A new coin has been issued to mark the National Gallery’s 200th anniversary, although it is unlikely to be seen in shops as it is a collectable coin.

Although it’s a collectable coin, it’s also legal tender, in the very narrow definition of what qualifies as legal tender (no, Scottish banknotes aren’t legal tender). That required the King to authorise the production of the coins with a Royal Proclamation, and they would have been validated in the Trial of the Pyx earlier this year.

(c) The National Gallery and The Royal Mint

Designed by Edwina Ellis, the coin depicts the National Gallery building in Trafalgar Square alongside an inscription that reads ‘MAIORVM GLORIA POSTERIS LVMEN EST’ meaning ‘the glory of our ancestors is a light to our descendants’. This phrase is inscribed on the ceiling in the Wilkins Building of the Gallery, conveying the notion that the great artists of the past inspire those of the future – a founding principle of the National Gallery.

Rebecca Morgan, Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said: “We are delighted to join the National Gallery in celebrating its Bicentenary. This coin is a fitting tribute to a legacy of world-class paintings and the gallery’s unwavering dedication to preserving artistic brilliance. We hope that collectors enjoy this miniature piece of art for years to come.”

Later this Spring, the coin will be included in a time capsule organised by the National Gallery as part of its NG200 celebrations.

The collectable £2 coin will be available in Gold Proof, Silver Proof, Silver Proof Piedfort and Brilliant Uncirculated editions and can be purchased via the Royal Mint Website.


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