Struck in 1797 during the reign of King George III, the 1797 Copper Two Penny is Britain's largest and heaviest circulating coin ever struck.

Nicknamed 'Cartwheels' due to their distinctive outer rim, the copper pennies and two pennies were the first British coins struck using steam power. They were made in Birmingham by Matthew Boulton, who wanted to prove that his new steam powered coin press could make coin production more cost efficient and accurate than hammering them by hand.

In 1797 the British government were desperate to restore confidence in British currency which was awash with fakes. They commissioned Boulton to strike new coins that contained their face value in copper to stop the counterfeiters. Within two years he had produced 1,250 tonnes of copper coinage, and his achievement revolutionised coin production in Britain.

The design that appeared on the cartwheel coins was equally revolutionary. It marked the first time that Britannia had been depicted ruling the waves, an allegory for Britain's status as a major maritime power. She sits on a rock surrounded by the sea, holding an olive branch and a trident and surveying a ship on the horizon.

When you feel the substantial weight and size of the Cartwheel Two Penny in your hand it should come as no surprise to learn that our largest circulating coin, is rightfully hailed as on of the most important British coins ever struck.

56.7g (aprox.)
41mm (aprox.)
2 Pence
Year of issue:
George III