The Royal Mint has announced (16th July) the release of a new coin to mark the handover ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games to their next host country, Brazil and the city of Rio de Janeiro. This will represent a full circle of Olympic events captured on British coinage, the first Olympic coin – a £2 bi-metallic denomination was struck by the Royal Mint in 2008 to highlight the handover ceremony of the Games from Beijing to London, who were awarded the Games in July 2007.
The new coin, designed by artist and silversmith Jonathan Olliffe, also a £2 bi-metallic denomination, depicts the many features that represent the Handover Ceremony, the focus of which are the two hands meeting, handing over the Olympic relay baton. This is symbolic of the Olympic athlete’s race but also serves as the symbol of two nations coming together, passing on the baton for future Games. The hands are embraced by a continuous sweeping flag; the flag of the United Kingdom sweeps down and twists to reveal the flag of Brazil. The pennant is on a continuous journey, symbolizing the Olympic movement from London to Rio and beyond and as it twists and turns, five stripes are revealed, representing the five Olympic Rings.
The obverse of the coin features the current portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS and in use on United Kingdom and commonwealth coinage since 2003.
The circulation type £2 coin is struck with an outer nickel-brass ring and a cupro-nickel center. Their weight is 12 grams with a diameter of 28.4 mm.
The Royal Mint have produced the new 2012 handover coins in Base Metal to a Brilliant Uncirculated quality, sterling silver Proof, sterling silver Piedfort Proof and 22 carat Gold Proof strikes. The 2012 “Handover to Rio” £2 Gold Proof Coin is housed in a wood-veneer presentation case and comes with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity, whilst the Silver Proof and Silver Piedfort Proof £2 Coins are displayed in a black case. The Base Metal Coin comes in a superb presentation folder featuring interesting facts about the Closing Ceremony.
All London 2012 Handover to Rio UK £2 Coins are available from The Royal Mint’s website. For more information on these and other coins offered by the Royal Mint, please visit their website at: www.royalmint.com.