The Brunel Portrait UK £2 Coin: A Commemoration of Engineering Greatness

Issued in 2006 by The Royal Mint, the Brunel Portrait UK £2 coin was created to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a renowned mechanical and civil engineer. This article delves into the design, significance, and value of this remarkable coin, while also exploring Brunel’s contributions to engineering and his lasting legacy.

The Life and Achievements of Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, born in 1806, was a prominent figure of the Industrial Revolution and is widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest engineers. His brilliant mind and innovative designs revolutionized various sectors, including civil engineering, mechanical engineering, and public transport. Brunel’s notable projects include the construction of canals, dockyards, bridges, tunnels, and railway lines.

Civil Engineering Marvels

One of Brunel’s most significant contributions to civil engineering was the Great Western Railway, a groundbreaking project that connected London to Bristol. This railway, known for its broad gauge and impressive engineering, transformed travel and trade in England during the 19th century. Another remarkable civil engineering achievement was the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which spans the River Avon in Bristol. The bridge, designed by Brunel, stands as a testament to his ingenuity and is an iconic landmark to this day.

Revolutionizing Mechanical Engineering

In addition to his accomplishments in civil engineering, Brunel made significant advancements in mechanical engineering. His designs and innovations propelled the development of steam engines, ships, and public transport. One of his notable creations was the SS Great Britain, a massive steamship that set new standards for maritime travel. Brunel’s contributions to mechanical engineering played a crucial role in shaping the future of transportation and industry.

The Brunel £2 Coin Designs

The Brunel Portrait UK £2 coin series consists of two distinct designs, each capturing a different aspect of Brunel’s life and achievements. The first coin, known as ‘the man,’ features a portrait of Brunel himself, sculpted by Rod Kelly. The reverse side of this coin bears an edge inscription that reads, ‘1806-1859 Isambard Kingdom Brunel Engineer.’

The second coin in the series, titled ‘the achievements,’ showcases a section of the roof of Paddington Station, one of Brunel’s notable architectural accomplishments. Designed by Robert Evans, this coin also features an edge inscription that reads, ‘So many irons in the fire.’ Both coins bear the obverse side depicting Her Majesty The Queen, as is customary for UK £2 coins.

The Value of the Brunel 2 Pound Coin

While the circulating Brunel 2 pound coins are legal tender, their value remains close to their face value of £2. The Royal Mint issued a total of 14,904,500 Brunel coins, making them relatively common in circulation. Therefore, collectors and investors primarily focus on the gold versions of these coins, which hold a significantly higher value.

The Gold Brunel 2 Pound Coin

For those seeking a more valuable and collectible version of the Brunel coin, The Royal Mint offers gold bullion proof coins. These coins, available in both ‘the man’ and ‘the achievements’ designs, contain 15.98 grams of 22-carat gold. They come with certificates of authentication and are often presented in elegant cases. Collectors can also opt for a dual set, which includes both gold Brunel 2 pound coins in one collection.

The gold Brunel 2 pound coins are VAT-free and exempt from Capital Gains Tax (CGT), making them highly sought after by collectors and investors alike. Their intrinsic value, combined with their limited availability, contributes to their appeal as a valuable addition to any coin collection.

How to Buy the Brunel 2 Pound Coin

Payment and Delivery Options

When considering the purchase of a Brunel 2 pound coin, it is essential to explore the various payment and delivery options available. Reputable coin dealers and online platforms offer secure and convenient methods for acquiring these coins. Buyers can choose from options such as bank transfers, credit/debit card payments, or even cryptocurrency transactions, depending on the seller’s accepted payment methods.

Delivery options typically include standard shipping, express delivery, or click-and-collect services. It is advisable to select a delivery method that provides tracking and insurance to ensure the safe arrival of the purchased coin.

Storage and Security

Once the Brunel 2 pound coin is in your possession, it is crucial to prioritize its storage and security. Proper storage helps preserve the coin’s condition and value over time. Options for coin storage include personal safes, safety deposit boxes at banks, or professional vault storage services.

For those seeking additional security and peace of mind, some vault storage providers offer VAT-free storage options. This can be particularly advantageous for individuals looking to invest in gold coins such as the Brunel 2 pound gold coin. VAT-free storage helps minimize costs and ensures that the coin remains in a secure and controlled environment.


The Brunel Portrait UK £2 coin series stands as a testament to the remarkable engineering legacy of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Through these coins, individuals have the opportunity to commemorate Brunel’s contributions to civil and mechanical engineering. Whether as a circulating coin or a valuable gold collectible, the Brunel 2 pound coin serves as a reminder of Brunel’s genius and the significant impact he had on the world.

Investors and collectors alike can appreciate the historical value and lasting appeal of the Brunel 2 pound coin. Its exquisite design, combined with its intrinsic gold content, make it a precious addition to any coin collection. By owning a Brunel 2 pound coin, individuals can celebrate the brilliance of Isambard Kingdom Brunel and his enduring influence on the field of engineering.

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