In 1666, London was devastated by the Great Fire of London. To mark the 350th anniversary of this historic occasion a commemorative £2 was issued. The coin is an excellent item for anyone with an interest in British history or even in the City of London.
History of the coin
The first £2 coin was made using a single metal and was used to commemorate the Commonwealth Games in 1986. It was then used for several other commemorative designs until 1998.
In June 1998 the £2 was put in to circulation. The new coin was bi-metallic to make it stand out from other coins, and is the largest currently circulating coin. Since then it has continued to be used to commemorate special occasions.
About the Great Fire of London
The Great Fire of London is one of the most well-known events in British history.
On 2nd September 1666 a fire started in a bakery in Pudding Lane, London. Despite the baker’s attempts to extinguish it, it spread quickly, helped on by dry weather and a strong wind.
In the 17th century houses were tightly packed together and made of wood covered in pitch, and they had thatched roofs. This meant they were a fire hazard and helped the fire to spread throughout the city. After 2 days, half of the city was ablaze.
There was no fire service, so the only way to try to put the fire out was with buckets of water and axes. A fire break was created by blowing up houses and by September 6th, the fire had been extinguished.
Approximately 13,200 houses and 87 churches had been destroyed, including St Paul’s Cathedral.
How many Great fire of London £2 coins were made?
The Royal Mint circulated 1,625,000 Great Fire of London £2.
Design and Designer
- Front design:
The design shows the city in flames from the viewpoint of the Thames.
- Obverse design:
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark
Designer: Aaron West
Aaron West works in the design team for the Royal Mint. After studying at the University of South Wales, he worked as a designer for retail advertising. After taking up teaching, he then moved to the Royal Mint.
Although Aaron has worked on many coin projects, he currently only has two coins in circulation: the Great Fire of London £2 and the Sir Isaac Newton 50p.
1,625,000 Great Fire of London £2 coins were circulated in 2016, making it one of the less common coins for collectors.
- Brilliant uncirculated coins are available
- 600 Silver Proof coins were produced
- 1,300 Silver Proof Piedfort coins were produced
- 260 Gold Proof coins were produced.