The British Royal Mint issued this coin to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Steam Locomotive. AGW= 0.4708 of an ounce.
The steam engine was built by Richard Trevithick and travelled from Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, to nearby Abercynon on its first journey in 1804. The new coin features an image of the engine, known as the Penydarren steam engine, and will be in general circulation later in the year, the mint said. Trevithick's design made history as the first high-pressure steam engine to run effectively on metal rails, allowing the engine to haul six to seven times its own weight. On February 28 1804 Trevithick's locomotive hauled 10 tons of iron, five wagons and 70 people on the nine-mile trip, which took 4hr 5min. During its journey the locomotive reached speeds of nearly 5mph. Historical Notes The Industrial Revolution was a period that saw countries like Britain progress from being predominantly agrarian to being much more urbanised. The development of the steam engine played a crucial role in this transition. Although steam-powered engines had been used from the early eighteenth century, they were often large and unreliable machines fixed into position to preform certain tasks. It was not until the beginning of the nineteenth century that a Cornishman, Richard Trevithick, revolutionised steam power by devising the first steam-driven locomotive engine. Following a bet between Samuel Homfray, owner of the Penydarren Iron Works, and Richard Crayshaw, owner of the Cyfarthfa Iron works, in 1804 Trevithick built a steam engine that could haul ten tones of iron from the Penydarren works along a tramway to Navigation House in Abercynon, a total distance of nine miles. The journey was completed in four hours and five minutes. The first steam-powered vehicle had been driven on rail. Trevithick's engine was the first true steam locomotive. ObverseThe Fourth Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Ian Rank-Broadley, FRBS, FSNAD, whose initials IRB appear under the head, as used on all British coins from 1998. Reverse - Richard Trevithick's 1804 "Penydarren" steam locomotive, with the words "Two Pounds", enclosed by a cog wheel design. The inscription reads:-R. TREVITHICK 1804 INVENTION INDUSTRY PROGRESS 2004 Designer Robert Lowe. The edge is milled, with an added pattern of two sets of curves, possibly representing railway arches (an incuse railway line motif according to the Royal Mint). KM#1049b.