Timetable of the £2 coin, showing variation
of the electronic signature from initial samples to original production
batch and the consequent delayed release of the coin:
Proposed introduction initially set as 1 November
1997. Initial pre-production samples stuck in January 1997 and
Electronic signatures tested and appear virtually
All coin user industries use these samples to
program new and existing coin validators.
Pre-production samples tested in early September
1997 are totally outside the windows set for the original samples.
Royal Mint statement on 19 September 1997 admits
there is a problem.
Two meetings arranged for 16 December 1997 between
Royal Mint and firstly validator manufacturers and secondly coin
machine operators (including vending, car parks etc).
At these meetings, Royal Mint denied any changes
to the production process and blamed a variety of things including:
(i) the age difference between the original
samples when received compared to the pre-production ones;
(ii) old type coin validators;
(iii) the advice given by the coin validator
(iv) a "minute" variation in the
contact resistance of the coin's join, which was nevertheless
easily detectable by all the old coin validators.
Further Royal Mint meeting on 12 February 1998,
where they revealed they had finally solved the problem.
Release date set for 15 June 1998.