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Detailed information about Coin: Twopence 1974 (Maundy) from United Kingdom

Coin: Twopence 1974 (Maundy)

There were two forms of twopence, the currency issue (with a duller surface), and a special piece (like this one) for the Maundy Thursday ceremonies - both with numeral 2 on the reverse but the Maundy issues have a proof-like finish. The currency coin was issued only in six years though: 1817, 1818, 1820, 1838, 1843 and 1848.

Maundy coins are specially minted in varying (but always small) mintage for ceremonial purposes and not intended as circulating currency. They are handed by the British monarch in person to selected deserving individuals once every year. They are issued in "prooflike" condition and usually remain in it, especially the more recent ones.

The Royal Maundy is an ancient ceremony which has its origin in the commandment Christ gave after washing the feet of his disciples on the day before Good Friday.

The commandment (also known as a 'mandatum' from which the word Maundy is derived) ‘that ye love one another’ (John XIII 34) is still recalled regularly by Christian churches throughout the world. The ceremony of washing the feet of the poor which was accompanied by gifts of food and clothing can be traced back to the fourth century.

It seems to have been the custom as early as the thirteenth century for members of the royal family to take part in Maundy ceremonies, to distribute money and gifts, and to recall Christ's simple act of humility by washing the feet of the poor.

Henry IV began the practice of relating the number of recipients of gifts to the sovereign's age, and as it became the custom of the sovereign to perform the ceremony, the event became known as the Royal Maundy.

Maundy money has remained in much the same form since 1670, and the coins used for the Maundy ceremony have traditionally been struck in sterling silver, save for the brief interruptions of Henry VIII’s debasement of the coinage and the general change to 50% silver coins in 1920.

The sterling silver standard (92.5%) was resumed following the Coinage Act of 1946.

The 1974 Maundy ceremony was at Salisbury Cathedral.

CountryUnited Kingdom CurrencyPound Sterling
Face value2 (x Penny) TypeMaundy Twopence (Decimal)
Year1974 CurrentYes
Mintage1,042 (1042)
NameMint markMintage
Royal Mint No mint mark 1,042 (1042)
Material0.925 Silver DesignerJean Baptise Merlen
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II EffigyPortrait by Mary Gillick (First Portrait)
Production technologyMilled (machine-made) ShapeRound
Size (mm) Thickness (mm)
Mass (g)

Laureate bust of Queen Elizabeth II facing right ("First Portrait" Mary Gillick); around, ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :.

The Maundy pieces continue to use the original obverse design for Queen Elizabeth II by Mary Gillick, although the bust of the Queen on other British coins has been repeatedly replaced as she ages. At the time of decimalisation, the Royal Mint Advisory Commission recommended the retention out of affection for the Gillick design; this was accepted by the Queen.

Obverse inscription ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :

At centre within an open oak wreath; the numeral 2; above, crown; the numeral dividing the date 1974.

Reverse inscription2 1974
EdgeMilled Edge inscriptionNone
Twopence 1974 (Maundy): Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsGreat Britain KM# 899
Spink, Coins of England and the United Kingdom4214
Twopence 1974 (Maundy): References to Information Used
Royal Mint 2016 Mint link
Royal Mint 2016 Mintage link
Royal Mint 2016 History link
Royal Mint Bullion
Royal Mint Bullion
List of all (46) coins of type: United Kingdom / Maundy Twopence (Decimal)
Twopence 1971 (Maundy) Twopence 1972 (Maundy) Twopence 1973 (Maundy) Twopence 1974 (Maundy) Twopence 1975 (Maundy) Twopence 1976 (Maundy)
Twopence 1977 (Maundy) Twopence 1978 (Maundy) Twopence 1979 (Maundy) Twopence 1980 (Maundy) Twopence 1981 (Maundy) Twopence 1982 (Maundy)
Twopence 1983 (Maundy) Twopence 1984 (Maundy) Twopence 1985 (Maundy) Twopence 1986 (Maundy) Twopence 1987 (Maundy) Twopence 1988 (Maundy)
Twopence 1989 (Maundy) Twopence 1990 (Maundy) Twopence 1991 (Maundy) Twopence 1992 (Maundy) Twopence 1993 (Maundy) Twopence 1994 (Maundy)
Twopence 1995 (Maundy) Twopence 1996 (Maundy) Twopence 1997 (Maundy) Twopence 1998 (Maundy) Twopence 1999 (Maundy) Twopence 2000 (Maundy)
Twopence 2001 (Maundy) Twopence 2002 (Maundy) Twopence 2003 (Maundy) Twopence 2004 (Maundy) Twopence 2005 (Maundy) Twopence 2006 (Maundy)
Twopence 2007 (Maundy) Twopence 2008 (Maundy) Twopence 2009 (Maundy) Twopence 2010 (Maundy) Twopence 2011 (Maundy) Twopence 2012 (Maundy)
Twopence 2013 (Maundy) Twopence 2014 (Maundy) Twopence 2015 (Maundy) Twopence 2016 (Maundy)