Royal Mint’s £2 Coin Commemorates JJR Tolkien’s Legacy

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The Royal Mint has launched a new £2 collectible coin to commemorate the life and work of JRR Tolkien, with 2023 marking 50 years since his death.

Royal Mint £2 JRR Tolkien Commemorative Coin
Royal Mint image of one of their £2 JRR Tolkien Commemorative Coins

The coin was previously part of the 2023 Annual Set, and has proved extremely popular among customers, being among the coins for which customers have shown the greatest interest, with 24,500 already registered.

The coin’s design, created by David Lawrence, draws inspiration from Tolkien’s prominent career as Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford, in which role he brought the world of the Dark Ages to life in his teaching, writing and studies.

Combining traditional minting techniques with modern technology, The Royal Mint’s craftspeople have faithfully recreated JRR Tolkien’s monogram at the center of the coin. Product Design Lead at The Royal Mint, Lee Jones, mixes a technical approach with key consideration for the coin’s aesthetic appeal to ensure David’s original design was translated properly to appear on a £2 coin. Modeling is completed via the use of a computer, which offers the most flexible and detailed option, allowing for mastering for production.

The monogram is encircled by intricate runic pattern. The pattern work takes inspiration from many sources to provide a ‘feel’, bringing to the design an aesthetic reflective of Tolkien’s love for Anglo-Saxon scripts. The words "NOT ALL THOSE WHO WANDER ARE LOST," a quote from the poem ‘The Riddle of Strider’, which features in Tolkien’s ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’, serves as the coin’s edge inscription.

Rebecca Morgan, Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said:

"As one of the most eagerly anticipated collectible coin launches of the year, we are delighted to be launching an official £2 coin honouring and celebrating the life and work of JRR Tolkien.

As the original maker of coins in the United Kingdom, we are honored to commemorate JRR Tolkien’s long-standing career, and our master craftspeople have worked carefully to create a coin which is a testament to arguably one of the greatest authors, poets, scholars, and philologists in our history.

£2 coins are one of the most favored denominations among collectors. Since its introduction to the definitive coinage of the United Kingdom in 1998 the £2 coin has seen over 50 reverse designs, including a coin commemorating Jane Austen and the work of William Shakespeare."

As an accomplished scholar, philologist, father of modern fantasy fiction and maker of Middle-earth, JRR Tolkien is best known for creating the seminal fantasy novel The Hobbit in 1937 and the immensely popular The Lord of the Rings in 1954–55.

From 21st August 2023, visitors to The Royal Mint Experience in Llantrisant, South Wales, will have the unique opportunity to strike their own JRR Tolkien £2 collectible coin. Tickets to strike your own coin are available to purchase at check-in for an additional £7.50 per coin.

The coin is available in £2 Gold, Silver, and Piedfort Proof Silver, as well as £2 Brilliant Uncirculated. For more information, please visit The Royal Mint website.

About The Royal Mint

With a history spanning more than 1,100 years, The Royal Mint is Britain’s oldest companies and the original maker of UK coins.  Today The Royal Mint is a premium British maker, providing carefully crafted coins and precious metal products for the UK and overseas.  Based in Llantrisant, South Wales it has three main focuses as a business: Currency, Consumer (collectible and rare, historic coins) and precious metals investment.

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Seth Riesling

I love the edge inscription on this coin: “NOT ALL THOSE WHO WANDER ARE LOST”

“Roam if you want to. Roam around the world. Roam if you want to, without wings, without wheels.” – The B-52s.

NumisdudeTX

Dazed and Coinfused

Don’t be lazy and just walk 500 miles and then walk 500 more. That’s what I’m proclaiming.

Dazed and Coinfused

What a coincidence. China has been making royal mint coins for 1100 years too.

Dazed and Coinfused

I thought the Harry Potter chick would be the modern fantasy author. She did write more books. More books adapted to movie. More money at the box office. Oh. Right because she is a woman. Too bad she wasn’t American she’d be on the women’s quarters. Next to that senator’s niece that pioneered blood testing and donating.

Also, where are the Dr Seuss coins? They did looney tunes and Disney coins.

Craig

Tolkien wrote two books, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, which were made into 6 films. I’d say that is high mark to beat. Tolkien’s work is far superior to Rowling’s books, although she does have a vivid imagination and obviously made much more money.

Seth Riesling

Craig, Tolkien also wrote the major book “The Silmarillion” in which he created the Middle Earth world & language. It is a fairly tough read due to its archaic nature. He was a Ph.D. in English & a philologist & expert in linguistics also at Oxford University. My University (UT) English degree senior seminar class was a study of his complete works. He sold the rights to almost all his works in 1969, except “The Silmarillion” since it wasn’t finished yet. And his estate is now worth more than $500 million & is privately held by his heirs. This coin… Read more »

Dazed and Coinfused

I don’t contribute. I just point the light of where you might want to look. Funny enough, that symbol, probably culturally appropriated from Prince, looks also a lot like the tattoo I see on so many white people that claim it means luck.

I can’t remember the comedian and the show I saw that one. Both were funny. No Greg that doesn’t mean peace, that’s the symbol E.D.

Jeff Legan

Hi Seth, C.S. Lewis was my introduction to Fantasy. Tolkien came later for me. I love both. Saw the first few Harry Potter movies but have no intention of ever reading the books. I just feel like they were not made for me and I won’t have the connection I did with the Narnia series. Let the younger people have their modern version of Narnia and I will keep mine. I will be reading the Narnia series again soon. I am re-reading all the books I read in my youth. I am on the “L”s right now (Tanith Lee), so… Read more »

Kaiser Wilhelm

Jeff,

“Out of the Silent Planet” was one of the first fantasy and science fiction books I ever read and still one of my favorites. It definitely helped get me started in my lifelong devotion to that particular genre.

Craig

Kaiser, You have good taste in books and authors!

Jeff Legan

I read that series too, long ago. I think it was 3 books. It is not on my list this time, unfortunately. I am reading hardcovers, and I read those originally as paperbacks.

Seth Riesling

Jeff Legan,

I was never a big fan of “fantasy literature” per se, but am a fan of science fiction (mostly movies & tv shows). Tolkien is considered the father of fantasy literature of course & I did enjoy reading all of his books & books written about his works (my college Senior Seminar for 4 months was just that, but didn’t see the movies funny enough).
There is a whole series of coins from a few countries dedicated to Tolkien.

NumisdudeTX

Dazed and Coinfused

I never got into the star wars or star trek stuff. ET and Neverending story, and rats of nyhm. Of course the Goonies, dark crystal and that creepy hobbit cartoon. But series wise, dukes of hazzard, viper, and knight rider. Thundercats and transformers. As far as books. I heard dyanetics was popular. But video games were the big time consumer. Different world. Funny what a difference a few years make. Although odyssey and Iliad and the Greek classics were better than Percy Jackson version.

Seth Riesling

D & C, I wish I had all the quarters I put in video arcade machines at the bars on the weekends during my 6 years in college! I loved Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Asteroids, Mario Bros. etc. Before that, in the Summer of 1979 when we got back from 3 years in Germany, my parents bought us the Texas Instruments console you hooked up to your tv, but it only had like 4 game cartridges, including Pong (supposedly the first video game). I never got into “modern” gaming. But, I love watching comedy movies, documentary movies & movies based on… Read more »

Jeff Legan

I really miss the old arcades. If time travel was possible I would make sure I stopped at one if I found myself back in the 70s-90s.

Jeff Legan

I enjoy video games (and computer games) too. I am a first generation video game player. Started with a pong type system in the 1970s (Unisonic Tournament 2000). Last video game system I bought until recently was a Sega Dreamcast. 2020 was the 60th anniversary of Sega, they released an Astro City Mini with 37 Arcade Games from the 80s and 90s. I bought one.

Jeff Legan

I read Science Fiction too. Classics from Asimov and Heinlein and many others. Also Gregory Benford (in the Ocean of Night) sticks in my mind. I already re-read that one maybe 5 years ago now.

Craig

I read somewhere that it took him 10 years or so to write The Lord of the Rings. I’m glad he eventually made a fortune for ‘most’ of his works, as they are indeed treasures.

Jeff Legan

Well, from the comments above we have some things besides coins in common, Craig.

Antonio

Try the Royal Canadian Mint for those coins, if they haven’t minted them already.

Antonio

Old news, I have one already. Received it several months ago and it currently resides in my collection.

Dazed and Coinfused

I got the Stephen Hawkins black hole coin. Event horizon or whatever. Pretty nice too. Seems like most other mints have found the alien technology that allows for special shapes (triangle and oval), multiple materials to enhance the design or visual appeal (not just clad to make up weight or cost save) and adding colors like a painting (not just orange for basketball). Bryce young superbowl mvp. Not counting the chanukah/Kwanzaa women’s quarters ornaments. But they made in Taiwan and aren’t coins. Best coin ever, the Homer Simpson ; to alcohol, the cause of and solution to, all of life’s… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Dazed and Coinfused
Craig

D and C,

‘Bryce young Super Bowl mvp’…that’s so rich! The media is already ramping him up as the next Tom Brady. I think he’s an intelligent quarterback, but let’s see how he performs in the NFL for a couple years. My concern would be his size. He’s not that tall and in the NFL size is everything. I’ll be watching! By the way, did you know if your Hawkins black hole coin was an actual black hole, you wouldn’t be reading this. None of us would.

Dazed and Coinfused

You got to get them small, takes a while for them to grow. Scientists are trying to replicate them in a lab. What could go wrong. Hmmm Higgs boson supposed to be the God particle, the big bang igniter. Good thing they didn’t actually make a 2nd, or 3, or 5 millionth big bang. Lot of us would’ve probably not been wearing sunglasses and gone blind. Then we’d have to evolve to hate people based on smell. I don’t see Bryce doing much. But even though Richardson was a Florida boy, he wasn’t answer either. Big growth and adjustment year.… Read more »

Craig

Dazed, I know scientists can do some impressive things these days, but developing the amount of mass and gravitational force needed to create an atom sized black hole is still. thankfully, beyond our capabilities. If you want to see a really big one, or want to feel really small, check out TON 618. If we placed our entire solar system in it, without all the gravitational effects obviously, it would appear only as a tiny, tiny spot at its centre. Quora.com is an interesting site you might enjoy. I just wish we would watch athletes perform for a while before… Read more »

Jeff Legan

This is a pretty good post overall in my opinion Craig, even if you still got in a dig (two, actually) at Major D, but I disagree with one part of it. “You are right, as you often are (I said that for major d’s benefit) that ‘appearances’ seem to be of major importance to todays athletes.“–Even when I was young, “people” not just “some people” cared more about appearance than substance. Are you really saying athletes in the past did not care about their appearance as much as they do today? I do not think that is true at… Read more »

Antonio

Soon as it was available, I ordered it. The early bird catches the worm, I’ve heard it said.

Antonio

Roadrunner, coyote’s after you. Roadrunner, if he catches you you’re through. Beep beep. Not a chance that’s ever going to happen especially if the willy coyote keeps ordering devices from Acme.

Dazed and Coinfused

Cool ypu can strike your own coin. But I prefer they show me where I can mine my own metal too.