Introducing the First World War 2 Pound Coin
In 2014, the Royal Mint released the First World War 2 pound coin in honour of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. The First World War started on 28 July 1914 and lasted a little over four years, the largest war in history to up till that time. The countries of Europe were divided into two coalitions, the Allied Powers and the Central Powers. To gather forces for what was to come, the Prime Minister appointed Lord Kitchener the Secretary of State for War. Lord Kitchener’s recruitment poster is one of the most iconic images of WWI.
First World War 2014 2 Pound Coin
The First World War 2 pound coin, otherwise known as the First World War Outbreak coin, features Lord Kitchener’s image from the recruitment poster, his finger pointing directly at the viewer. Designed by John Bergdahl, the words, ‘Your Country Needs YOU,’ are below. The Lord Kitchener 2 pound coin also has an edge inscription, part of the line from British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey, ‘The Lamps are Going Out All Over Europe.’
There was some controversy when the coin was first released. Some saw the design of the coin glorifying war since Lord Kitchener’s message was one that ultimately sent millions of young British men to their deaths. The Royal Mint responded saying, “This design was selected to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War because it has come to be strongly associated with the outbreak of the war and is recognised by much of the population. It is important to understand that this uncirculated coin does not stand alone, but is part of a longer programme of coins that will commemorate the First World War.”
(Caption: WWI Lord Kitchener Poster)
On the obverse side of the coin, the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II is depicted. The reverse side of the coin features a design featuring barbed wire and poppies, which are symbols commonly associated with the First World War. The design also includes the words “The First World War 1914-1918,” as well as the denomination “Two Pounds.”
The coin is made of a bi-metallic composition, with the inner circle being made of nickel-brass and the outer ring being made of cupro-nickel. The coin has a diameter of 28.4mm and a weight of 12 grams.
How Much is the First World War 2 Pound Coin Worth?
The Royal Mint issued 5.7 million of the First World War Outbreak coins, making it a very common coin to find. Ebay’s highest sold listing has a circulation version of it for £7.99, as of 2019. However the value of the coin does depend on a number of factors, including its condition, rarity, and demand from collectors. As a legal tender coin in the UK, the face value of the coin is £2. However, since it is a commemorative coin, it was not intended for general circulation and is primarily sold to collectors and investors. In circulated condition, the coin may only be worth its face value. If the coin is in uncirculated or pristine condition, it may be worth more than its face value to collectors. As of December 2021, the value of a First World War Centenary £2 coin in uncirculated condition can range from around £6 to £12, depending on the specific coin and its condition. However, the value of the coin may increase over time, especially if it becomes rarer and more sought-after by collectors.
Other Versions of the Lord Kitchener 2 Pound Coin
Beyond the ones in circulation, devoted coin collectors can find Lord Kitchener as a Gold Proof coin (1,200 mintage), Silver Proof coin (12,000 mintage), Silver Proof Piedfort coin (2,000 mintage), and Brilliant Uncirculated coin.
Other World War I Coins
This 2014 coin is the first in the Royal Mint’s five-year series to commemorate the First World War from ‘Outbreak to Armistice’. Next, came a 2-pound coin in honour of the efforts of the Royal Navy in 2015, another in 2016 to remember the role of the Army, and in 2017 they showed respect to the WWI aviators. The final coin in 2018 celebrated the armistice.
There are also five collections of 5-pound coins, from 2014 to 2018, that describe the story of World War I in more detail. These collections of six coins were minted in only Silver or Gold Proof.
|Composition||Outer: Nickel-brass (76% copper, 4% nickel, 20% zinc)|
Inner: Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)
|Obverse Designer||Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS|
|Reverse Designer||John Bergdahl|
|Edge Inscription||The lamps are going out all over Europe|