Perhaps no image is more iconic to the majestic history of Great Britain than that of Britannia. Evocative of a time that predated when Britain ruled the seas, the term “Britannia” has become synonymous with the strength and stability of the British Crown. When it comes to the adorning of coinage, the image of lady Britannia has a long numismatic lineage dating back to the times of the Roman Emperor Hadrian.
First appearing on bronze Roman coins in the first century AD, the image of Britannia was later struck as a symbol of imperial authority on coinage as early as 1665 under the watchful guise of Britain’s leading imperial architect, Samuel Pepys.
Today, the British Royal Mint continues this distinguished tradition with the minting of their Britannia gold coin series. First struck in 1987, this latest incarnation of Britannia gold coins are valued by both the investor, collectors and numismatists.
In the quarter of a century since they made their debut, the British Royal Mint’s Britannia gold coin has become a major target of acquisition on the international coin market. For those in the market to add significant value and prestige to their coin portfolio, purchasing these beautiful coins on the open market is both easy and relatively safe.
Specifications Of The Britannia Gold Coin
As one of the most respected coins on the market, the Britannia gold coin is available in 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10th oz sizes with face values equating to British pounds of £100, £50, £25, and £10 respectively. For the first three years of the series, until 1990, the Britannia coin was alloyed with copper and silver, but after that year were alloyed with silver instead, which results in a slightly lighter shade of gold in coins minted after that year.
Deemed as legal tender in Great Britain, and produced by the Royal Mint, the original 22-karat gold coins were .917 fine, but recent changes have driven that purity upwards. Indeed, since 2013, the coin’s fineness has been increased to .9999, which makes them particularly attractive to investors. Founded in 886 AD, the British Royal Mint is more than 1,100 years old, and the fine level of artisanship, which eleven centuries of practice breeds, is evident in all the work they do, and the Britannia gold coin is no exception.
Britannia Coin Design
Adding a Britannia gold piece to a collection is not only a wise investment opportunity, it is an aesthetically pleasing choice owing to the artisanship that goes into their making. From the design’s 1987 inception, the coin’s obverse bears a likeness of Queen Elizabeth II, based on Australian artist, Sir William Dargi’s famous, Third Painting. The portrait, commissioned during the Queen’s landmark trip to Australia, became a cultural icon for a generation of Australians.
The Britannia gold coin featured this variation for a decade before a design change was instituted in 1997. As with most long-serving monarchs, the British Royal Mint periodically updates their coinage to better reflect the sovereign’s advancing years, and in that year the mint began utilizing the, more matronly, Fourth Portrait, for use on legal tender.
The coin’s reverse pays tribute to the image of Britannia itself. As mentioned, the term “Britannia” has ancient origins, and the image is based on the Celtic war queen, Boudica, who took up arms against the occupying Roman forces in ancient Britain. Today’s coins feature Britannia in various positions of repose including a standing and seated variants of the iconic image.
Buying Britannia Gold Coins
The British Royal Mint produces Britannia gold coins in such numbers that brilliant uncirculated samples of the coin are readily available for purchase by both investors and collectors. As mentioned, the coin is available in a multiple denominations and each bears varying weights of fine .9999 gold.
The coins are backed by the reputation and skills of the British Royal Mint. One need not apply directly to the mint to purchase the coin, however. Owing to the design’s popularity, and coupled to the stability of the British economic system, the Britannia gold coin can be found in the inventories of all reputable precious metal dealers.
How to Buy Britannia Coins Safely Online
Purveyors of the Britannia gold coins are readily available online and offer an array of Britannia gold coins in a myriad of denominations. Reputable online merchants such as APMEX, BGASC, Golden Eagle Coins, Provident Metals, Modern Coin Mart, JM Bullion, SD Bullion and more offer the coins for sale on the open market, and their long history of dealing with precious metals positions them well for safe and secure online gold transactions.
When buying Gold Britannia coins online most all dealers will ship them in discreet mailing wrap, which means that online buyers can rest assured after making a purchase. Further, most online purchases will include tracking of shipments, so buyers won’t be left in doubt as to where their shipment of coins are at any given time in the delivery process. However, each dealer is different so it could be a wise move to read a dealer’s shipping policy before making an order online.