Like many other mints, the Royal Mint issues bullion coins in precious metals, having much higher intrinsic value than their face value. Most of these by tradition are measured in troy ounces of fractions thereof, but the mint also introduced metric coins measuring one kilogram of pure metal, then also two and five kilograms (they are actually fractionally heavier as a whole, to account for the small amount of other metal in the alloy).
The 2 kg gold coins are denominated as Two Thousand Pounds (£2,000), although their intrinsic (bullion) value is much higher than their face value. The coins vary in design depending on the occasion; they are "one-year" types usually issued in parallel with smaller denominations with the same reverse designs.
The coins are legal tender but are not intended for circulation. They are targeted at collectors who appreciate the special editions as pieces of art or show pieces.
This coin type is the second out of ten designs from the Royal Tudor Beasts Collection - coins depicting heraldic animals representing the Medieval Tudor dynasty which ruled England between 1485 and 1603.
The beasts line the Moat Bridge of Hampton Court Palace. Created at the behest of King Henry VIII, they symbolised the legitimacy of the king’s rule by portraying his regal ancestry.
This design features the Lion of England - one of the oldest and most iconic beasts in heraldry. It first appeared on royal emblems in the twelfth century and has been part of the shield of England for as long as it has existed. Chosen to represent pride and courage, the Lion of England on the Moat Bridge at Hampton Court Palace holds a shield bearing the impaled - or combined - arms of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, symbolising the strength of the couple’s union.