The bi-metallic £2 coin is the largest circulating coin denomination of the Pound Sterling. It was introduced in 1998 (earlier two pound coins were made of Nickel brass, were intended as commemorative, and did not circulate much). Being bi-metallic means that the coin comprises two separate components of differing alloys; the outer ring is Nickel-Brass (76% copper, 4% nickel, 20% zinc); the inner circle is CuproNickel (75% copper, 25% nickel).
The Royal Mint maintains a "definitive" style of the £2 issued annually, as well as a large variety of one-year circulating commemorative types and some Non-Circulating Legal Tender (NCLT) £2 coins for collectors. Between 1997 and 2015, the definitive type was the Technology type £2. In 2015, this Britannia type two pounds coin was launched and became the definitive type of the denomination.
The coin features on its reverse the iconic figure of a standing Britannia, the female personification of the United Kingdom. A British cultural icon, she has featured on old English coins since 1672, as well as on some colonial coinage. On modern (decimal) coins, she was first featured, seated, on the 50 pence denomination from 1969 until the redesign of all circulating coinage in 2008. Antony Dufort’s new interpretation of Britannia is respectful of times past, but recasts her for a brand new era; timeless, symbolic, stirring and inspirational. The edge inscription QUATUOR MARIA VINDICO means "I will claim the four seas" and is a reference to Britain's history as a maritime power; it was first seen (with the Latin spelling as QVATVOR MARIA VINDICO) on a pattern farthing of King Charles II in 1662.