Not many coins can say that they are backed by over 11 centuries of minting history, but the British Britannia certainly can make this claim. Created by the Royal Mint, the Silver Britannia Coin is part of a very remarkable history. Great Britain has seen many changes over the centuries as the empire has evolved, but throughout all of the upheavals and social progress, the economics of silver coin making has remained relatively unchanged.
Royal Mint Bullion Production
The Royal Mint has the highest exacting standards that are possible with current technology. This makes the British Britannia one of the most sought after coins produced by this mint, adding to the long line of grand coins that have been created over more than a thousand years. When you purchase these silver coins, you are literally adding history to your collection or investment portfolio.
What Is the History of the British Royal Mint Silver Britannia Coin?
The Royal Mint has been producing the Silver British Britannia since 1997. These silver coins contain 1 troy ounce of silver and are given a face value of £2. Multiple sizes are available in this series from 1997-2012, going down to as little as 1/10 a troy ounce, which has a face value of 20p. Starting in 2013, the Royal Mint introduced two additional sizes: the 5 ounce British Britannia and a 1/20 troy ounce coin, with a face value of £10 and 10p respectively.
What is the difference between bullion, proof, and BU coins?
It is important to know what year the silver British Britannia was issued because this will determine the millesimal fineness of the silver coin. Between 1997-2012, each silver coin had a fineness of .958, with a total mass of just over 32g. Starting in 2013, the Royal Mint produced silver coins with a .999 fineness and a mass of 31.21g. Coins struck before 2013 also have a diameter of 40mm, which is slightly bigger than the current 38.61mm of the modern silver Britannia.
Another popular coin produced by the Royal Mint is a series which celebrates each Lunar New Year. In 2014, some of the British Britannias were struck with the wrong obverse image, but still contained the same millesimal fineness and weight. These coins are often referred to as “Mule Britannias” and just under 20,000 are thought to exist.
The Importance of the British Britannia
The image of the Britannia has a history which goes back as far as the Roman occupation of the British Isles. Her image held a status that was equal to that of other goddesses in Roman society, representing protection of the land. The modern image of the guardian dates back about 300 years when the formation of the United Kingdom was finalized. This is why the image on the Silver Britiannia contains a Corinthian helmet holding a shield bearing the Union Jack.
The 2016 coin also contains the first obverse update to the Britannia series since 1998, as an updated image of Queen Elizabeth II created by Jody Clark has been added to the coin.
Striking Standards for the Silver British Britannia
The Royal Mint offers proof, brilliant-uncirculated, and bullion striking options for the silver British Britannia. Proof coins are generally reserved for commemorative coins by the min, but a very limited mintage of the Britannia is generally available each year. Most coins in this series are offered as brilliant-uncirculated, which for the Royal Mint is defined as a coin that doesn't have the “extra finishing and detail” provided on proof coins. Bullion coins have the same standard of finish as circulating coins produced by the mint and are generally collected more for their intrinsic value.
Brilliant-uncirculated coins are machine-fed and struck twice, so they're produced at a rate of about 100 coins per hour at the Royal Mint. This is why they tend to have a slightly lower level of definition when compared to proof coins. With their .999 fine silver, however, they are still very suitable for collections, investments, or even as an affordable gift that provides ongoing value.
Precious metals are a wonderful way to diversify a portfolio, begin a coin collection, or continue with an investment strategy. The 1 ounce silver British Britannia is a highly coveted coin with worldwide demand, making it possible to easily buy or sell these coins when needed to support your personal financial goals. If you have questions about the British Britannia or any other silver coins or other precious metals options, please feel free to speak with one of our representatives today so you can find the right product at a competitive price.