Robert Burns is Scotland’s most famous poet. The 250th anniversary of his birth was in 2009, and a £2 was released to celebrate this. This coin is the first to feature a design consisting of just handwriting so is a good choice for collectors, as well as anyone who is fond of poetry or Scottish history.
History of the coin
In 1986 Scotland hosted the Commonwealth Games. To commemorate this the Royal Mint designed a commemorative £2.
The coin was only issued as a commemorative coin until it was released in to circulation in 1998. The circulating coin differed because it was a bi-metallic coin so it would stand out from the earlier commemorative ones.
About Robert Burns
Robert Burns is one of Scotland’s most well-known and well-loved poets and was known as the National Bard and the Bard of Ayrshire.
Born in 1759 he was brought up on his father’s farm. When his father died, Burns turned against traditional social values.
In 1786 he published his first volume of poetry, ‘Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect’ and this was an immediate success. As well as poems, he also wrote songs, and his most famous, ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is sung in many countries at New Year.
Burns night is held in Scotland every year on 25th January, and involves a traditional haggis supper. In 2009 the Scottish public voted him 1st in a poll to find the Greatest Scot.
How many Robert Burns £2 coins were made?
The circulation of the Robert Burns £2 in 2009 was 3,253,000
Design and Designer
- Front design:
The Robert Burns £2 has the words ‘We’ll tak a cup o’kindness yet for auld lang syne’ in handwriting. ‘1759 Robert Burns 1796’ appear at the top.
- Obverse design:
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley
Designer: The Royal Mint Engraving Team
The designers behind the Robert Burns £2 were the Royal Mint Engraving Team.
Individually, the members of the team have designed many collectors’ coins and circulating coins. The Robert Burns £2 was a team effort. The design depicts Robert Burns’ handwritten poems and is the first coin to have a design consisting entirely of handwriting.
Just 3,253,000 Robert Burn £2 were released in to circulation making them a less common coin.
- Brilliant uncirculated coins are available
- 9,000 Silver Proof coins were produced
- 3,500 Silver Proof Piedfort coins were produced
- 1,000 Gold Proof coins were produced.