How much is the 2012 Charles Dickens £2 coin worth? Is it rare?

The 2012 Charles Dickens £2 Coin: Celebrating Literary Legacy

Charles Dickens, the literary genius behind timeless classics such as “Oliver Twist,” “Great Expectations,” and “A Tale of Two Cities,” left an indelible mark on British literature.

Born in Portsmouth in 1812, he left an indelible mark on English literature. His novels vividly portrayed Victorian society, its struggles, and its triumphs. From the grim streets of London to the heart warming tales of redemption, Dickens’ works continue to captivate readers worldwide.

Charles Dickens worked in a factory and as a parliamentary reporter before he shot to fame in 1836 with the publication of The Pickwick Papers.

In 2012, the Royal Mint honoured the 200th Anniversary of his birth with this commemorative £2 coin.

Let’s explore the story behind this coin and its enduring significance.

Design and Symbolism

The Reverse

Matthew Dent’s design pays homage to Dickens’ literary legacy. Here’s what the reverse reveals:

The central motif features a silhouette profile of Charles Dickens, created from the titles of his famous works. The initials “MD” (Matthew Dent) appear on the right side, halfway between the top and bottom of the coin. 

Dent meticulously crafted the coin to include all the names of Dickens’ most celebrated works. These titles form the shape of the author’s profile, referencing both his immense contribution to British literature and his iconic portrait.

The coin’s legend reads ‘1812 CHARLES DICKENS 1870.’ Around the edge is an inscription taken from Charles Dickens’ personal favourite of his writings, David Copperfield. The quote is taken from the eternally optimistic Mr Micawber: ’SOMETHING WILL TURN UP.

The portrait image is based on a bust of a bearded Dickens, part of the collection at the Charles Dickens Museum in London.

Matthew Dent described his inspiration for the unique design. ““I wanted the design of the coin to reference both the immense contribution Dickens has made to British literature and his iconic portrait. The visual reference for the portrait was based on a bust of a bearded Dickens which is part of the collection of the Charles Dickens Museum in London.

The typography, that takes portrait form, uses several different typefaces; from ones that would have existed during his lifetime, to ones that were designed since his death, symbolic of the enduring popularity of his work.”

The Obverse

The obverse features the classic portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley. However, what sets this coin apart is the omission of the denomination “TWO POUNDS” on the reverse.

Instead, it has been incorporated into the obverse, discreetly displayed at the bottom.


  • Denomination: £2
  • Obverse Designer: Ian Rank-Broadley (portrait of Queen Elizabeth II)
  • Reverse Designer: Matthew Dent
  • Edge Inscription: “SOMETHING WILL TURN UP”
  • Mintage for Circulation: 8,190,000

Mintage of the Coin

The Royal Mint's official mintage of this £2 commemorative coin is 8,190,000 

The 2012 Charles Dickens £2 coin holds historical weight, but Its mintage of 8,190,000 places it in the realm of the more common circulation coins. For context, this mintage is similar to the 2016 First World War Army £2 coin which had a mintage of 9,550,000. The rarest of the circulating £2 coins, the 2002 Northern Ireland £2 coin had a mintage of just 485,500.

Other collectors' versions of the coin were minted and the figures for the Guinea design are shown below:

Brilliant uncirculated versions - 15,035

Silver Proof versions - 2,600

Silver Proof Piedfort versions - 1,279

Gold Proof versions - 1,000

Scarcity of the coin

In 2012, two commemorative £2 coins were made available, the 2012 Charles Dickens £2 coin and the 2012 Olympic Games Handover London to Rio £2 coin, along with the Technology coin which had a mintage of 3,900,000. No commemorative 50p coins were also released in this year. 

The 2012 Charles Dickens £2 coin has a high mintage and it is very likely you have received one of these coins in your change.

How much is the 2012 Charles Dickens Two Pound coin worth?

The coin, in circulating condition is worth around £4.00 without shipping, which is considerably more than face value and the values increasing.

Where can I buy the 2012 Charles Dickens £2 Coin?

You can buy this coin by clicking here.

You can buy the circulated version of the Dickens £2 coin online on auction sites such as eBay or Amazon but please ensure you look at all the information and reputation of the seller.

Unfortunately, as this coin is now over 12 years old, the Royal Mint no longer stock this coin so it is only available to buy on the secondary market.

Are there any known errors of this coin?

The Royal Mint has not confirmed any official errors for this coin so please beware of any sellers trying to inflate the selling price by claiming they have an error coin.

The writing on the side of the coin can be either one way or the other and there is an equal chance of it being either upside down or the other way, it is not an error.

Bit of trivia...

Charles Dickens owned a pet raven named Grip. He introduced the loquacious raven into his serialized mystery novel "Barnaby Rudge" (1841). Edgar Allan Poe who would later meet Dickens when he traveled to America, reviewed "Barnaby Rudge" and commented on the use of the talking raven, saying the bird
should have loomed larger in the plot.

Literary experts surmise that the talking raven of "Barnaby Rudge" inspired Poe's most famous poem, "The Raven", published in 1845. After Grip died in 1841, Dickens had the bird mounted. It now resides at the Free Library on Logan Circle in Philadelphia, PA.

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