Britannia has a long standing history with British coinage. Having first appeared on a 1672 Farthing during the reign of Charles II, she subsequently featured on a British coin in one way or another for more than 300 years. In 2008 she was surprisingly dropped from the 50 pence piece despite a Daily Mail campaign to save her.
After a short absence, in February 2015 it was announced that Britannia would be making a triumphant return to British circulating coins. Antony Dufort’s modern interpretation of Britannia was to feature on Britain’s highest denomination coin, the £2, replacing the “technology” design which had featured on the coin since 1997.
It was a very popular move from The Royal Mint, even the then Prime Minister David Cameron said: “It is great to see Britannia’s welcome return to our currency. Britannia is an enduring symbol of our national identity, ideal to help reinforce the sense of shared purpose and history for Britons.”
However, it wasn’t until 2016 when The Mint released the mintage figures for the 2015 coins that the real surprise was unveiled.
Only 650,000 of the 2015 date Britannia £2 coins had been stuck for circulation, making it one of the most scarce UK £2 coins ever! So scarce in fact that there were fewer of this coin than the England and the Scotland coins from the famous 2002 Commonwealth Games series.
The astonishing fact that Britannia had appeared on a circulating British coin in one way or another in an unbroken cycle between 1672 and 2008 was enough to ensure this £2 would be a favourite with collectors. The announcement of such a low mintage figure then created somewhat of a collecting frenzy!
The 2015 Britannia coin remains highly sought after by collectors.
The UK 2015 Britannia £2 Coin
That places it third equal in the all-time low mintage charts!
Change Checkers are often asking me, “when will the 2017 coin designs be released into general circulation?”
So, I have compiled a list below showing which coins are now available in your change and those that are still to be released.
The list will be updated as soon as we get confirmation from The Royal Mint that any new coins have entered circulation.
2017 circulation coin release dates
- WWI Aviation £2: A small amount released in September (Duxford Airshow), full release TBC
- Jane Austen £2: A small amount released in July (Winchester Cathedral), full release TBC
- Peter Rabbit 50p: September 2017
- Jeremy Fisher 50p: TBC
- Tom Kitten 50p: December 2017
- Benjamin Bunny 50p: December 2017
- Sir Isaac Newton 50p: June 2017
It’s worth noting that coins are only released into general circulation as and when they are required by the banks.
If you find yourself asking, “When are the 2017 coins released into circulation?”, this is the place to check!
If you find any of the 2017 coins in your change, especially those that are still to be released into circulation, we’d love to hear from you.