Always ‘Pemember’ the facts about rare £2 coins

Every keen collector knows that it is worthwhile paying close attention to the small details of your coins – it’s the only way you can ever hope to spot an error. However, it’s also important to know when you have a genuine rarity. There are a few stories which crop up more often than others, and hopefully this post will help dispel some of the myths about the £2 coins you can find in your change.

2005 ‘Pemember, Pemember’ Gunpowder Plot £2 

'Pemember' edge inscription of the Gunpowder Plot £2

The edge inscription of the Gunpowder Plot £2 appears to be spelt incorrectly

The 2005 Gunpowder Plot £2 commemorates the 400th anniversary of Guy Fawkes’ failed assassination attempt on King James I, but the coin is more familiar to collectors for having a spelling mistake in the edge inscription. The timeless quote “Remember, remember the fifth of November” has been found with various combinations of Pemember, Pemembep, Novemebep and so on. The common factor here is the ‘R’ which appears as a ‘P’.

Sadly for collectors this is apparently not a striking error. The explanation from the Royal Mint is that the down-stroke of the R coincides with the milling around the edge, and as the coin has worn over time, the letter has become less defined. This categorical statement from the Mint means that any mark-up in price for a supposed ‘error’ is completely unjustified, and although it makes the coin more interesting, it is not the mistake which it is often perceived to be.

1997 Maklouf ‘Queen with a Necklace’ £2

The Maklouf 'Necklace' £2

The Maklouf ‘Necklace’ £2 was only issued in 1997

The ‘Queen with a Necklace’ £2 has an enduring legacy in the collecting world. The very first bi-metallic £2 coins were issued in 1997, just prior to the Queen’s portrait change in 1998. This meant that the older portrait by Raphael Maklouf was only used for one year: 1997. His version featured Queen Elizabeth II wearing a necklace, which is how the nickname was derived.

When the portrait change was announced, the new £2 coins were snapped up by collectors believing them to be a future rarity. As it turned out, a mintage of nearly 14 million means the ‘Queen with a Necklace’ £2 is not one of the rarest coins in circulation. Nevertheless, with only one year of issue, it still holds an undeniable interest for collectors.

2007 Abolition of Slavery £2

Slave Trade £2 CompareThere is a misconception that there were two types of the Abolition of Slavery £2 coin struck for circulation. It is true that two versions of the coins exist – one has a textured finish whereas the other has a smooth finish and features the artist, David Gentleman’s initials (circled). The key difference is that only the textured version was struck for circulation, and if you find one of the smoother types in your change, you have actually found a coin which has been taken out of a presentation pack. This makes it considerably rarer than the circulating version, so it is worth keeping rather than spending!

It’s the little details like these that make collecting so interesting – and hopefully we’ve shed a bit more light on some of the most popular myths. Do you have any of these coins in your collection?


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Each coin in the pack is struck to the Royal Mint’s Brilliant Uncirculated quality, ensuring they are in superior condition compared to the coins you find in your change

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8 Responses to Always ‘Pemember’ the facts about rare £2 coins

  1. Eley says:

    My Son has started collecting £2 coins and his favourite is the 2006 Isambard Kingdom Brunel. We’ve seen someone on line commenting on an error with the word “pounds” where the “p” looks like a “D”. Is this a real mistake or an urban myth?

    • Hi Eley, in this particular case, it is not an error – it is just poor striking. When the outer and inner sections of a £2 coin are bonded, a slight mis-alignment can have an effect on either part. In this case, the bottom of the word ‘POUNDS’ on the outer brass ring has been cut off, giving the ‘P’ the appearance of a ‘D’. It’s always worth keeping interesting coins like this. Best of luck to your son with his collection!

  2. Tony Slater says:

    The 2005 Gunpowder Plot £2 Coin, the milling around the edge is at a different angle to that of the R’s leg so the mint are wrong, therefore it is a minting error.

  3. Rosanna says:

    I have recently found a 1995 £2 coin in my change, and after looking over the coin found that the date round the edge of the coin is missing in part. I understand this was maybe the only £2 coin with the date stamped on the edge, but my coin has only ‘1995 – 945’ along with the other text stamped on the edge. Should I get this valued? And how do I go about that? Thanks.

    • Hi Rosanna, the 1995 Dove of Peace £2 is indeed an unusual coin, because the date appears around the edge rather than the face as you’ve mentioned. Regarding the error, it sounds as though something similar to the ‘Pemember’ coins in this blog post may have happened. Does it look as though the ‘1’ may have been lost in the milling? If you would like to have any coins valued, our advice is to take them to any BNTA accredited coin dealer on this page: http://bit.ly/BNTAmembers Good luck!

      • Rosanna says:

        Hi, thanks for your reply.
        I have looked at the coin and there does not appear to be a chance the 1 has been lost in the milling. The I would have been at a different angle to the milling and I have taken some good pictures of the coin in good lighting that shows it is just missing the strike of the 1.

      • We’d be interested to see the photos – perhaps you could post them to our Facebook page? http://www.facebook.com/changechecker

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