World Coins

Royal Mint unveils 2020 circulating coin themes

The Royal Mint has announced five circulating commemorative United Kingdom coins for 2020.

Coin images courtesy of the Royal Mint.

The Royal Mint has announced five circulating commemorative United Kingdom coins for 2020.

Themes for official coinage for 2020 include the Mayflower voyage to America, Victory in Europe Day during World War II, and mystery novelist Agatha Christie.

The two other themes honor the 200th anniversary of the end of the reign of George III and the 2020

Tokyo Olympics.

Each coin tells “a monumental story that has helped to shape Britain as we know it today,” according to the Royal Mint.

These coins will enter circulation at a later date in 2020, with mintage figures and release dates depending on demand for circulating coins.

The Royal Mint has begun selling its annual sets featuring these designs, and will later in 2020 release special collector versions individually, in both base metal and precious metal versions.
The £5 coin, though it does not circulate, is released at face value through post offices. 

Mayflower voyage

One of three special ringed-bimetallic £2 coins for 2020 celebrates the 400th anniversary of the extraordinary voyage of the Mayflower.

The long, dangerous journey took 102 men, women and children from Plymouth, England, to what would eventually become Provincetown, Massachusetts. Following their first harvest in 1621, the original Thanksgiving feast was held, and the spirit of the Pilgrims remains in the annual American national celebration.

American coin designer Chris Costello designed the reverse of the British coin, which shows the Mayflower ship and dual dates 1620 and 2020. 

Victory in Europe Day

Victory in Europe Day (also known as “VE Day”) was May 8, 1945, the beginning of the end of World War II, 75 years ago this year. 

To mark the anniversary of the end of that six-year conflict, the Royal Mint is issuing a £2 coin.

Following news of the Third Reich’s surrender, spontaneous street parties and celebrations erupted across the country and lasted long into the night. A scene emblematic of that joyous celebration appears on the reverse of the coin, in a design by Dominique Evans.

Dame Agatha Christie

To mark 100 years since Dame Agatha Christie published her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, the “Queen of Crime” will be commemorated on a £2 coin for the first time. 

Having sold more than 2 billion copies of her stories, she is considered one of the most successful authors in the world, and this coin celebrates her legacy of defining the golden age of crime fiction.

David Lawrence’s reverse shows items taken from several stories of the famed wordsmith, set on puzzle pieces, representing the mystery genre. 

A dagger, bottle of poison, and pistol are among objects shown, with the author’s pen also in the scene, surrounded by the legend 100 YEARS OF MYSTERY.

The Olympics are here

The United Kingdom is one of only three countries to have competed in every single Summer and Winter Olympic Games. 

That streak is due to continue with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and naturally the Royal Mint is celebrating the events with a coin.

The 50-penny coin depicts a hodgepodge of sporting graphics representing various Summer Olympic sporting events. The Team GB (Great Britain) Olympic logo and five Olympic rings also appear in the design, created by David Knapton.

End of an era

The final commemorative coin announced for 2020 marks the 200 years since the end of George III’s reign. 

His period of rule saw sweeping change, including the loss of the American colonies, but also the acquisition of a number of other overseas territories that formed the foundation of Britain’s 19th century empire. 

Two centuries after his death, he will be recognized on UK coinage “for his contribution in making Britain more prosperous and democratic than ever before,” the Royal Mint said. 

The £5 coin features a reverse design by Evans, who described her design thusly: “I have placed George III at the centre of the coin design in a pose reflecting the iconic ‘bull head’ portrait, that I, like many, greatly admire. Surrounding George III’s head are the symbols of his kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, framed by his crown. I felt it important to add symbolism reflecting the life of a king, a man who was dedicated to discovery and progress. From science to agriculture and industry George III left a legacy that has been built on and we benefit from today.”

Special sets, pricing

Each of the 2020 coins depicts the Jody Clark effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

All of the coins currently are available only in collector sets, ranging from a Brilliant Uncirculated base metal version for £55, to a Proof gold version for £6,150. Silver and silver piedfort sets exist, as well as Proof base metal sets.

For the full range, with mintage information and pricing, visit the dedicated page at the Royal Mint website

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