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|1997 First Bi-metallic Two Pound Coin|
1997 Two Pounds Coin
The new type of £2 coin introduced in 1997 features an innovative bi-metallic design.
It is the first base metal two pound coin to be intended for circulation in the United Kingdom. It is also the first time that a bi-metallic coin has been used for British coins.
The inner disc is made of cupro-nickel, while the outer ring is made of nickel-brass.
After two completely separate blanks have been produced, the outer edge of the nickel-brass blank is raised and edge lettering is applied on a rimming machine. This then passes on to a piercing press which punches out the central hole.
Meanwhile, the cupro-nickel blank has also been rimmed and given a special edge groove to provide a key for the outer nickel-brass ring.
Both blanks are then fed individually into a coining press where the cupro-nickel blank is dropped into the centre of the nickel-brass ring.
The upward movement of the bottom die compresses the blanks against the upper die with a force of around 100 tonnes.
This immense pressure bonds the two blanks together and simultaneously reproduces the milled edge and the obverse and reverse designs.
The Third Portrait
The obverse (head side) is the third major portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Ralph David Maklouf, FRSA.
It came into use in 1985 and continued until 1997 inclusive, a total of thirteen years.
The queen is shown wearing a pearl necklet. In the next year 1998, the portrait changes to the fourth portrait, showing more mature features, and without the necklet. Please see "The Two Pounds Story" for details of the quite unfounded rumour.
The intricate reverse design comprises four quite different, but complementary, concentric circles radiating outwards from the heart of the coin, and embodies mankind's extraordinary drive, determination and creative genius.
Representing the Iron Age, the inner disc carries the latent feature which, when the coin is tilted, changes the design of the metalwork pattern from a series of four separate whorls into a pattern featuring eight inter-twined whorls.
The first ring, with its arrangement of cogs, gears and wheels, represents the explosion of industrial development which is now referred to as the Industrial Revolution.
Symbolising the computer age, the final cupro-nickel ring is adorned with a pattern derived from a silicon chip, while the outer ring of nickel-brass, with its inter-connecting web of lines, represents the age of the Internet and the information superhighway.
With its continuing outward movement, the design of the 1997 £2 coin skilfully unites both past and present, and alludes to the possibilities the future may hold.
More About The Reverse Design
After announcing that the reverse design of the 1997 £2 coin would be chosen from entries to an open public competition advertised nationwide, and worldwide on the Internet, the Royal Mint was surprised and pleased at the sheer scale of public interest and the volume of response.
Over 1200 entries were received and, as with all new coin designs, the final selection was made after careful examination by an independent body known as the Royal Mint Advisory Committee, presided over by His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Norfolk art teacher Bruce Rushin was travelling home from work when he heard the competition details broadcast on the radio, and spontaneously decided he would channel some of his creative energy into producing a few coin designs.
Bruce Rushin's design was eventually chosen as the winner. The design not only refers back to our ancestral roots, but also places itself firmly in the present, while the astute design of the ever-radiating rings echoes the forward looking ideals of some of our greatest minds.
The edge is milled and also carries an incuse inscription.
STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS
The edge inscription encapsulates perfectly the essence of the reverse design, and has been taken from a letter written by Isaac Newton to fellow scientist Robert Hooke on 5th. February 1676, where he very modestly claimed that his success had been built on the achievement of others: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants".
It is possible that Benjamin Franklin said it also, but later!
|Version||Diameter||Weight||Alloy||Actual Metal Weight|
|Piedfort Silver Proof||28.40||24.00||.925||0.7138|
Notes to Table
Diameter = Diameter in millimetres.
Weight = Weight in grams.
Alloy = Fineness of metal content.
AMW = Fine metal content in troy ounces.
Prices & Availability
BU Specimen in Folder
|1||£7.50||Call to check availability|
Piedfort Silver Proof
1997 and 1998 Two Pound Two Coin Set
For the gold proof version, please see our Tax Free Gold website.
Postage & Packing:
UK: At buyer's Risk £3.50 or
Fully Insured £9 (Usually by Royal Mail Special Delivery)
USA: Airmail at buyer's risk $10 or
Fully Insured $20
For further details, please see our Postage & Packing page.
1997 Coin Sets
1997 Coins Index
Order Form - UK
Order Form - USA
Order Form - EU
Order Form - Rest of World
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?
Or you could check out our £2 Coin Values page.
If you have an enquiry about any of our £2 Pieces, we'd be happy to answer you, but please note it may be quicker to telephone us. Please see the Contact Us page of our website.
Please, if you are going to ask us whether the £2 coin you own is worth more than £2, please, please, please read our other pages about them first, and even then the answer is almost certainly no. About 1,000 people every week read one or more of our pages about £2 coins. Hopefully most manage to find what they wanted. A tiny percentage, but still about 20 per week ask us whether a £2 they have found in change / in a drawer / been given is worth more than £2. The answer to 99% of these questions is already on our site. We do not have the time or patience to answer such questions individually.
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