How much is the 2016 Great Fire of London £2 coin worth? Is it rare?

The 2016 Great Fire of London £2 coin commemorates the dramatic events of the Great Fire that occurred 350 years ago. This devastating fire forced residents to “leave all to the fire” in 1666, shaping the iconic skyline of the London we know today.

Let’s delve into more details about this remarkable coin, in particular looking at its design and current value.

History of the coin

The coin remembers the Great Fire that changed London forever. The fire began on 2nd September 1666 and lasted just under five days. One-third of London was destroyed and about 100,000 people were made homeless.

The fire started at 1am on Sunday morning in Thomas Farriner's bakery just off Pudding Lane, in Fish Yard. It may have been caused by a spark from his oven falling onto a pile of fuel nearby. The fire spread easily because London was very dry after a long, hot summer.

The area near Pudding Lane was littered with warehouses which contained highly flammable items such as timber, rope, and oil. A formidable easterly wind carried the fire through the narrow streets, leaping from one house to the next.

The best way to stop the fire was to pull down houses with hooks to make gaps or 'fire breaks'. This was difficult because the wind forced the fire across any gaps created. The mayor, Thomas Bludworth, complained, 'the fire overtakes us faster than we can do it.'

The damage caused by the Great Fire was immense: 436 acres of London were destroyed, including 13,200 houses and 87 out of 109 churches. Some places still smouldered for months afterwards. Only 51 churches and about 9000 houses were rebuilt. St Paul's Cathedral was ruined, as was the Guildhall and 52 livery company halls.

In 2016, this coin was commissioned by the Royal Mint as a reminder of this devastating tragedy.

Design of the coin

The coin’s design captures a pivotal moment in British history, forever etching the Great Fire of London into our collective memory. It was designed by Aaron West.

The reverse side of the coin features a powerful scene: a city engulfed in flames. From the perspective of a Londoner seeking safety on the Thames, the design portrays boats waiting amidst billowing smoke as the city burns.

The skyline extends the entire width of the coin, with boats and billows of smoke extending onto the outer rim. Aaron West said that he deliberately let the design spill over the border as he wanted to convey the feeling that the fire was completely out of control and unable to be contained, despite the best efforts of the locals and London soldiers.

The skyline extends across the entire width of the coin, emphasising the magnitude of the disaster.

The artist’s initials, AW, appear below the skyline on the right side within the outer rim. The words “1666 THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON 2016” encircle the image, while “TWO POUNDS” is centred toward the bottom rim.

The milled edge inscription reads: “THE WHOLE CITY IN DREADFUL FLAMES.”

About the designer

Aaron West, a talented designer, has been part of the design team at The Royal Mint since 2011. His creative contributions have left a lasting mark on some remarkable coins. 

He depicted the scene of the devastating fire on the 2016 Great Fire of London £2 coin where his reverse design  captures the chaos and destruction of the fire, paying homage to a pivotal moment in British history and he also designed the reverse side of the 2017 UK 50p coin dedicated to Sir Isaac Newton. This coin celebrates the scientific genius and his pivotal role as the Master of the Mint.

The obverse of each coin shows the fifth portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Jody Clark. This is the first time the portrait has been used on £2 coins, having only been unveiled in 2015.

Surrounding her head all around the outer circle is her legendary ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2 POUNDS which translates from Latin to mean Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith.

Designed by Royal Mint engraver, Jody Clark, the fifth definitive UK coin portrait features a bust of Queen Elizabeth II wearing the King George IV State Royal Diamond Diadem Crown, which she wore for her Coronation in 1953. The initials JC, are just below the neckline of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Jody Clark chose this to link his design to the past as it was featured in the designs by both Raphael Maklouf and Arnold Machin. The Queen is also wearing the Diamond Jubilee drop pearl earring 's and her chin is lifted slightly. 

Specifications:
Denomination £2
Year 2016
Weight 12.00g
Diameter 28.40mm
Reverse Designer Aaron West
Obverse Designer Jody Clark
Metal Nickel Brass (Outer) and Cupro-Nickel (Inner)
Mintage 1,625,000
 

Mintage of the Coin

The Royal Mint confirmed 2016 Great Fire of London £2 coin has a mintage of 1,625,000 coins, making it relatively rare compared to most other £2 coins. It is estimated that over one million are still in circulation today.

Collectors seek out this coin not only for its scarcity but also for its thematic resonance.

There were a number of other £2 coin released into circulation in 2016 namely the 2016 Shakespeare Comedies £2 Coin which had a mintage of 4,355,000, the 2016 Shakespeare Tragedies £2 Coin which had a mintage of 4,615,000 and the Histories £2 coin, slightly more at 5,655,000.

The 2016 First World War Army £2 Coin was also released in 2016 which had a higher mintage of 9,550,000.

Additional versions were minted of the 2016 Great Fire of London £2 coin.

A total of 50,858 Brilliant Uncirculated versions were released, which are now worth around £15. Silver Proof versions are valued at £75 and a total of just 2,690 of these were available to purchase and 1,812 Silver Proof Piedfort coins were made which now retail for around £120. Finally, 341 Gold Proof versions were sold and are now worth in excess of £900.

How rare is the 2016 Great Fire of London £2 Coin?

In terms of rarity, the Fire of London £2 is considered rare due to its low mintage of only 1.6 million.

Although you are still able to find one in your change, the Great Fire of London £2 coin has been in circulation for over 8 years now, and with coin collectors adding them to their collection thus taking them out of circulation, these coins are becoming harder and harder to find. If you do happen to find one, it is definitely worth hanging on to.

How much is the 2016 Great Fire of London Two Pound coin worth?

The 2016 Great Fire of London £2 coin is worth around £6 in good condition, which is considerably more than face value and the value of this coin is steadily increasing.

Where can I buy the 2016 Great Fire of London £2 Coin?

You can buy the 2016 Great Fire of London £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.

Alternatively, you can buy it from us by clicking here.

Unfortunately, as this coin is now 8 years old, the Royal Mint no longer stocks this coin so it is only available to buy on the secondary market.

Are there any known errors of this coin?

No errors have been confirmed by the Royal Mint for this coin.

Bit of trivia...

London’s Lord Mayor believed it insignificant at the time and went back to bed.

As London’s Lord Mayor arrived at the fire at Farriner’s bakery, he was thoroughly unimpressed. The blaze had consumed most of Farriner’s home and livelihood, but Sir Thomas Bludworth took one look at the blaze and declared, 'Pish! A woman might p**s it out' before returning to bed.

Some onlookers were bringing water to try and quench the flames, but most observed, unaware of what was about to unfold.

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