Giant Coin Marks Mary Rose Milestone

A giant £2 coin featuring the Mary Rose has been floated on the exact spot where the Tudor warship sank.

The event, staged by the Royal Mint, was held on Tuesday 2nd August 2011 to mark the 500th anniversary of the maiden voyage of Henry VIII's flagship.

The floating reproduction of the coin, which has been newly-minted to feature the warship, was placed by members of the Royal Navy Fleet Diving Squadron over the spot in the Solent off Portsmouth where the ship sank in 1545 and was subsequently raised in 1982.

Shane Bissett, the Royal Mint's director of commemorative coin, 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.

''In our 1,000-year history, we have never 'floated' a coin before, but there seemed no better way to celebrate the 500th anniversary of such an iconic vessel.''

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.

''Building work is under way and we plan to open it before the end of 2012. Our hope is that people will send a Mary Rose #2 coin back to us here in Portsmouth to help us achieve our target.''

Lieutenant Commander Richard Watson, chief of staff at the Royal Navy Fleet Diving Squadron, added: '

'Not only does the Mary Rose play an important part in Britain's military history, but the story of this Tudor warship appeals to naval personnel and civilians alike.

''We were able to combine some of our training with this task and are proud to help the Royal Mint commemorate the Mary Rose and hope that the new £2 coin helps keep her memory alive.''

Mary Rose Coin