HC Deb 27 July 1998 vol 317 cc20-1W
Mr. Gill

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the significance of the symbol on the obverse of the new £2 coin; and for what reasons the phrase 'standing on the shoulders of giants' appears on the rim of the coin. [52434]

Mrs. Liddell

The design on the obverse of the new £2 coin traces the progress of technological development, with concentric circles representing the Iron Age, the Industrial Revolution, the Electronic Age and the Internet. The "circular" theme was inspired by the coin's two-colour appearance.

The inscription "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants" on the coin's milled edge comes from a letter written by Isaac Newton in which he acknowledged how much he owed to the work of others. It was chosen from several suggestions as best encapsulating how the progress of the present has only been possible because of the achievements of the past.