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

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” are just a few of the words that made Charles Dickens one of the most beloved authors, and his commemorative £2 coin is just as beloved by coin collectors – but how much is it worth today?

The Charles Dickens £2 coin sells for £2.69 on average according to sold values on eBay in 2022, not including postage and packaging.

Let’s take a look at the mintage and design of the coin to see how rare it really is and why it is sought after by coin collectors.

Charles Dickens £2 Coin Mintage

There were 8,190,000 Charles Dickens two pound coins released into circulation in 2012, which is quite a considerable amount.

To put this into perspective, the rarest £2 coin in circulation currently had a mintage of just 485,500. The Olympic Games Handover £2 coin, as another example, was minted in the same year as the Charles Dickens £2 coin and had a mintage of just 845,000.

Is The Charles Dickens £2 Coin Rare?

To put it simply, the Charles Dickens £2 coin is not considered to be rare at all, which is reflected in the average price being just £2.69 on eBay.

Despite having an amazing design it appears that the high mintage has allowed this coin to remain common. It is also important to note that it has only been in circulation for around 10 years, which isn’t a long amount of time either.

2020 Charles Dickens £2

In 2020 the Isle of Man Treasury and Tower Mint collaborated to produce a Christmas Carol £2 coin collection, featuring three unique £2 coin designs.

The collection includes coins that will be considered legal tender on the Isle of Man and examples of these coins have sold for around £10 on eBay individually.

The Design Of The 2012 Charles Dickens Two Pound Coin

The special Charles Dickens coin is part of the two pound coins that were designed to commemorate a special event or to honour someone. The 2012 Charles Dickens £2 Coin was part of the Technology obverse type £2 style.

The reverse of the special commemorative Charles Dickens round coin features a design by Matthew Dent that was to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of author Charles Dickens. The initials MD can be seen on the right side toward the edge halfway between the top and bottom of the coin. These are the initials of the designer, Matthew Dent.

Design of the Charles Dickens £2 coin
Charles Dickens £2 Coin Design

He designed the coins to include all the names of Dickens’ most famous works spelt out in calligraphy to form the shape of the author’s silhouette profile. The designer wanted the coin to reference both the immense contribution Dickens made to British literature and his iconic portrait.

The portrait image he chose was based on a bust of a bearded Dickens which was part of the collection of the Charles Dickens Museum in London.

The literary works that are listed appear in a variety of typefaces. The designer purposefully chose typography that would have existed during his lifetime as well as some that were not designed until after his death. This was intended to symbolize that his works live on.

Included in the typeface words are some of Dickens’ most iconic works such as Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, A Tale Of Two Cities, The Pickwick Papers, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, Barnaby Rudge, Martin Chuzzlewit, The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, Dombey and Son, The Haunted Man, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Hard Times, Little Dorrit, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend, The Signal-Man, and Edwin Drood.

On the outer rim of the coin around the worded silhouette are the words 1812 CHARLES DICKENS 1870.

Around the milled edge of the coin is the inscription “Something Will Turn Up”. The saying is a line from one of his most famous titles, David Copperfield. The line was said by character Wilkins Micawber.

The obverse of the coin features the Fourth Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. In this portrait, she is facing right. This design was used on the obverse of all £2 coins minted between 1998 to 2015.

What Does The Charles Dickens £2 Coin Represent?

Charles John Huffam Dickens was born on February 7, 1812. Perhaps you know him best for his literary works. The special commemorative coin was minted to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the famous author.

Even though he passed away more than a century ago, his books remain among the bestsellers in the UK.

Charles Dickens contributed a great deal to the world of literature. Some of his quotes became household phrases that everyone recognizes immediately.

Charles Dickens wrote his very first story when he was only about 9 years old. The story was a tragedy entitled, Misnar, Sultan of India.

He was a master of words and loved to play around with words and even invent them. He loved to give his ten children special nicknames like Skittles, Lucifer Box, or Chickenstalker. Many may not know that before there was a coin minted for him, he actually coined several words that he invented.

Some of the words that Dickens coined include abuzz, the creeps, devil-may-care, flummox, gonoph which is a pickpocket, lummy, on the rampage, humbug, butter-fingers, scrooge, and whiz-bang.

“Merry Christmas” became a popular greeting after Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol where he used the words.

Charles Dickens £2 Errors?

There has been a lot of speculation online as to whether the Charles Dickens £2 coin has known errors, which is shown on a lot of eBay listings where sellers are trying to make more money from selling the coin.

Below, we’ve listed three of the ‘errors’ that are commonly found on the Charles Dickens £2 coins, and why they are actually not as rare as you might think (or as valuable).

Faded Dots

Around the silver centre of £2 coins, there are little dots around the edge of the silver circumference. In some cases, the dots may appear worn, or even missing, but this is a common occurrence on £2 coins and is a result of minting such a large amount of coins.

When millions of coins are minted the die used to produce the coins can become worn down, which can result in the dots becoming faded. This is not considered an error by the Royal Mint.

Lettering The Wrong Way Around

The edge inscription not only on the Charles Dickens £2 but also a lot of other £2 coins, can sometimes appear the wrong way around. In other words, the edge inscription appears upside down.

This, as with the other ‘errors’, occurs due to the inscription being applied before the reverse and obverse designs and is very common to see across many £2 coins.

For this reason, it is not considered something that should increase the value or rarity of the coin.

Incorrect Edge Inscription

In a previous article about the Gunpowder Plot £2, we explained how there is a common ‘error’ on the Gunpowder £2 coins where the letter R appears as a P due to wear.

A similar problem can be seen on some Charles Dickens £2 coins where the letter L on the edge inscription WILL appears as an I. This is unfortunately not a confirmed error by the Royal Mint and is simply due to wear on the coin.

Where Can You Buy The 2012 Charles Dickens £2 Coin?

Online at eBay is one of the easiest and quickest ways to find coins. Just make sure to do a little research of your own before you buy anything online. As with any coin, the exact price is going to depend upon what kind of shape the coin is in.

The Royal Mint is the best place for uncirculated coins.