In 2002 to commemorate the Manchester Commonwealth Games, the Royal Mint released a Limited Issue Northern Ireland Flag Piedfort £2 Two Pound Silver Proof Coin struck in solid .925 Sterling Silver.
The reverse shows a moving figure of an athlete holding a banner, the top of which being divided into lines to symbolise lanes of a running track or swimming pool, with a colour cameo of the Northern Irish flag and an edge inscription 'SPIRIT OF FRIENDSHIP, MANCHESTER 2002'.
The obverse is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Ian Rank Broadley.
Piedforts are coins which have been specially struck on thicker than normal blanks.
As their name suggests they are closely associated with France, where from the twelfth century they were apparently issued by the Kings as presentation pieces.
In Britain the practise of striking piedforts is later and less frequent, but medieval and Tudor examples are known.
These legal tender coins have been struck to proof quality using specially prepared dies and highly polished blanks.