08 September 2023
The Royal Mint has issued a new £2 collectable coin to commemorate the life and work of JRR Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, with 2023 marking 50 years since his death.
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.
The JRR Tolkien coin's design
Combining traditional minting techniques with modern technology, The Royal Mint’s craftspeople have recreated JRR Tolkien’s monogram at the centre of the coin.
A spokesperson for The Royal Mint said:
"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.
"Modelling 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, which is intended 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 collectable 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.
Collecting £2 coins
£2 coins are one of the most favoured 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.
The coin is available in £2 Gold, Silver, and Piedfort Proof Silver, as well as £2 Brilliant Uncirculated.