The Royal Mint has made available precious metal versions of the £2 commemorative coins that celebrate the 350th anniversary of the final entry into one of the world’s most remarkable diaries, authored by Samuel Pepys (1633-1703). He is being honoured for his contributions in illuminating some of the most historical events of the 17th century. Pepys was a one-time administrator of the navy of England and member of Parliament who is most noted for the diary that he kept for a decade. The diary, which Pepys kept from 1660 until 1669, has enriched our understanding of 17th-century Britain, giving us a first-hand account of historical events such as the Great Fire of London, the Second Dutch War, and the Great Plague. Originally published in the 19th century, the journal entries became hugely popular in Victorian Britain after the third edition’s publication in 1848. Pepys’ detailed and personal journal entries have provided insight and a greater understanding of this turbulent period of British history as well as the effect the events had on British people at the time.
Pepys himself had a connection to the Royal Mint prior to this new celebratory £2 commemorative coin; his diary reveals that he was a regular visitor to the Tower of London where the Royal Mint was based at the time. In his diary he recounts a visit in May 1663, detailing how the new coinage of Charles II was produced.
The design on the reverse side is the work of sculptor Gary Breeze and highlights Pepys’ extraordinary contribution to historical understanding through the depiction of the final page of his diary, featuring his shorthand entry and quill. The incused inscription on the edge of the coins reads the good God prepare me comes from Pepys reflecting on his failing eyesight.
The obverse side includes the fifth effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II created by Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark that was introduced onto British coinage in 2015.
|Two pounds||Bi-metallic||12 g||28.4 mm||Brilliant Unc.||Unlimited|
|Two pounds||.925 Silver||12 g||28.4 mm||Proof||2,500|
|Two pounds||.925 Silver||24 g||28.4 mm||Proof||1,019|
|Two pounds||.9167 Gold||15.97 g||28.4 mm||Proof||225|
The Brilliant Uncirculated versions are presented in a folder with colourful images and informative text about Samuel Pepys.
The precious metal versions are available in sterling silver single strike and piedfort options.
A 22-karat two-tone gold Proof strike is also available. Each Proof-quality coin is encapsulated and presented in custom black leatherette (silver) or polished wood cases (gold) and are accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity. For additional information about these coins and others available from the Royal Mint, please visit their website.