Without question, one of the premier football tournaments in the world, and the oldest, the FA Cup is celebrating one and a half centuries since its inception. From humble beginnings in the Victorian era, it’s grown into a behemoth, encompassing hundreds of teams across many different leagues – in the 2011/12 season, a phenomenal 763 teams competed. This has led to the fairy tale stories of ‘giant-killers’ where teams full of part-time players have beaten high-end opposition, although winning the whole competition is another matter entirely.
The trophy itself is an icon, recognisable around the world. The current design is the second, having been introduced in 1911, and the cup used today is the third iteration of it, made in 2014. Winners of the final, usually held in the rebuilt Wembley Stadium in London, qualify for the UEFA Europa League, and get to take on the winners of the Premier League to take home the FA Community Shield. The next final is in May 2022, and in a nice touch, the coin with certificate #1, will be used for the coin toss at Wembley.
The new coin is a fitting, if unimaginative, homage to this long-standing love of the football community. It depicts the trophy on a clean background field, complete with ribbons holding the date of the competition’s inception, and the date of the anniversary. It’s a crisp rendition, with some good detail, but lacks the passion the competition is known for. Artists, Matt Dent and Christian Davies, have made a fine looking coin, regardless.
As one of the Royal Mint’s £2 coins, it has that bimetallic look. The silver pair, one of 12 grams, and the other a double-thickness piedfort coin, have a gilded outer ring, while the half-ounce gold is formed in a mix of red and yellow golds. We’re not usually a fan of the look, as it often infringes on the artist’s vision, but no such qualms this time, with the design remaining refreshingly untainted for the most part. The inscription, FOOTBALL’S GREATEST CUP COMPETITION, is engraved on the coin edge. All variants are nicely boxed, and with some surprisingly small mintages given the sheer popularity of the subject. A base-metal coin is available for just £10, with the others coming in at £72.50, £117.50, and £1’125.00 respectively. Available later today.