The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896. Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who had a goal to unite people from all over the world to share in the spirit of friendly competition, was the inspiration behind the Games.
The Olympic Games have grown to be the biggest sporting event in the history of sports, and he thought that the top athletes from every nation could have a place to compete for glory and pursue personal improvement.
The Royal Mint continues to issue coins that celebrate athletes and sporting events and these are the most sought-after among coin collectors so this 2008 Olympic Centenary £2 coin is no exception, but how much is the 2008 Centenary £2 coin worth today?
Well, taking into account the coin's condition, a coin found in circulation will be worth around £7.50 excluding delivery according to the latest sales on eBay and Amazon.
To commemorate the Olympics two special coins were minted in 2008. The first one being this Centenary £2 coin and the second was The 2008 Olympic Handover £2 coin. Both coins are among the top ten rarest two pound commemorative coins released.
In this article we'll take a look at the history behind the coin, who designed it and look at its rarity compared to other commemorative £2 coins.
Design of the coin
In 1998, the United Kingdom introduced the British two pound £2 coin. This new addition to the coinage was made from two metals - the outer ring made of nickel-brass, and the inner made from cupro-nickel.
The coin weighs 12 grams and has a diameter of 28.4mm and is 2.5 mm thick. These coins remain the same today, now with only commemorative versions and definitive Britannia versions of the coin minted each year.
Thomas T. Docherty, a designer and engraver, designed the reverse of the 2008 Olympic Centenary £2 Coin to commemorate the 100th anniversary of London holding the Games back in 1908.
Thomas T. Docherty spent more than ten years working at The Royal Mint. Within a short period of time, he rose from being a trainee engraver to becoming an integral part of the team. He is renowned for creating the red poppy-adorned 2016 Remembrance Day coin for the Royal Mint.
This unique commemorative two pound round coin bears a design on the reverse to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Olympic Games.
It has a 4-lane running track with the anniversary date of 1908 positioned inside of it to make it appear as though each lane is designated by a different number.
The coin's reverse has the date 1908 and as well as the monetary value TWO POUNDS 2008.
The initials TD, those of the creator Thomas Docherty, can be seen if you look attentively at one of the black track lines. The design on the outer flat rim is surrounded by the words LONDON OLYMPIC CENTENARY.
THE 4TH OLYMPIAD LONDON is inscribed around the milled edge.
The Fourth Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, in this iteration facing right, is depicted on the coin's obverse. From 1998 to 2015, this design was featured on the two pound coin.
Her Majesty's grandmother, Queen Mary, gave her the diamond tiara known as the "Girls of Great Britain and Ireland" as a wedding present in 1947.
Her image is immediately followed by the letters IRB, which stand for the initials of artist Ian Rank-Broadley.
The famous ELIZABETH II DEI GRA REG FID DEF, which translates from Latin to read Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith, is inscribed around her head and all the way around the outer circle.
Mintage of the Coin
In 2008, a total of three two pound coins were minted.
They included the two commemorative Olympic Games coins – the other being the Olympic Games Handover £2 Coin along with the standard Bruce Rushin Reverse technology style design issue.
There were 910,000 commemorative 2008 Olympic Centenary £2 coins minted. Out of the coins that were released into circulation, it is estimated that 1 out of every 1,314 two pound coins in general circulation is a 2008 Olympic Centenary coin.
Additional versions were minted including Silver Proofs and just 1,908 Gold Proof versions.
Scarcity of the coin
The two Olympic commemorative £2 coins were made available in 2008, along with the Technology coin which had a mintage of 30,107,000. No commemorative 50p coins were released but it was the year that the 50p moved from the Britannia 50p over to the shield design by Matthew Dent.
The Olympic Games Centenary £2 has a very low mintage and it is very unlikely you have received one of these coins in your change, so it is considered to be a rare coin.
How much is the 2008 Olympic Centenary Two Pound coin worth?
The coin in common circulating condition is worth around £7.50 without shipping, which is considerably more than face value and the values increasing.
Where can I buy the 2008 Olympic Centenary £2 Coin?
We stock this rare coin and you can purchase here.
You can buy the circulated version of the Olympic Centenary £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 15 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...
Due to a volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius that completely devastated the city of Naples and the surrounding communities, the 1908 Olympics had to be moved from Rome to another city. London was the chosen city and it went on to hold the games in a newly built stadium in White City.
In the end, Great Britain were the overall winners that year between the 22 countries represented with the GB athletes winning a total of 56 gold medals in 1908.