In 2011 the Royal Mint decided to honour the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible with a commemorative £2. The coin had a low circulation so coin collectors are keen to acquire this one, as well as anyone interested in history or religious items.
History of the coin
The £2 was originally issued as a commemorative coin made from one metal. The first was released in 1986 for the Commonwealth Games which were hosted in Scotland.
A consultation was then held to establish whether or not a circulating £2 was needed. It was decided that a £2 coin would be useful and the first circulation coin was issued in 1998. This coin was bimetallic and larger than the other coins in circulation.
About the King James Bible
The King James Bible was published in 1611 and it was the first time the Bible had been translated in to English.
The translation was started in 1604 and took 7 years to complete. It includes the Old Testament, New Testament and the Apocrypha. The work was carried out by 6 panels of translators, and 47 men worked on it in total.
The original Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic, the New Testament was in Greek and the Apocrypha was in Greek and Latin, so the King James Bible meant that everyone could read and understand it.
How many King James Bible £2 coins were made?
Just 975,000 King James Bible £2 were circulated in 2011.
Design and Designer
- Front design:
The design on the coin features the words ‘In the beginning was the word’ with one half representing the reverse type print. The perimeter has ‘King James Bible’ at the top and ‘1611-2011’ at the bottom.
- Obverse design:
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley
- Designer: Paul Stafford and Benjamin Wright
Paul Stafford and Benjamin Wright are the co-founders of DesignStudio.
The two met when they were sharing a flat and both realised they weren’t happy with their current jobs. They decided to set up on their own and founded DesignStudio in 2009. They now have offices in London, San Francisco and Sydney.
Some of the household names they’ve worked for are Airbnb, Deliveroo and the Premier League. The King James Bible is their only circulating coin for the Royal Mint.
The King James Bible £2 are among the scarcer coins, as just 975,000 were circulated.
- Brilliant uncirculated coins are available
- 4,500 Silver Proof coins were produced
- 3,500 Silver Proof Piedfort coins were produced
- 355 Gold Proof coins were produced.