Charles Darwin £2 Coin: Is It Rare Or Worth Anything?

The Charles Darwin £2 coin was introduced in 2009 and features one of the most prominent biologists of the 19th century, but how much are they worth today?

According to the average sold values on eBay in 2022, a Charles Darwin £2 coin is worth around £3.21 in circulated condition without postage and packaging.

Let’s dive into the mintage of the coin, as well as the design to see what makes it sought after.

Charles Darwin £2 Mintage

The Charles Darwin £2 coin has a mintage of 3,903,000 and has been in circulation for more than 10 years.

As with most commemorative £2 coins, there were uncirculated versions of the coin produced by the Royal Mint for coin collectors, for which the mintage figures are shown below:

  • Brilliant Uncirculated – 169,713
  • Silver Proof – 9,357
  • Silver Proof Piedfort – 3,282
  • Gold Proof – 1,000

In 2009 only one other £2 coin was minted – the Robert Burns £2. This £2 had a mintage of 3,253,000 and celebrates the life of Robert Burns, a famous poet from Scotland.

If you are interested in learning about this coin, then check out our guide here.

Is The Charles Darwin £2 Coin Rare?

A mintage of 3,903,000 is not very low for a £2 coin – for example, the rarest £2 coin has a mintage of just 485,000. This means that the Charles Darwin £2 is not considered to be very rare, but it is still worth keeping your eye out for one in your change.

Despite this relatively high mintage the coin still sells well above face value on eBay, which shows there is still a demand for this coin even though it is not considered to be very rare.

The design of the Charles Darwin £2 coin

The reverse design of the Charles Darwin £2 coin was designed by Suzie Zamit and features an image of Charles facing a chimpanzee, in reference to Darwin’s contribution to the science of evolution.

This is also the origin of the nickname ‘Chimpanzee £2 coin’ which the coin is known as.

Charles Darwin £2 Coin Design – Image Credit

Towards the top of the design Darwin’s name can be found in capital letters, with his birth year to the left and the 200th anniversary of his birth – 2009 – to the right. Two pounds is inscribed at the bottom in capital letters to complete the design, with the iconic gold band around the circumference of the coin.

The edge of the coin is milled and inscribed with ‘ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES’, which is in reference to Darwin’s book that was published in 1859 detailing the theory of evolution. The obverse of the coin features Ian Rank-Broadley’s design as with all £2 coins of that era.

Other notable coins that celebrate scientific achievement include the 2003 Anniversary of the Discovery of DNA £2 and the Sir Isaac Newton 50p.

Is There An Error Version of the Charles Darwin £2 Coin?

There are no confirmed errors for this coin by the Royal Mint.

Error versions of coins are more often than not simply rumours or due to the manufacturing processes used during the minting process. This is why other coins, such as the Dictionary 50p, also have rumours relating to error versions that are not factual.

Why was it made and what does it commemorate?

The Charles Darwin £2 coin was made to commemorate 200 years since the birth of Charles Darwin in 1809. Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury in England and is one of the most well-known biologists in history.

He is most well-known for his theory of evolution, which was first published in his 1859 book the Origin of Species.
This is also commemorated on the coin by the inscription around the edge, which features the title of the book in capital letters.

It was not until the 1930s that the theory of evolution was accepted throughout society following the emergence of modern evolutionary synthesis, which is why Darwin was years ahead of his time in terms of the contributions he made to science.

When his book was initially released there were still lots of people who favoured competing theories such as theistic evolution or orthogenesis.

Although the theory of evolution is what Darwin is most well-known for, he also had notable research in lots of other areas including geology amongst several others.

Darwin also published other books such as a journal of his five-year voyage on HMS Beagle which led him to become a well-known author. His last book was published in 1881 and covered earthworms and their effect on soil, which emphasises the wide variety of topics he had an impact on.

Where can you get the coin?

eBay is obviously the main place to go if you want to pick up a circulated version of the coin, with some listings offering uncirculated versions. It’s worth noting that you should always be careful when shopping around on eBay, be sure to take your time to find the right coin before you decide to purchase.

We usually recommend the Royal Mint for any other uncirculated version, such as proof or piedfort, however, as the coin was released over 10 years ago it is not available any longer on their website. Other options include Bullion by Post or Chards, but the stock seems to be highly limited.