Edward Jenner £2 Coin: The Perfect Addition to Your UK Coin Collection

The Royal Mint has unveiled a new £2 coin in their UK collection to honor Edward Jenner, a pioneer in immunology who introduced a safe and effective smallpox vaccine in 1796. This Edward Jenner £2 coin, a significant addition to The Royal Mint’s Innovation in Science series, commemorates the 200th anniversary of Jenner’s death in 2023.

Notably, this coin marks the first occasion an individual UK £2 coin carries the portrait of King Charles III, enhancing its appeal among collectors. The Edward Jenner £2 coin, blending history with modern numismatics, stands as a must-have for enthusiasts of coin collection and the study of immunology.

The Legacy of Edward Jenner

Edward Jenner’s legacy deeply influences global health. The Edward Jenner £2 coin symbolizes medical innovation and immunology’s lasting impact. Jenner’s pioneering efforts in developing the first successful smallpox vaccine saved countless lives and shaped modern immunization. By observing that milkmaids with cowpox were immune to smallpox, he discovered cowpox’s potential as a vaccine. Testing this on James Phipps in 1796 initiated the end of smallpox’s reign of terror. Despite initial skepticism, Jenner’s work gained acceptance, leading to smallpox’s global eradication by the late 20th century. Designed by Henry Gray, the coin portrays Jenner’s contributions with a smallpox cell core surrounded by icons representing saved lives. Packaged with details of Jenner’s life, the coin honours a man whose curiosity and scientific rigor left an indelible mark.

Historical Context

The Edward Jenner £2 coin, year-dated 2023, commemorates a monumental bicentenary, marking 200 years since the passing of a figure pivotal to medical science. This coin, a part of The Royal Mint’s esteemed Innovation in Science series, pays homage to Jenner’s revolutionary smallpox vaccine, a cornerstone in the field of immunology. Notably, the coin’s release coincides with a period of renewed appreciation for Jenner’s legacy, especially in the context of the recent global health challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Historical Milestones:
    1. Origin of Smallpox: Traced back to 10,000 BC, originating from northeastern Africa and spreading to India through ancient Egyptian merchants.
    2. Evidence in Mummies: The first known evidence of smallpox was identified in the faces of mummies from the 18th and 20th Egyptian Dynasties, dating between 1570-1085 BC.
    3. Variolation Practices: Before Jenner’s vaccine, variolation was practiced in Africa, India, and China, involving the subcutaneous instillation of the smallpox virus into non-immune individuals.
  • Jenner’s Journey:
    • Rooted in personal experience with variolation as a schoolboy and his astute observations in rural medical practice, Jenner’s groundbreaking discovery was significantly influenced by his induction into the scientific method by John Hunter at St George’s Hospital. This blend of personal experience and scientific rigor underpinned Jenner’s work, leading to the development of the world’s first successful smallpox vaccine.

The Edward Jenner £2 coin not only celebrates Jenner as ‘the father of immunology’ but also honors The Royal Mint’s over 1,100 years of history in producing coins that commemorate significant figures and events with unparalleled craftsmanship and innovative design.

Design and Features

The Edward Jenner £2 coin is a masterpiece of numismatic art, capturing the essence of Jenner’s contribution to immunology with its intricate design and features. Crafted by Henry Gray, the coin’s reverse side beautifully showcases an abstract depiction of a smallpox cell and a representation of the population saved by Jenner’s vaccine, encapsulating the monumental impact of his work. This design not only commemorates Jenner’s legacy but also serves as a poignant reminder of the millions of lives saved through vaccination.

Available in a variety of editions, collectors and enthusiasts have the opportunity to acquire this coin in Brilliant Uncirculated, Silver Proof, Silver Proof Piedfort, and Gold Proof qualities. Each edition offers a distinct experience:

  • Brilliant Uncirculated: Offers a pristine finish without the wear of circulation, available for £9.99 (+p&p).
  • Silver Proof and Silver Proof Piedfort: Struck in .925 sterling silver, these versions offer a higher degree of detail and finish, with the Piedfort edition being double the thickness.
  • Gold Proof: The pinnacle of the collection, this edition is struck in solid gold, presenting the highest level of craftsmanship.
Edward Jenner 2023 UK £2 Brilliant Uncirculated Coin reverse

The coin also marks a historical milestone as one of the first UK £2 coins to feature the official coinage portrait of His Majesty King Charles III, alongside Jody Clark’s effigy of the late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse, confirming its legal tender status. This dual portrayal adds a unique historical significance, making the Edward Jenner £2 coin an increasingly sought-after piece among collectors. Each coin comes in original limited edition packaging from The Royal Mint, complete with detailed information about Jenner’s life and the smallpox vaccine, enhancing its collectible value.


Through the unveiling of the Edward Jenner £2 coin, The Royal Mint not only commemorates a significant milestone in both historical and medical realms but also celebrates the enduring legacy of a pioneer whose work has fundamentally transformed global health. This coin serves as a testament to Jenner’s breakthrough in immunology, marking the 200th anniversary of his death with a profound tribute to his life and the countless lives saved through vaccination. As this coin joins the ranks of collectors’ items, it encapsulates the monumental impact of Jenner’s discovery, making it an essential addition to any collection and a symbol of human triumph over disease.

The Edward Jenner £2 coin, with its intricate design and historical significance, bridges past and present, honoring the innovation in science that continues to shape our world. Its release during a time of global health awareness underscores the timeless relevance of Jenner’s contributions and the continuing importance of vaccination in public health. Collectors and admirers of scientific achievement alike will find in this coin a piece of history and a reminder of the progress we owe to the pioneers of the past. As such, the Edward Jenner £2 coin stands as a captivating homage to the father of immunology and a call to remember the lessons of history as we navigate the health challenges of the modern world.

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