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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9 AM GMT, March 20th, 2000

Two Pound Coins Worth £15 Each?

There is a rumour going round that a £2 coin, with the Queen wearing a necklet, is worth £15.

Banks, post offices and coin dealers throughout Britain are being swamped by enquiries about "rare" or "valuable" two pound coins, usually 1997, but sometimes earlier issues.

The fact is that the "necklet" coins are not rare or valuable, over 13 million were issued.

Base metal (nickel-brass) £2's were issued between 1986 and 1996, but were not very popular, and were only rarely seen in circulation. All these earlier £2's also feature the "necklet" portrait. The mintage figures for these earlier issues, and other facts, are shown on the attached data sheet for your information.

Additionally, the Royal Mint has in most years, issued specially prepared and packaged collectors' versions, and these are mainly still available from dealers for a modest premium.

Collectors generally prefer perfect specimen coins without the marks, wear, tear, and scratches which coins receive in circulation.

For all these reasons, it is unlikely that any £2 coins found in your change will ever be worth keeping. If ordinary ones ever became valuable, the special collectors' versions would always be more valuable because of their superior finish.

The year 2000 gold sovereign will be much rarer, with an issue limit of 250,000. Now that would be worth finding in your change!

- End of Press Release -


£2 Coin Facts

The rumour seems to have arisen because the bimetallic £2 was due to be released in 1997, but was delayed until 1998. Only (!) 13,734,625 of the 1997 dated coins were issued, all bearing the third portrait of the Queen. The 1998, and later coins all use the new fourth portrait, on which no necklet is visible. The mintage figure for the 1998's was much higher at 67,268,125, and the 1999 mintage will probably be similar.

We estimate that there are perhaps 150,000 coin collectors in the UK, and many of these do not collect modern coins or £2 pieces. There are therefore at least 100 "necklet" coins for every potential collector, so no collector in his right mind would pay a premium to buy one; he could find one for himself easily for face value.

The mintage figures for these earlier issues are:-
DateEventMintage
1986Commonwealth Games Commemorative8,212,184
1989Bill of Rights - English4,777,891
Claim of Right - Scottish
1994 Bank of England Tercentenary1,443,116
199550th Anniversary Ending WWII6,056,506
50th Anniversary Founding UN
1996Football 10th European Championship5,141,350

Almost all British coins from 1985 to 1997 inclusive, use the "third portrait" of H.M the Queen. In 1998 the "fourth portrait" was introduced.
The "first portrait" was used from 1953 to 1967, after which a new "second portrait" was used on all decimal coins from 1968 to 1984 inclusive.

For more information:
Contact: Lawrence Chard

Or take a look at our History of the £2 Piece page


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