The voyage of the Mayflower, a ship that carried 102 men, women and children from Plymouth, England, to Provincetown, Massachusetts, has been commemorated on a stunning £2 coin released by the Royal Mint. The incredible voyage was inspired by religious persecution and beset by bad luck and foul weather, as the ship crossed the treacherous seas.
Amazingly,the ship was only 100 feet long and 30 feet wide and could carry about 180 tons of cargo yet it managed to take 102 people on a voyage that lasted more than two months.
To mark the 400th anniversary of this epic voyage and this key event in British history, US designer Chris Costello was tasked to tell the story of the journey of the Mayflower through the £2 design, delving into the history books, inspiring him to produce this beautiful, vibrant coin.
“The process of this design began with historical research and visits to the museums in Plymouth, Massachusetts, then I formulated visions in my mind of what this coin would look like,' said Chris. "Many of the features and details of the ship were imaginary. There is a bit of mythical interpretation of the Mayflower story, since nobody really knows what the ship actually looked like. I wanted to create a romantic view with stylized waves that contrasted with the precarious position of the ship in rough seas, thus making an iconic and memorable design; a contemporary coin with subtle traditional beauty that both British and Americans would appreciate and want to own as a keepsake in memory of this historic event.” added the inspirational designer.
The design of the coin
The design itself depicts the Mayflower ship with its sails billowing in the wind and the inscription of ‘Mayflower’ together with the two years that are so important to this historic story: 1620 and 2020. The edge Inscription reads "UNDERTAKEN FOR THE GLORY OF GOD".
The fifth portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II, by Jody Clark, features on the obverse to complete this memorable coin.
Struck to Brilliant Uncirculated quality and displayed in The Royal Mint's official presentation folder, this 2020 keepsake is a fitting tribute to such a ground breaking journey. where the first New England colony was established.
Personally, I think this is a stunning coin and one of my favourites. A real shame it is not going to enter into general circulation, but nevertheless, it is definitely one to add to your collection.
Did you know?
For the eagle eyed collectors out there, you will notice that the Mayflower design has been used on a £2 coin before. Back in 1994, three years before the bi-metallic style first entered general circulation, the Royal Mint issued a trial piece, to test the minting process of the new coin, and to help the automatic vending industry re-calibrate their machines in preparation.
The reverse design of this trial piece features a three-masted sailing ship and although the ship is not named on the coin, it almost certainly the Mayflower. Have you seen one?