Vaccine developer honored on new £2 from Royal Mint
By Jeff Starck , Coin World, Published: Feb 2, 2023, 8 AM
A pioneer in vaccine development is the subject of a new £2 coin from the Royal Mint, but it has nothing to do with COVID.
Edward Jenner made one of the most significant contributions to immunology the world has ever seen in 1796 when he developed a safe and effective method of protection against smallpox, a devastating disease that had plagued the world for centuries.
By adapting methods of immunization developed earlier, Jenner’s groundbreaking work led to the global eradication of smallpox and paved the way for many more life-saving vaccines.
Jenner died in 1823, leaving behind an enormous legacy in the world of immunology. By 30 years after his death, smallpox vaccination was widespread, and by 1980, the World Health Organization declared smallpox completely eradicated.
To coincide with the 200th anniversary of his death, the Royal Mint launched the new UK £2 coin on Jan. 26.
Featuring a reverse design by artist Henry Gray, the coin cleverly depicts the core of a smallpox cell surrounded by icons representing the millions of lives saved through vaccination and virus eradication.
Inscribed on the edge are • INNOVATION IN SCIENCE • JENNER.
Since Jan. 6, 2023, visitors to the Royal Mint Experience also have had the opportunity to strike their own Edward Jenner coin.
Four collector versions are available now: a Brilliant Uncirculated ringed-bimetallic base metal version; Proof silver version; Proof silver piedfort version; and a Proof gold version.
The base metal coin has a copper-nickel center and nickel-brass ring. The silver coins are struck from .925 fine silver and feature gold plating on the outer borders to mimic the ringed-bimetallic format. The gold coin is .9167 fine gold, with red gold plating on the outer border, to mimic a ringed-bimetallic form.
All four of the coins measure 28.4 millimeters in diameter.
The BU coin weighs 12 grams and has an unlimited mintage. It retails for £12.
The standard silver coin weighs 12 grams. It has a mintage limit of 2,510 examples, with 2,500 available for individual sale at £75 each.
The piedfort version weighs 24 grams. It has a mintage limit of 1,260 pieces, with 1,250 available individually at £125 each.
The gold coin weighs 12 grams and has a mintage limit of 160 pieces, 150 of which are available individually. It retails for £1,225.
For more information or to order, visit the Royal Mint website, www.royalmint.com.
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