Britannia returns to circulating coins!

We are delighted to announce that Britannia is to return to the circulating coinage, on the new definitive £2 – she hasn’t been struck on circulating coins since 2008!

uku21830 britannia £2 bu rev

The new depiction of Britannia will replace Bruce Rushin’s ‘History of Technological Achievement’ design that has been a constant feature on the £2 coin since its first issue in 1997.

The Romans were the first to use Britannia as a personification of the island of Britain. It’s an association that dates back to the reign of Emperor Hadrian, who visited Britain in AD 119. However, her history on Britain’s coinage is somewhat shorter, as it wasn’t until 1672 during the reign of Charles II that Britannia first featured on Britain’s coins. For over 300 years, Britannia remained a permanent feature of the coinage, gracing the coins of every British monarch from 1672 until 2008 – when Britannia was last struck on circulating coins.

It was on the definitive 50p coin, issued from decimalisation in 1971 until 2008, that Britannia made her last appearance. She was replaced by the 50p of the Matthew Dent definitive designs that depict an arrangement of the shield of the Royal Arms on coins from the 1p to the £1.

50p reverse

With Britannia’s removal from the 50p in 2008 came a suggestion that the iconic figure might return to circulating coins on the £2. John Porteous, then of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee on Coin Design, said Britannia could appear on the £2 coin in a future redesign. The Royal Mint Chief Executive in 2008, Andrew Stafford also said; “It is possible Britannia could be considered on a redesign of the £2 coin” – a theory that today, seven years later, has proven to be correct, with this, the first change to the definitive £2 coin since its issue in 1997.

Britannia’s long-awaited return to the coinage is truly historic, and the new design by Anthony Dufort features Britannia as we have never seen her before! It has a contemporary and modern feel, with a cropped portrait displaying only the head and shoulders of Britannia – a departure from the traditional seated pose and the familiar defiant stance on bullion coins. However, her heritage remains: both the trident and shield clearly feature in the design, and Britannia is seen wearing a Corinthian helmet.

Britannia Definitive - BU
The Definitive Britannia 2015 – United Kingdom £2 Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

The longevity of replacing the definitive £2 design means that this historic design will be a feature of UK coins for many years to come – the ‘History of Technological Achievement’ £2, for example, has had 18 years of service.

Visit the website to be one of the very first people to own a new Britannia £2 coin.

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  • Adam Swansbury

    The Royal Mint should NEVER have surrendered to the Daily Mail! British, she isn’t. Corinthian helmet! Oh my giddy aunt! The question now remains, which artist is responsible for this?

    • Martin

      Have you looked at what was on her head between 1825 and 2008?

  • Anne Carey

    Well done, Britannia should be on ALL coins of the Realm!

    • John Hetherington

      I agree and have said so, Britannia should indeed grace every coin in the UK, she is part of “Great” Britain

      • Plantagenet Robinson

        Wouldn’t this be a bit boring ? You could make the same argument for having the Union Jack on coins, or a map, or the coat of arms as on some £1 coins and the old half-crowns, But we have never had uniformity on all the coins as you suggest.

        • John Hetherington

          we have had parts of a shield on all the coins, which I found boring. Britannia had had many forms over the years and each coin would have a different version of Britannia. Regarding the new £2 coin, I think Britannia should have been shown in her entirety and not just a part of her.

          • Plantagenet Robinson

            But the effect of a different part of the shield made each coin as different as ever, and it was NOT every coin, because it was not the £2, nor really the £1. Showing only part of Britannia IS a different version. But really, Britannia is not a fixed entity and is not part of Great Britain. She started life as Roma sitting on modern England & Wales, and somehow evolved into Athena or Minerva looking like a more impressive imperial figurehead than the ageing Queen Victoria. Still, people like her, so let’s keep her, but one coin at a time will do..

  • Plantagenet Robinson

    It’s nice, and (British or not) it’s a welcome new version of familiar Britannia from the 50p and the 1d. However, the £2 technology was a unique and very subtle design, which you could enjoy explaining to people. It’s a shame to see that replaced. The hologram effect was really best appreciated in new ones, and that will be lost now. One wonders if the new £2 coin will be as secure as the new £1 coin is going to be. It doesn’t appear to have any special security features, so is a step backwards. I don’t remember the technology £2 coins being forged.

    • kentishman49

      I found a Lead forgery of the Technology and the DNA whilst trawling through a £500 bag of £2 coins today.

      • Plantagenet Robinson

        How did you get to be “trawling” through a £500 bag of coins ?

        • kentishman49

          Because I collect £2 coins and the easiest way to come by them is to get a £500 bag from the bank and ‘trawl’ through them for the scarcer coins. My ‘trawl’ included finding a Northern Ireland 2002 Commonwealth Game’s commemorative.

          • Les Kent

            I do the same thing from time to time ‘trawling’ as you call it, it’s great fun and exciting at the same time because you never know what you might find, and this is real good old proper coin collecting NOT buying them off the shelf wrapped up never to be touched. but my best find of all was in a proof set I bought it was a unique £2 coin.

          • kentishman49

            I have an excellent relationship with my bank and a few local post offices. So far this year, and I’m keeping a spreadsheet to record it, I’ve ‘trawled’ through £7,750.00 of 50 pences and £5,500.00 of £2 coins. Plenty of Olympics, but still waiting to find my first Kew of the year. Shouldn’t complain too much as I do have 13!!

          • Les Kent

            I have a lot of the kew myself around 11/12 I must count them but I do know 1 of them is in the anniversary set and 31 is in a loose ann/y and a further 2 are in made up anniversary sets and
            the rest are on a care in an unc and proof sets
            and an open proof set just like the old way to collect but you have just made me realise that I don’t have one in my circulated collection but then it’s fare to say I have only just started that set, so I will have to look for one of those now.
            so where did you get all your kew from.

  • Nigel Whiteley

    So good to see her back where she should be….

  • Dave King

    Not sure that I am over impressed with Britannia have the trident slung over her shoulder. It doesn’t make her seem regal at all. Change it please!

    • okaythisonethen

      Have to agree.
      Land Girl, wearing fire brigade helmet?

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  • Hi Gordon, the date of the reveal of the new portrait was controlled by HM Treasury. The Annual sets we offer are always announced in Nov of the previous year and we could not delay the release of the 2015 Annual sets until March 2015. We were only able to announce that a new portrait would be revealed in March 2015 but no more than that; we could not reveal or announce new products ahead of that date. I hope I’ve explained that clearly, it is a little complex – it was for us too! Many thanks for your custom as an Annual set collector, we do value that and hope that you will continue to be so. Would you mind sharing your thoughts about the new portrait – do you like it?

    • Menelik A I

      Perhaps the Cabinet Minister in charge of the Treasury should co-operate with the Master of the Mint. This shouldn’t really be very difficult. He is, after all, the same person, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

  • Hi Keng, an incorrect mintage of 1,000 was originally posted on our website, but that was quickly corrected to 2,000.

  • They are currently being struck and will gradually be issued into circulation throughout the year, depending on demand for £2 coins from banks and post offices.

  • Les Kent

    This is a question for the Royal Mint or any collector who know the answer please, 4 or 5 months ago I asked if there was ever a 1999 technology £2 coin minted in a PROOF format but as of yet I have not received a definitive answer, if any one can answer this I really would appreciate it

    • Hi Les, we’re seeing if we can track this down for you in our records. Will get back to you asap with the answer.

    • Nicolas

      In short – yes

  • Lewis Royle

    My friend has one of thesse £2 coins without the “two pound” stamped on the back. Misprint or fake?