The Britannia £2 coin design has been issued twice – once in 2015 and again in 2016 – but how much are they worth today, and which version is rarer?
According to eBay, a 2015 Britannia £2 sells for an average of £3.51 while the 2016 version sells for £3.25.
In this article, we’ll explore the differences between the two coins to see how they stack up against each other. Let’s get straight into it.
Saying Goodbye To The Technology Design
The technology £2 design has been used since 1997 and was discontinued in 2015.
There was still a significant amount of them produced this year – 35,360,058 to be exact – but this was the last time that the design was used.
To replace the technology £2 design, the Britannia design was introduced. This design, which we explore in more detail shortly, features a figure of Britannia with a helmet, shield and trident on the reverse.
Interestingly, this is the first time that a £2 coin has had both the reverse and obverse changed at the same time, as the obverse for this year was changed to Jody Clark’s 5th portrait of the Queen.
Mintage Figures And Rarity
When it comes to determining the rarity of a coin, mintage is the best indicator. Let’s see how these two coins compare.
2015 Britannia £2
The 2015 Britannia £2 coin had a mintage of 650,000, which is exceptionally small.
2016 Britannia £2
The 2016 edition of the coin had a larger mintage of 2,925,000.
This is still quite small in the grand scheme of things, but it is nowhere close to that of the 2015 coin. This is very interesting when you consider the prices that collectors are willing to pay on eBay for these coins currently.
2015 Britannia Coin Printing Mistake
When the newly designed coin was issued in 2015, a few managed to enter circulation with a mistake. These “Inverted effigy” coins featured the Queen’s head rotated clockwise by about 150 degrees. Some coin experts believe that about 3,500 coins were released with this error.
The Royal Mint announced that the misalignment was “almost certainly the result of one of the dies working loose and rotating during the striking process”.
The Design Of The Britannia Portrait Two Pound Coin
A new reverse image of the two pound coin was released in February 2015. This new design replaced the original Technology type. This design featured Britannia with a design by Antony Dufort.
The image is of Britannia, a standing female helmeted soldier bearing a shield and holding a trident. Her image extends from the centre of the coin out to the rim.
She is wearing a Corinthian helmet. The shield is decorated with the crosses of the Union flag. The initials AD are seen along the rim just above the shield. The words TWO POUNDS are along the left-hand curved rim.
The milled edge inscription on this new 2015 design change reads QUATUOR MARIA VINDICO. Translated, this means, “I will claim the four seas”.
Also Known As The ‘Roman £2 coin’
A lot of people refer to this coin simply as the ‘Roman £2 coin’, and when you look at the design it’s pretty clear to see why.
This is quite common for £2 coins, especially for those that have intricate designs.
It’s one of the reasons why there is a rumour of an Abraham Lincoln £2 coin, and also why a lot of coins are referred to by their inscription rather than the official title.
What Does The Design Represent?
Britannia is the national personification of Britain. She is presented as a warrior in a helmet, holding a trident and a shield. The name comes from the Latin version of the word for Great Britain.
The coin celebrated the return of the British cultural icon with the female warrior.
The image was first used in classical antiquity and appeared on early Roman coins. On the pound sterling, Britannia is seen with her shield and the Union Flag.
Britannia was featured on many modern British coins until their 2008 redesign. She had not been seen on circulating coins since the 50p released in 2008. She continues to appear annually on the gold and silver Britannia bullion coin series.
Her spear is a trident to represent the Royal Navy and its victories.