-hand-lucky-hms-5150528

Commemorative £2 Coin, Type 34a: (info on coin type numbers here)

Obverse Type 2d (bust design by Ian Rank-Broadley):

2pounds2012dickensO

Reverse Type (design by John Bergdahl):

2pounds2015Magna

Edge:

FOUNDATION OF LIBERTY.

Mintage for Circulation: None, these coins were included in sets only.

Collectability/Scarcity: 2 (for scale details see here)

 

Commemorative £2 Coin, Type 34b: (info on coin type numbers here)

Obverse Type 3d (bust design by Mr Jody Clark):

2poundsmagna5thobv

Reverse Type (design by John Bergdahl):

2pounds2015Magna

Edge:

FOUNDATION OF LIBERTY.

Mintage for Circulation: 1,495,000

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

Coins originally sold in presentation packs during 2015 feature the 4th portrait of the Queen (coin 34a). Coins made in larger numbers for circulation started appearing in June 2016 and feature the 5th portrait of the Queen by Jody Clark (coin 34b). The 5th portrait coins will never be issued in year sets or special packaging, so eventually these will all end up used and abused and may therefore be hard to find in perfect condition in the future. It’s also interesting to note that even coins in new mint sealed bags are usually quite bashed around and far from perfect.

NOTE THAT FAKES ARE ALSO KNOWN TO EXIST OF 34a – See here.

The story behind the design:

The obverse has either the portrait of the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley (34a) or Jody Clark (34b). The obverse used shows the date ‘2015’ and denomination ‘TWO POUNDS’ either at the bottom or to the left of the Queen.

The reverse is by John Bergdahl and shows King John signing the Magna Carta, flanked by two noblemen. This image is symbolic only, as originally the King would have ‘signed’ it with a wax seal. The Magna Carter, or Great Charter was a peace treaty between the King and rebellious barons and established the then unthinkable notion that all people (except the poor!) were equal and subject to the law:

http://www.bl.uk/magna-carta/articles/magna-carta-an-introduction

The Standard Coins for 2015:

Obverse Type 2 (bust design by Ian Rank-Broadley):

2pounds1998-obv

Reverse Type (design by Bruce Rushin):

2poundsStandardrev

Edge: STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS.

Mintage for Circulation: 35,360,058

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

The story behind the design:

The obverse portrait of the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley has been used on all UK coinage from 1998 to 2015 and is the fourth portrait of the Queen used on coinage.

The reverse design shows technological 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

 

Obverse Type 3 (bust design by (Mr) Jody Clark):

britannia2poundsobv

Reverse Type (design by Anthony Dufort):

2poundrev

Edge: QUATUOR MARIA VINDICO (I will claim the four seas).

Mintage for Circulation: 650,000.

Collectability/Scarcity: 3 (for scale details see here).

This coin also exists (and is probably scarce) with incorrect die alignment. See this post.

There are also known fakes of this coin that omit the ‘TWO POUNDS’ from the reverse.

The story behind the design:

The new obverse portrait by (Mr) Jody Clark was introduced in March 2015 and replaces the previous Ian Rank-Broadley portrait on all circulating coins.

These 2015 Britannia £2 coins started appearing in circulation mid 2016. The new reverse design by Anthony Dufort sees a return of Britannia to circulating British coins for the first time since the Britannia 50p was last made in 2008.

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