Royal Mint

Royal Mint

August 09, 2005 10:18 ET

Royal Mint - GBP2 Coin to Commemorate Sixtieth Anniversary of end of Second World War now in general circulation

CARDIFF, WALES--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 09, 2005) - A special design GBP2 coin, commemorating sixty years since VE (8 May) and VJ Day (15 August), is being introduced into general circulation.

Collector versions of the coin, which depicts a dramatic image of St Paul's Cathedral, have been available for some months. In the last few weeks, however, circulating GBP2 coins are beginning to be issued through most post offices and banks to be spent or saved in the normal way.

Talented engraver Robert Elderton designed the reverse of the GBP2 coin, explaining that his inspiration came from being struck by the bold image of St Paul's which remained intact despite the devastation London suffered in the blitz. Robert said: "The coin more or less designed itself when I came across the images of St Paul's lit up with search beams in the shape of a 'V' for Victory on VE and VJ Day. Credit should go to Sir Christopher Wren in the first place and then those guys working the search lights at the time of the end of the war."

The edge of the coin carries the inscription 'In Victory Magnanimity In Peace Goodwill', taken from the well known saying that prefaces Winston Churchill's book History of the Second World War - "In war: resolution, in defeat: defiance, in victory: magnanimity, in peace: goodwill." Interestingly this statement can also be found on the memorial to Churchill in St Paul's Cathedral. The coin also shows the dates 1945 and 2005 and Robert's winning design was chosen by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee.

The obverse of the coin features the portrait of the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS, which has appeared on United Kingdom coins since 1998.

Gerald Sheehan, Chief Executive of the Royal Mint, says that the GBP2 coin design is a fitting tribute to the courage, determination and sacrifice of all those involved in the Second World War. "With the anniversary this month of VJ Day, it is especially poignant that we remember those who fought for their country far from home and brought the war to a close."

Anybody who would like to make sure they have their own coin to commemorate this important anniversary or who would like further information are asked to contact the Royal Mint Coin Club on 0845 60 88 300 or visit the website at

The Brilliant Uncirculated GBP2 coin is available in several versions; a base metal coin and medal pack, individual gold and silver versions, a four coin Allied Forces gold set and a six coin Allied Forces silver set.

Notes to Editors

1. UK End of Second World War GBP2 Coin Versions/Packs

* UK End Second World War GBP2 Base Metal & Medal pack priced GBP9.95, NO ISSUE LIMIT. The pack contains a UK GBP2 coin featuring a design of St Paul's Cathedral and official Royal Mint commemorative medal featuring the runner-up design by Jeffery Matthews from the coin competition on reverse, and Ministry of Defence 60th Anniversary Logo on obverse
* UK End Second World War GBP2 Gold Proof coin in 22 carat gold priced GBP325, ISSUE LIMIT - 3,500 (including sets). Presented in a capsule in a wood-framed leather bound case with an individually numbered certificate of authenticity
* UK End Second World War GBP2 Silver Proof coin in sterling silver priced GBP29.95, ISSUE LIMIT - 25,000. Presented in a capsule in a green metal-framed vinyl case
* Allied Forces 4 coin gold set priced GBP995.00 - ISSUE LIMIT: 1,500. The set includes the UK GBP2 and coins from France, Russia and USA
* Allied Forces 6 coin silver set priced GBP245, ISSUE LIMIT - 10,000. The set includes the UK GBP2 and coins from France, Russia, Australia, USA and Canada

2. History of the GBP2 coin

* The GBP2 coin - the United Kingdom's first circulating bi-colour coin, was introduced into general circulation in June 1998.
* The coin, which has a white (cupro-nickel) centre and a yellow (nickel-brass) outer ring, fills the gap between the GBP1 coin and the GBP5 note.
* There are estimated to be over 100 million GBP2 coins in circulation.
* The usual design on the reverse of the GBP2 coin has a circular theme, inspired by the two-colour appearance, and traces the progress of technological development from the Iron Age to the Internet.

3. Robert Elderton
This is the second major Royal Mint coin commission for engraver and former Royal Mint employee, Robert Elderton. He previously designed the Queen's Coronation 40th Anniversary GBP5 crown in 1993. He assisted Michael Noakes, with the Prince Charles' 50th Birthday GBP5 crown design in 1998, a coin which bears the initials of both artists.

4. Royal Mint Advisory Committee

The Royal Mint Advisory Committee was established in 1922 with the approval of King George V and operates independently of the Royal Mint. It considers and recommends all the new designs for the United Kingdom coins and official medals. Robert Elderton's image of St Paul's Cathedral was chosen as the winning design. The runner-up design by Jeffery Matthews is featured on the reverse of the Second World War medal which is available within the Second World War Base Metal GBP2 and Medal Pack.

5. St Paul's Cathedral

A Cathedral dedicated to St Paul has overlooked the City of London since 604AD and the current Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren was built between 1675 and 1710. Many important services have taken place at St Paul's from the funeral of Winston Churchill to the recent Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Contact Information

  • Good Relations
    Helen Birtwhistle / Jo Johnson
    029 20 344888