Coins that celebrate athletes and sporting events are among the most sought-after among coin collectors. The Olympics is a very popular sporting subject for most-wanted and rare coins, and this 2008 Olympic Centenary £2 coin is no exception.
To commemorate the Olympics two special coins were minted in 2008. The 2008 Olympic centenary 2 pound coin was one of them, alongside The Olympic Handover £2 coin. Both coins are among the top ten rarest two pound commemorative coins released.
Though the precise position of rarity changes slightly depending on when you ask and who you talk to. But, the 2008 London Olympic Games of 1908 coin is said to be number 7 of the 10 rarest.
How Many 2008 Olympic Centenary £2 Coins Are There?
In 2008, a total of three two pound coins were minted. They included the two commemorative Olympic Games coins – the other being the Olympic Games Handover £2 Coin – along with the standard Bruce Rushin Reverse technology style design issue.
In 1998, the United Kingdom introduced the British two pound £2 coin. This new addition to the coinage was made of two metals, with the outer ring made of nickel-brass, and the middle made of cupronickel. The coin weighed 12 grams and measured 28.4mm in diameter with a 2.500 mm thickness. These coins remain the same today, now with only commemorative versions of the coin minted each year.
The commemorative version of the two pound coin uses one of Queen Elizabeth II designs on the Obverse and a special design on the Reverse to replace either the Bruce Rushin technology design or the updated 2015 Britannia design by Antony Dufort.
There were 910,000 commemorative 2008 Olympic Centenary £2 coins minted. Out of the coins that were released into circulation, it is estimated that 1 out of every 1,314 two pound coins in general circulation is a 2008 Olympic Centenary coin.
Additional versions minted include a Silver Proof option with 0.356 Troy Ounces of silver and 0.925 Sterling Silver. There is also a Gold Proof version with only 1,908 coins minted worldwide. It was struck to Royal Mint’s Proof Quality in solid 22-carat gold and boxed with Certificate of Authenticity. It features .9167 purity with a metal content of 0.4707 Troy ounces and a weight of 15.97 grams.
The Design Of The 2008 Olympic Centenary £2 Coin
The design is part of the two pound coins that were created to commemorate a special event or to honour a historic figure. The 2008 Olympic Centenary £2 Coin was designed by designer and engraver Thomas T. Docherty in celebration of the 200th anniversary.
Thomas T. Docherty worked at The Royal Mint for more than a decade. He started as a trainee engraver and worked his way up to becoming a full-fledged member of the team within just a few years. He is also noted for designing the 2016 Royal Mint Remembrance Day coin featuring a red poppy.
The £2 coins were issued every year with several of them as a commemorative type to celebrate important people, anniversaries, or to point out parts of British history. The 2008 Olympic Centenary £2 Coin being part of the Technology type £2.
The reverse of this special commemorative Olympic two pound round coin features a design that was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Olympic Games. It features the anniversary date of 1908 positioned within a 4-lane running track to look as if each number is marking a lane of its own. The coin’s monetary value TWO POUNDS 2008 is inscribed on its side underneath the 1908 date. If you look closely at one of the black track lines, you will see the initials TD which belong to the designer, Thomas Docherty. The words LONDON OLYMPIC CENTENARY encircle the design on the outer flat rim.
Around the milled edge, the inscription reads THE 4TH OLYMPIAD LONDON
The obverse of the coin features the Fourth Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. In this version, she is facing right. This image appeared on the two pound coin from 1998 to 2015. In this portrait, she is wearing the “Girls of Great Britain and Ireland” diamond tiara, a wedding gift from Her Majesty’s grandmother, Queen Mary, in 1947. Just under her image are the initials IRB which signify the initials of artist Ian Rank-Broadley. Around her head and all around the outer circle is printed her legendary ELIZABETH II DEI GRA REG FID DEF which translates from Latin to mean Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith.
What Does The 2008 Olympic Centenary £2 Coin Represent?
The Olympic Games that are still played today began in Athens in 1896. The Games were the vision of Baron Pierre de Coubertin who had a dream to bring people together from around the world to share in the spirit of friendly competition. He hoped that the best athletes from every country could have a place to strive for victory and achieve personal excellence. These games have become the greatest sporting event in the world.
In 1908, the Olympic Games were supposed to take part in Rome. However, there was a volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius that completely devastated the city of Naples and the surrounding communities. It would take a lot of work and funds to reconstruct Naples which meant a new site for the Olympic Games had to be found quickly.
They moved the event to London with the city fully embracing the idea. They even built a stadium specifically for the Games in White City.
As it turned out, Great Britain was the nation with the overall winners that year between the 22 countries represented. Their athletes brought home a total of 56 gold medals in 1908.
Where Can You Buy The 2008 Olympic centenary 2 pound coin?
Searching online through eBay is a very quick and fairly simple way to find coins. Just be sure to do a little background research before making a final buying decision. The average selling price on eBay.co.uk for this 2008 Olympic 2 pound coin is £5.89 for this coin.
The Royal Mint has a great online store for those of you looking to buy uncirculated coins such as proof or silver proof, which you can check out using the link below.