[Mintage Became a Burning Issue - image by Mik]
Let me take you back through the mists of time to 2016…..
This was the year when the British public voted to leave the European Union (yes, it really has been that long!) and when America still had a proper guy in charge of things rather than an arrogant, empty-headed and completely unfunny halfwit. It was also a time when two pound coins were still being released into general circulation (I know, it’s hard to even remember this part). All in all, things weren’t so bad…. although we didn’t quite realise it at the time. In fact, if we were to look back at it all in cinematic fashion then Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi would make the ideal soundtrack.
[Joni Mitchell ~ Big Yellow Taxi + Both Sides Now. BBC 1969]
It was also in 2016 when The Royal Mint released what is arguably one of their most handsome coins to date, The Great Fire of London. Sure, we had seen some rather nice two pound coins prior to this, but Great Fire just seemed to pip most others at the post.
Quite what it is about this coin remains a bit of a mystery. Perhaps it is the sheer amount of detail used in the design. Or maybe it is the simple fact that the colours of the coin itself compliment those of the featured flickering flames. Or could it be a combination of things? However, one thing is for certain; it still stands head and shoulders above most other two pound coins. And if you still have any doubts, then go and have a look at one struck in proof standard - this really is an experience in itself.
Needless to say, The Great Fire of London is a coin most collectors will insist on having stashed. And just to add to it all, the mintage of this coin is far, far lower than was originally broadcast. Somehow (God alone knows how) there was a major miscount over at ‘Coin Canaveral’…. The Royal Mint’s first figures told us that 5,135,000 Great Fires were released into circulation. Yet a couple of years later it came to light there were actually only 1,625,000. That is a difference of 3,510,000. Yowsers! I’ll bet someone got a jolly good ticking off for that!
© Article and images (except where stated) copyright Mik Smith 2019