Dig deep and you may find a Mary Rose coin

STUNT The giant coin was floated over the site where the ship sank and was subsequently raised in 1982. Picture: David Parry/PA

STUNT The giant coin was floated over the site where the ship sank and was subsequently raised in 1982. Picture: David Parry/PA

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CHECK your pockets and you might find one of the million Mary Rose £2 coins which have just entered circulation.

The commemorative coins have been released by the Royal Mint to mark 30 years since Henry VIII’s flagship was raised from the Solent on October 11, 1982.

The Mary Rose Trust is encouraging anyone who finds one to donate it to the fundraising appeal towards the ship’s new £35m museum which is being built at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

The new £2 coin follows production last year of 1,511 Mary Rose coins which were struck in 22 carat gold, sterling silver and pristine by the Royal Mint to mark 500 years since the ship’s maiden voyage in 1511.

John Lippiett, chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, said: ‘We are delighted to continue our relationship with the Royal Mint following production of the Mary Rose £2 coin.

‘We have much work to do to secure the future of the ship and we are grateful to everyone who supports our fundraising drive to help us build the new Mary Rose Museum here in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Our hope is that when people find one they will send it back to us.’

Shane Bissett, the Royal Mint’s director of commemorative coins, said: ‘We produced the Mary Rose coin as a tribute to the world’s only surviving Tudor warship – and hope it serves as a reminder of Britain’s rich heritage as a maritime nation.’

The new Mary Rose Museum is due to open in Portsmouth later this year.

It will be the first time since she sank during an engagement with French warships in 1545 that the Mary Rose will be reunited with almost all her original contents – presenting a unique time capsule of Tudor life at sea.

It’s hoped the spray jets, which have been covering the hull with a protective wax for the last 20 years, will finally be turned off next month.

The Trust is appealing for the £2 coins to be donated, but people wishing to hold onto them as a keepsake can also pledge £2 by text.

Mr Lippiett said: ‘If they want to keep it, as it is so special, text “COIN02 £2” to 70070 and donate £2 to the Mary Rose Trust to help us achieve our target by the end of this year.’

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