Introducing the London Underground 2 Pound Coin
The London Underground started in 1863 and was the world’s first passenger railway that was underground. The first open line stretched from Paddington to Farringdon and used wooden carriages powered by steam locomotives. Eventually, it would expand to 270 stations and connect London to most of its boroughs. It currently carries over a billion passengers a year on its 402 km of railway.
2013 London Underground 2 Pound Coin
To celebrate the 150th anniversary, the Royal Mint released two 2 pound coins, one featuring one of the trains and the other featuring the roundel logo of the system. The design of the train version was by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, the same team that created the London 2012 Olympic Torch.
Barber and Osgerby describe their design process on their studio’s website. With the coin’s golden outer ring to represent the tunnel wall, the 1967 Victoria line train was chosen because of the duo’s admiration for its “aesthetic simplicity” and how widely recognised the train has become throughout its history. It also employs perspective view to bring depth and movement to the image. The writing on the coin also uses the London Underground font, ‘New Johnston,’ to express familiarity and association to the transportation system.
Where most coin designers subtly hide their initials somewhere on the face, the designers did it on the edge inscription. The edge inscription is a linear representation of the Tube map but the initials ‘B’ and ‘O’ are hidden in the final station.
(Caption: Victoria Line 1967 Tube Stock at Holborn, during a chartered tour by Antje licensed by CC BY 2.0)
How Much is the London Underground 2 Pound Coin Worth?
The London Underground Train coin, as its also known, has a mintage of 1,690,000, a less common find. For a single circulation coin, not part of a set, the highest price sold on eBay as of 2019 was £8.75.
Other Versions of the London Underground Coin
As mentioned earlier, the Royal Mint released two 2-pound coins in commemoration of the London Underground anniversary. The other 2-pound coin design features the iconic roundel London Underground logo by Edwina Ellis.
The London Underground Train coin also can be found in Gold Proof (1000 mintage), Silver Proof (12,000), Silver Piedfort (200 mintage), and Brilliant Uncirculated.
|Composition||Outer: Nickel-brass (76% copper, 4% nickel, 20% zinc)
Inner: Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)
|Obverse Designer||Ian Rank-Broadley|
|Reverse Designer||Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby|
|Edge Inscription||Linear representation of the Tube map|