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First World War £2 Coin

by Simon Barker

first world war £2 coin

  • Circulation: 9,550,000
  • Year issued: 2016
  • Edge inscription: The lamps are going out all over Europe
  • Value circulated: £2.00
  • Value circulated in excellent condition: £3.00
  • Value uncirculated: £10.00 upwards
  • Composition: Inner – cupro-nickel. Outer – Nickel-Brass
  • Scarcity index: 2

The First World War began in 1914. To mark the occasion a special £2 was minted. The First World War Centenary £2 has great appeal for anyone interested in history or for those who collect military items.

History of the coin

The first £2 issued in 1986 was made from a single metal. It was designed to commemorate the 1986 Commonwealth Games which were held in Scotland.

A few more collectible £2 coins were issued until a consultation took place to find out whether the coin should be officially circulated.

The response was positive, and in 1998 the coin became the newest addition to the British coin set. The new coin was bi-metallic and is the largest coin currently in circulation.

About the First World War

The First World War, or the Great War, took place between 1914 and 1918.

Tensions in Europe had been high for several years and in 1914 when Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated, it signaled the start of the conflict. The war lasted 4 years and was fought in Europe, Africa and Asia, with troops from the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia taking part.

There were many advertising campaigns during the war, and one of these involved Lord Kitchener and his famous recruitment poster appears on the £2. Kitchener was the Secretary of State for War and encouraged people to sign up voluntarily to fight.

The human cost of the war was great, with 8 million people being killed in Europe alone.

How many First World War Centenary £2 coins were made?

When the coin was released in 2014, 9,550,000 First World War Centenary £2 coins were circulated.

Design and Designer

  • Front design:

The coin has an image of Lord Kitchener pointing with the words ‘Your country needs you’. Around the perimeter it says ‘The first World war 1914-1918’.

  • Obverse design:

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley

Designer: John Bergdahl

John Bergdahl is a coinage artist who has worked for the Royal Mint for many years.

He designs coins for Royal occasions, military anniversaries and historic British events. He was part of the team which designed coins for the London Olympics in 2012, and his design has been used on the Mary Rose £2.


The Royal Mint released 9,550,000 World War 1 Centenary £2 in to circulation.

  • Brilliant uncirculated coins are available
  • 12,000 Silver Proof coins were produced
  • 2,000 Silver Proof Piedfort coins were produced
  • 1,200 Gold Proof coins were produced.

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