The 2015 Silver Two Pound Proof The Royal Navy is a silver proof version of the 2015 £2 currently in circulation, and we can use this to illustrate how the Royal Mint is augmenting its coins by issuing product variants to reach as large as possible coin collector base.
David Rowlands designed the reverse of this coin to acknowledge the contribution of the Royal Navy in the First World War. The image shows an Iron Duke-class battleship in profile with a seaplane on the starboard side and sea birds on the port side. The inscription says “THE FIRST WORLD WAR 1914 – 1918” and dated “2015” below THE SURE SHIELD OF BRITAIN.
The obverse is the Jody Clarke portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. A very small number (about 100) were released with the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait. They were given to visitors to HMS Belfast, which is located near Tower Bridge in London, prior to the main release and are now some of the UK’s rarest coins.
In simpler days coins were just either Unc or Proof, but now besides the silver proof coin described above and the standard circulation 2015 two-pound, the Royal mint have released a piedfort (double thickness) silver proof version and a gold version.
The coins are very similar in their depiction of the battleship reverse. There’s obviously colour variations due to the different metal used.
In the future there will probably even more variations, as the Royal Mint has issued its first piedfort gold sovereign in 2017 and several other coin denominations have already been issued in platinum. Combine these with matt proofs and coloured enamelled versions, plus a myriad of packaging and mintmarks to attain ‘exclusive editions’ and the range can become huge.
What is the price variation?
You may be lucky enough to find a 2005 Navy two-pound circulating £2 coin in your loose change, but eBay has plenty for £3-4. The Royal Mint sold the Unc version in shrink-wrap packaging for £10. Silver coins are around £50-80, piedfort silver coins about £150 and the gold version being £1300-1600.