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Commemorating the National Gallery

Published April 24, 2024 | 1 min read

By Olivia McCommons

To mark the National Gallery’s bicentenary on May 10, the British Royal Mint has launched a commemorative £2 coin. Founded by Parliament in 1824, the National Gallery in London houses the nation’s collection of 2,300 paintings in the Western European tradition from the late 13th to the early 20th centuries. 

First released as part of the mint’s 2024 annual sets, the coin is now available for individual purchase. Designed by Edwina Ellis, the reverse depicts the exterior of the iconic National Gallery building in Trafalgar Square. The obverse features King Charles III’s effigy, and the edge inscription reads MAIORVM GLORIA POSTERIS LVMEN EST (“the glory of our ancestors is a light to our descendants”). This phrase, conveying that the great artists of the past inspire those of the future, is inscribed on the ceiling in the gallery’s Wilkins Building. 

The £2 is available in gold proof, silver proof, silver proof piedfort, and brilliant uncirculated editions.

A version of this article appears in the June 2024 issue of The Numismatist (