|The Very Highest Quality Advice...|
|Two Pound Coin Values|
A stupid rumour started in 1999, that a two pound coin with the queen wearing a necklet was worth £15. There is no truth in this rumour, it is completely unfounded, but read our £2 Rumour page if you wish to know more about who started it, how and why.
Is the 1997 "Necklet" £2 Rare?
Without being too dialectic, it depends on how you define rarity. If you look at our Mintage Figures page, you will find the quantities issued for each year for all decimal coins, not just £2 pieces.
The 1997 £2 is rarer than the 1998, there were only 13,734,625 issued compared with 67,268,125 of the 1998; but compare 13 million with the number of collectors of British coins. Nobody knows exactly, but our guess might be around 50,000; if our guess is correct this would mean there are over 250 1997 £2's for every collector, more than enough we would think! Not all coin collectors want to collect modern £2 coins of course, so the true figure might be over 1,000 £2 per collector.
There are also many collectors who only ever collect coins from change for fun, and who would never consider paying over face value.
Every one of the 5 dates of Five Pound Crowns issued from 1990 to 1998 have a much lower mintage, at only 10,132,486 total issue for all five dates combined.
In our view the 1997 "necklet" £2 is not rare and never will be.
Are Any Two Pounds Rare?
The 1994 has the lowest mintage of any modern base metal £2 coin at 1,443,116.
The figures for the 1989 issue at 4,777,891 include the English and Scottish versions. The Scottish version is known to have been issued in smaller quantities than the English version, but we do not know the split between the two types. Even so their combined mintage is much lower than the 13,734,625 of the "rare" 1997 issue.
We would not consider any of the modern base metal two pounds to be considered rare.
Value or Worth?
It is also necessary to define value or worth when asking the question "How much is this worth?".
Do you mean how much would you have to pay to buy one or how much you would get if you wanted to sell it.
Dealers make their living by buying for a lower price than they are selling at. They need to consider how long they are likely to have it in stock before they sell it, how much it costs in administrative and negotiation time to make the purchase, the cost of insurance and storage, financing the stock cost, and the cost of the time to negotiate and administer the sale. It is usually necessary to keep VAT and other accounting records.
We sometimes meet people who think dealers margins are too high. We think such people should try it for themselves. Better still, try selling to a non-dealer!
In our Value of My Coin page, we give a rule-of-thumb way to estimate our likely buying prices compared with catalogue prices or our selling prices.
The condition, or state of preservation, of a coin is important when considering its desirability to a collector, and therefore also important when it comes to value or price.
You could always take a look at our Coin Grading page, but most coins taken from circulation will not be saleable to a collector or dealer.
If you look below at the Catalogue price in our table, you will only see prices listed in Uncirculated condition, or better. This is because the catalogue editors believe that the coins would have little appeal in lower grades, and would have no premium value.
Also if you look at our the pages where we offer £2 coins for sale, we only list "Specimens" or better, because we do not feel that collectors would want to buy an "ordinary" uncirculated version, let alone a circulated example.
Why Different Heads
With a long-reigning monarch, it is obviously desirable to keep the monarch's portrait current, so that it retains a reasonable likeness. Our current queen has reigned from 1952 to 2000, almost 50 years, and longer than most people's working lives. Imagine having the same security pass or passport photograph at retirement age as you had when leaving school. There have been four major portrait designs used on the coins of Elizabeth II:-
First or Young Head. Used from her first coins in 1953 through to the last £sd coinage of 1967 and 1970, and still used on Maundy money.
Decimal or Second Head. Used on the first decimal coins of 1968 through to 1984 inclusive.
Third Portrait. Used from 1985 to 1997 inclusive.
Fourth Portrait. Used from 1998.
1997 Issue Recalled?
Some people tell us that the 1997 dated coins were recalled, or only issued in small quantities. This is not true.
What About The 1986, 1989, 1994, 1995, 1996 Brass Issues?
We discuss these more fully in our other £2 pages.
We believe that they were semi-experimental, introduced to test acceptability of a £2 coin, and that they were unpopular because they were too heavy.
They did give the Royal Mint the opportunity to issue special commemorative designs for collectors or enthusiasts, without affecting the bulk of our circulating coins. There were seven different designs produced in five different years.
We also believe that they were all struck in sufficient quantity to meet demand at the time.
Marketing and Special Editions
As with most new coins and sets, the Royal Mint have produced special collectors editions of many new coin designs.
Mints have probably always produced special "proof" finish coins. Originally these would have been like printers' proofs, for the purpose of seeking approval of the monarch or authority, sometimes they were presented as gifts by the monarch.
By the time of George III, coin collectors had appeared, and many special edition coins were produced for them.
Since then, proof coin sets have been issued for most major changes in our coins, but these were never "marketed".
Since decimalisation, the British Royal Mint set up a Marketing Department to produce and market collectors coins. At first, it only produced a "Last £sd" proof coin set followed by annual issues of decimal coin proof sets.
In 1972 a Crown (Five Shillings) was issued to commemorate the Queen's silver wedding anniversary. In addition to an ordinary circulation quality, a proof version was available in the proof coin set of that year, and a separately issued sterling silver proof version was available separately. This was one of the first collectors edition coins to be struck in a different metal from that of the standard version.
Modern marketing is aimed at creating and increasing the demand for products, and the Royal Mint has successfully created an increased demand for collectors coins. We think it is slightly sad that many of these are "armchair" collectors, who only collect coins by buying "manufactured" new issues from glossy catalogues. Many of these "collectors" will happily part with over £1,000 to buy a newly minted gold coin set, but would never venture to buy a "real" old coin with some history attached to it. Real Roman coins, for example, can be found from a few pounds upwards, but we digress!
Also sadly, in our opinion, many people only buy new coin issues as an investment. This is the wrong reason to collect coins. Read our "Why Does An Old Coin Cost Less Than A New Coin" page for more information.
In Millennium year, the Royal Mint's product range for collectors must be the greatest in its history.
Special Editions in Silver & Gold
To meet demand at different price levels, the Royal Mint have produced many special editions of most new coin designs in gold or silver, and two pound coins are no exception.
We will attempt to produce a table showing all the types of modern two pound coins, with catalogue prices.
£2 Coin Versions
|1986||Thistle||Commonwealth Games||Uncirculated||.500 Silver||58,881||£12|
|1989||Cypher||Bill of Rights||Uncirculated||Nickel-brass||4,777,891*||£4|
|1989||Cypher||Bill of Rights||Specimen||Nickel-brass||Included||£5|
|1989||Cypher||Bill of Rights||Proof||Nickel-brass||85,704||£6|
|1989||Cypher||Bill of Rights||Proof||Silver||25,000||£23|
|1989||Cypher||Bill of Rights||Piedfort||Silver||10,000||£45|
|1989||Cypher||Claim of Right||Uncirculated||Nickel-brass||4,777,891*||£9|
|1989||Cypher||Claim of Right||Specimen||Nickel-brass||Included||£10|
|1989||Cypher||Claim of Right||Proof||Nickel-brass||85,704||£10|
|1989||Cypher||Claim of Right||Proof||Silver||24,852||£23|
|1989||Cypher||Claim of Right||Piedfort||Silver||10,000||£45|
|1994||Bank Seal||Bank of England||Uncirculated||Nickel-brass||1,443,116||£3|
|1994||Bank Seal||Bank of England||Specimen||Nickel-brass||Included||£5|
|1994||Bank Seal||Bank of England||Proof||Nickel-brass||67,721||£6|
|1994||Bank Seal||Bank of England||Proof||Silver||27,657||£30|
|1994||Bank Seal||Bank of England||Piedfort||Silver||9,569||£50|
|1994||Bank Seal||Bank of England||Proof||Gold||1,000*||£400|
|1994||Bank Seal||Obverse Error||Proof||Gold||1,000*||£700|
|1997||4 Circles||4 Ages of Man||Uncirculated||Bi-metallic||13,734,625||£3|
|1997||4 Circles||4 Ages of Man||Specimen||Bi-metallic||Included||£6|
|1997||4 Circles||4 Ages of Man||Proof||Bi-metallic||100,000||£6|
|1997||4 Circles||4 Ages of Man||Proof||Silver||30,000||£29|
|1997||4 Circles||4 Ages of Man||Piedfort||Silver||10,000||£50|
|1997||4 Circles||4 Ages of Man||Proof||Gold||2,500||£325|
|1998||4 Circles||4 Ages of Man||Uncirculated||Bi-metallic||67,268,125||£4|
|1998||4 Circles||4 Ages of Man||Proof||Bi-metallic||100,000||£6|
|1998||4 Circles||4 Ages of Man||Proof||Silver||25,000||£29|
|1998||4 Circles||4 Ages of Man||Piedfort||Silver||10,000||£50|
|1999||4 Circles||4 Ages of Man||Uncirculated||Bi-metallic||Not Available||£4|
|1999||Rugby||World Cup||Uncirculated||Bi-metallic||Not Available||£3|
|2000||4 Circles||4 Ages of Man||Uncirculated||Bi-metallic||Not Available||£4|
|2000||4 Circles||4 Ages of Man||Proof||Bi-metallic||100,000||£6|
Notes regarding Table
* = Combined mintage figure.
Included = Included in above figure.
Not Available = Mintage figures not yet available.
Catalogue = "Standard Catalogue of British Coins" prices for perfect condition, estimated dealers selling prices. We show the catalogue prices above for information only. They do not indicate whether we have coins in stock, please refer to our £2 coins for sale pages.
Some of the coins listed, for example base metal proofs, were only issued as part of a set.
Dealers Buying Prices
If you wish to sell a coin, you would need to find a collector or dealer who wanted to buy. Not all collectors are interested in modern coins, neither are all dealers. Expect about half of the catalogue price, but individual dealers buying prices may vary considerably from this, depending on their existing stock, anticipated demand. Just as you are under no obligation to sell, a dealer is under no obligation to buy, or to make an offer.
Is it worth keeping £2 coins you have found in change?
If you get pleasure from finding and collecting them, then yes, why not?
If you mean are they worth more than £2, the answer is almost certainly not!
You could read our page about Worth Keeping Coins From Change?
Will They Increase In Value
We cannot foresee the future, but there are things we can predict based on our experience.
If coin collecting suddenly became a popular craze, and circulated £2 coins doubled in price to £4 each, then mint condition ones would increase by more than double. On that basis, we would not generally recommend saving coins from change, only uncirculated or better ones.
Two Much Rarer Coins
If anybody thinks that £2 coins are rare, they would be well advised to look at the year 2000 gold sovereigns and half sovereigns. Only 250,000 of each will be produced, making them over 50 times rarer than the 1997 "necklet" £2's. Because they are an historic gold coin with world-wide recognition, they will be in great demand.
See our new Gold Sovereigns web site for more details.
If you want to find the value of a coin you own, please take a look at our page I've Found An Old Coin, What's It Worth?
If you have a coin which you want to sell, and you know how much you want for it, you can use the form below to contact us:-
|...at the Lowest Possible Price|
521 Lytham Road, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 1RJ, England.|
Telephone (44) - (0) 1253 - 343081 & 316238; Fax 408058; E-mail:
The URL for our main page is: http://www.24carat.co.uk/index.html
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