11 June 2018, 11:05

The £2 coin is 20 years old – 10 facts to commemorate the anniversary

Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the launch of the £2 coin, GoCompare Money shares 10 facts about the bi-coloured coin:

  1. The £2 coin was launched on 15 June 1998.
  2. The £2 coin was launched seven months after its originally intended issue date in November 1997. The delay followed concerns from the vending industry.
  3. The Royal Mint launched a public competition for a design of the reverse of the first £2 coin. The winning design, by Bruce Rushin, an art teacher from Norfolk, featured a series of concentric circles depicting technological development from the Iron Age to the Industrial Revolution, the Computer Age to the internet.
  4. The £2 coin was the first bi-metallic coin issued in the UK since the tin farthings with a copper plug in 1692.
  5. There are 37 different £2 coin designs currently in circulation.
  6. Three new commemorative designs will be released in 2018. These mark 200 years since the publication of Frankenstein, the 100th anniversary of the Royal Airforce and 100 years since the World War 1 Armistice.
  7. There are 479 million £2 coins in circulation, worth £957.036 million*.
  8. 31% of UK adults who save money in a coin jar or piggy bank, save £2 coins**.
  9. When the £2 coin was launched in June 1998 a pint of milk cost 34p (March 2018: 44p), a 800g loaf of sliced white bread cost 52p (March 2018: £1.06) A pint of draft lager cost £1.89 (February 2018: £3.61) and a litre of unleaded petrol was 66p (March 2018: £1.19).****
  10. The 2002 Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games £2 coin is the most scarce and collectable £2 coin in circulation.*****

GoCompare Money’s spokesperson, Matt Sanders, commented, “Since the £2 coin’s launch 20 years ago, contactless technologies have resulted in Britain becoming an increasingly cashless society.  According to industry figures cash now represents less than half of all payments made by consumers, and it remains to be seen if the £2 will still be in use in another 20 years." ******

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For further information please contact:

Anders Nilsson/Martyn John/Louisa Marsden at GoCompare on 01633 654 054 / 01633 654 725 / 01633 655132

Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845

Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare

Notes to editors

*Royal Mint (31 March 2016)

**Survey of 2,000 UK adults carried out by OnePoll (8 to 13 March 2017).  Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

***ONS Inflation and price indices 1998 to 2018, figures shown are monthly averages.

****ONS inflation and price indices.

*****Change Checker’s Scarcity Index for £2 circulating coins. The Scarcity Index tracks which £2 coins are the most scarce and collectable, using a combination of mintage, collecting and swap data.

******UK Finance: During 2016, cash represented almost half (44%) of all payments made by consumers – the second year in a row where consumers used cash for fewer than 50% of all payments. During the same period, cash payments reached £240 billion, accounting for 15% of the total value of consumer spending, a decline of 5% compared to the previous year.

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