The Royal Mint has today launched a new £2 coin to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of much-loved author Jane Austen.
The coin recognises the legacy of Austen, who died in 1817, leaving behind a series of novels that continue to inspire devotion from readers worldwide. But coin enthusiasts may have to wait to get their hands on the new design – the coin is only being released in limited supply.
Which? looks at the details for the new coin’s release and how valuable it is likely to become.
Where is the Jane Austen coin being released?
Initially, the Royal Mint announced the new coin would only be issued in a limited run.
As of today, it was launched in locations that have a close connection to Jane Austen’s life – Basingstoke, where she was born, and Winchester, where she lived the last years of her life and is now buried.
The design will be released into wider circulation later this year, though the Royal Mint could not confirm to Which? how many would be minted at that stage.
Designed by Royal Mint graphic designer Dominique Evans, the coin features a silhouette of Austen and the dates 1817-2017, overlapped with her signature.
The latest on rare and valuable coins
- The most valuable 50p coins
- The £1 coins worth a mint
- 20ps that could be worth a fortune
- The rarest and most valuable £2 coins
How valuable is the Jane Austen £2 likely to be?
Without knowing its mintage, it may be impossible to determine whether the Jane Austen £2 is likely to become a collector’s item. Its value will depend on the number of coins in this design produced by the Royal Mint, as well as levels of demand, both within the UK and overseas.
A previous example of a special edition release was the 2012 Charles Dickens £2 coin, which commemorated 200 years since the author’s death. This design was initially released as a limited run, but was then minted 8.1m times.
Similarly, the 2010 Florence Nightingale £2 coins, which mark 150 years since her death, went on to be minted 6.1m times.
Given the coins’ relatively large runs, both are now worth only a little more than their face value, selling for between £2.50 and £3, according to coin collecting site ChangeChecker.
Jane Austen has significant international appeal, with thriving Jane Austen Societies in the US, Brazil and Japan, which could influence demand for the coin. But the value of the coin at this stage is purely speculative, until further details are confirmed.
Jane Austen on the £10 polymer note
The Bank of England has also celebrated Jane Austen in another form of currency – the author features on the new £10 polymer note, which was unveiled today at Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire. The note is due to be launched in September this year.
The note features a quote from Pride and Prejudice: ‘I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!’
But the tribute has attracted some controversy, with Lucy Worsley, TV presenter and historian criticising the design for ‘air-brushing’ Austen to be more conventionally pretty than her only known portrait.
Find out more: what to do with notes that have gone out of circulation