2005 Two Pound Coin – Gunpowder Plot

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Back in 1605 there was a failed assassination attempt to kill King James I. The plot was to use gunpowder to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening. It is often refered to as the Gunpowder plot.

The plot was by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby. He had many fellow plotters, but in charge of the explosives was Guy Fawkes

There was an anonymous letter sent to the authorities telling of the plan and when the House of Lords was searched on 5th November 1605 they found Guy Fawkes and 36 barrels of gunpowder - enough to flatten the entire building. The plotters who didn't escape were convicted and then subjected to horrible deaths.

Many of us still celebrate the date with gunpowder - as fireworks on Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Day.

In 2005 it was the 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot.  An arrangement of crossiers, maces and swords surrounded by stars and the dates 1605 & 2005. Denomination TWO POUNDS below 'REMEMBER REMEMBER THE FIFTH OF NOVEMBER'.

It was cleverly designed by artist Peter Forster. The reverse design shows symbols of State, represented by the mace, crosier and sword alluding to the survival under threat of the British establishment. The circular arrangement is like a Catherine Wheel and the surrounding stars are more fireworks. The font used is of early seventeenth-century style. The edge is milled.

The obverse is the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

Mintage: 5,140,500 (may include coins issued as part of a set). Minted at The Royal Mint.
In the Year: 2005
Elizabeth II was in her 53rd year as Queen. George W Bush is U.S. President. Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans. Pope John Paul II dies, Benedict XVI becomes new Pope.
General Description: Two Pound Coin
The current Two Pound (£2) coin that is found in circulation is a bimetallic coin introduced on 15th June 1998 (although the first are dated 1997). There are almost 500 million £2 coins of various designs in current circulation.

There has been other two pound coins. From 1823 until 1996 they made occasional appearances and the double-sovereign has a two pound value. Commemorative two pound coins were issued from 1986 to 1996. This article is primarily concerned with the circulating coins of 1997 onwards.


  • Weight: 12 g
  • Diameter: 28.4 mm
  • Thickness: 2.5 mm
  • Edge: Milled, with incuse lettering
  • Design style: Circular, bi-metallic
  • Composition Outer ring: Nickel-brass (76% Cu, 20% Zn and 4% Ni)
  • Composition Centre: Cupro-nickel (75% Cu , 25% Ni)
The two pound coin has also been minted in gold.
Which Mint: The Royal Mint
The Royal Mint is the designated place for the UK to mint coins. It dates back well over 1000 years and is a Government-owned company. 

Formed in the reign of Alfred the Great about the year 886, it moved to the Tower of London in 1279 and remained there for over 500 years. The Master of The Royal Mint has included famous figures such as Sir Isaac Newton. Since 2010 it has operated as Royal Mint Ltd, a company owned by HM Treasury, under an exclusive contract to supply all coinage for the UK although it also produces medals and coins for other countries. It is currently located at Llantrisant, Wales.
The Monarch: Elizabeth II (1952-)
Queen Elizabeth II is the current and longest reigning monarch ever. Born on 21 April 1926 to King George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, she became Queen in 1952 and her Coronation was on 2 June 1953.

Queen Elizabeth II has issued many coins and was monarch during decimalisation.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
The United Kingdom (UK) is the Union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is often refered to as Great Britain (GBR). It has a long, rich history.

It's orignal coinage was Pounds, Shillings and Pence but since decimalisation on 15 February 1971, it is £1 = 100p, that is One Pound = 100 pence. The coinage of the UK is also a long history, the Royal Mint being established as long ago as 886AD when coins were hammered. Today there is perhaps 30 billion coins in circulation, and many (numismatic) collectors coins and sets are issued frequently in gold, silver and other metals.
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