1986 Commonwealth Games £2 Coin: Is It Rare Or Valuable?

The 1986 Commonwealth Games £2 coin, sometimes referred to as the 1986 Scottish Thistle coin, was the first £2 coin of the 1986 to 1996 series; but how much is it worth today?

According to recent values on eBay in 2022, the coin sells for roughly £2.30 in circulated condition not including postage and packaging.

There is a lot to unpack when it comes to this coin and its history – so let’s get straight into it.

Is The 1986 £2 Coin Rare?

When it comes to determining how rare a coin is, the easiest method is to look at the mintage figure and compare it to some of the rarest coins in circulation today.

The 1986 Commonwealth Games £2 had a mintage of 8,212,184 for the regular version of the coin made from nickel-brass. This is not very low for a £2 coin, and this is reflected in the average sold value of the coin on eBay.

As with most coins, it was also released in various proof versions for collectors for which the specifications and mintage figures are summarised in the table below:

SpecificationMintageEstimated Value
Silver Proof (0.925)59,779£15-£30
Gold Proof3,277Around £1,000

How Do I Know If My 1986 £2 Is Gold?

The regular version of the 1986 £2 coin looks gold due to being minted in a base metal of brass-nickel, but how can you actually tell whether your coin is gold or not?

The best way is to measure the dimensions and weight of your coin to see whether it is gold:

Diameter (mm)28.4
Thickness (mm)2.0
Weight (g)15.98
Gold 1986 £2 Specifications

You should also check for certificates of authenticity to confirm whether the coin is gold, or you can get in touch with a dealer if your coin’s dimensions match those above to verify whether it is gold or not.

Given the value of a gold version, it is definitely worth checking your coin.

Did The 1986 £2 Coin Enter Circulation?

All £2 coins minted between 1986 and 1996 were uncirculated, however, it was quite common for some of them to end up in circulation.

While they are still legal tender, shopkeepers still reserve the right to refuse them as payment.

Other Coins Celebrating The Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games is a favourite of the Royal Mint and has been commemorated on a few other more modern coins that are still in circulation today.

These include the 2002 £2 coins featuring the flags of Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales as well as in 2014 but this time on a 50p coin instead.

Interestingly enough, the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games £2 minted in 2002 is the rarest £2 in circulation today with a mintage of just 485,500.

Design and Meaning of the 1986 £2 Coin

The reverse of the 1986 two pound coin features a design that was to commemorate the Commonwealth Games.

The design features a Scottish Thistle and a crown of laurel leaves superimposed on the St. Andrew’s Cross in the background – the reason why the coin is commonly referred to as the ‘1986 Scottish Thistle £2 coin’.

The date 1986 is centred toward the top, and the initials NS are seen at the bottom of the design, separated by the base of the thistle’s stem, to indicate the designer, Norman Sillman.

Design of the 1986 Commonwealth Games £2 coin
1986 Commonwealth Games £2 Coin Design – Credit

In 1986, the £2 coin changed to be made of nickel-brass yet still modelled on the gold issue coins with the same weight and diameter, but thicker.

The £2 coin changed its look again in 1998 to a bi-metallic coin that weighed 12 grams and measured 28.4mm in diameter and 2.500 mm thick. This 1986 two pound coin was the first of the new two pound coin to represent a special commemorative event.

Before the coin changed its design to the 1986 version and then to the modern-day two pound round coin, it was called the Double Sovereign.

The Double sovereign is a gold coin with a nominal value of two pounds sterling or 40 shillings. Under the reign of George III in 1820, the coin was considered to be a pattern coin and used the design of Benedetto Pistrucci that featured George and Dragon.

The obverse of the 1986 Commonwealth Games Scotland two pound coin features the Raphael David Maklouf effigy which appeared on the obverse from 1985 to 1996.

This is considered to be the third major portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. She is facing right wearing the royal diadem which she wears on her way to and from the State Opening of Parliament. She is also wearing a pearl necklace and earrings.

The incuse lettering on her neck truncation read RDM to indicate the designer, Raphael David Maklouf’s initials. Around the outside rim reads ELIZABETH * II * DEI * GRATIA * REGINA * F * D * TWO POUNDS. Translated from Latin, this means Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith.

Where Can You Buy The 1986 Commonwealth Games £2 Coin?

Searching online at eBay is a quick and easy way to locate even hard-to-find coins. Just make sure you do your homework, so you are sure of exactly what you are buying.

The average selling price on eBay.co.uk is £2.26 for this specific profile. As always, the exact price is going to depend upon what condition the Commonwealth Games Scotland £2 Coin is in.