Britannia (coin)

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Britannia (One ounce silver)
United Kingdom
Value 2 pounds sterling
Mass 32.45g up to 2012
from 2013 31.21 g
Diameter up to 2012 40.00mm
from 2013 38.61 mm
Edge Milled
Composition .958 silver (1997 - 2012)
.999 silver (2013 - present)
Years of minting 1997-present
Obverse
Design Queen Elizabeth II
Designer Ian Rank-Broadley
Design date 1998
Reverse
Design Britannia
Designer Robert Hunt
Design date 2013

Britannia coins are British bullion coins issued by the Royal Mint in gold since 1987 and in silver since 1997.

Britannia gold coins contain one troy ounce of gold and have a face value of £100. Gold Britannias also are issued in fractional sizes of one-half, one-quarter, and one-tenth of a troy ounce and with face values of £50, £25, and £10 respectively. In 2013 two additional sizes were introduced, a five ounce coin of face value £500, and a fractional size of one-twentieth of face value £1.[1]

Britannia silver coins contain one troy ounce of silver and have a face value of £2. Silver Britannias also are issued in fractional sizes of one-half, one-quarter, and one-tenth of a troy ounce and with face values of £1, 50p, and 20p respectively. Like the gold coins in 2013 two additional sizes were introduced, a five ounce coin of face value £10, and a fractional size of one-twentieth of face value 10p.[1]

Gold Britannia[edit]

From 2013 the gold coins have a millesimal fineness of .9999 (or 24 carat gold). Until 2012 the gold coins have a millesimal fineness of .917 (91.7% or 22 carat gold) with the non-gold component being copper until 1989 and silver from 1990.

2013 Gold Britannia specifications (gold content, and approx total weight)

Five ounces: diameter 65 mm, (156.295 g)
One ounce: diameter 38.61 mm, (31.104 g)
Half ounce: diameter 27 mm, (15.60 g)
One quarter ounce: diameter 22 mm, (7.86 g)
One tenth ounce: diameter 16.50 mm, (3.13 g)
One twentieth ounce: diameter 12 mm, (1.58 g)

1987-2012 Gold Britannia specifications (gold content, not total weight)

One ounce: diameter 32.69 mm, (31.104 g) (total wt 34.050 g)
Half ounce: diameter 27.00 mm, (15.552 g)
Quarter ounce: diameter 22.00 mm,(7.776 g)
Tenth ounce: diameter 16.50 mm, (3.110 g)

Silver Britannia[edit]

Since 2013 the silver coins have been produced with a millesimal fineness of .999 (99.9% silver).[2] Mass 31.21 g and Diameter 38.61 mm.[3]

From 1997-2012 the silver coins had a millesimal fineness of 958 (95.8% or Britannia silver). Total mass 32.45g, Diameter 40.00mm.[4]

Silver Britannias have been released each year beginning in 1997, when a silver proof set was offered. In 1998 and in all subsequent even-numbered years the reverse design has depicted a standing Britannia figure. Beginning in 1999 and continuing in odd-numbered years, a series of alternate, non-repeating depictions of Britannia have replaced the standing figure on the reverse. Starting in 2013, the proof versions of the coin will feature a different design each year, while the bullion version of the coin will always feature the classic standing Britannia. While mintage was limited prior to 2013, in 2013 and after mintage of the bullion version of the coin is unlimited based on demand.[2]

Some 2014 silver Britannia coins were struck with the incorrect obverse[5] as there was a mix up during the manufacturing process with the 'Lunar' Year of the Horse coins from The Royal Mint, as both coins were to the same fineness and specification,[6] and similar but not identical obverse sides. It is thought that there are around 17,000 examples with the mis-strike, which have been dubbed the 'Mule Britannia' These coins have fetched substantial premiums on online auction sites.[7]

Silver Britannia mintages[edit]

The following table has the most recent numbers of coins minted by year.[8]

Year Uncirculated 1oz Proof (Orders / Issue Limit) Proof sets (Orders / Issue Limit) 5oz Proof
1997 16,005 11,832 not available
1998 88,909 3,044 3,044 not available
1999 69,394 no proof coins released no proof coins released not available
2000 81,301 no proof coins released no proof coins released not available
2001 44,816 4,596 10,000 not available
2002 48,816 no proof coins released no proof coins released not available
2003[9] 73,271 2,016 / 5,000 3,669 / 5,000 not available
2004[10] 100,000 2,174 / 5,000 not available
2005[11] 100,000 1,539 / 2,500 2,360 / 3,500 not available
2006[12] 100,000 2,529 / 2,750 3,000 / 3,000 (Silhouette Collection) not available
2007[13] 100,000 5,157 / 7,500 2,500 / 2,500 (Sold Out) not available
2008[14] 100,000 2,500 / 2,500 (Sold Out) 2,500 / 2,500 (Sold Out) not available
2009[15] 100,000 6,784 2,500 / 2,500 (Sold Out) not available
2010[16] 126,367 6,539 3,497 not available
2011[17] 100,000 4,973 2,483 / 2,500 not available
2012 100,000 2,500 - not available
2013 Mint to Order 2,500 in limited edition presentation, max mintage 8,500 - 1,150 in limited edition presentation, 3,500 in First Strike Presentation, max mintage 4,650
2014 Mint to Order 2,500 in limited edition presentation, max mintage 5,300 1,750 in limited edition presentation, 550 in First Strike Presentation 600 in limited edition presentation, 750 in First Strike Presentation, max mintage 1,350

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mrs Thatcher? No that's Britannia! One in four adults cannot recognise figure that has symbolised Britain since Roman times Daily Mail 30 July 2013
  2. ^ a b "2013 Britannia One Ounce Silver - A New Start for a True British Icon". The Royal Mint. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  3. ^ 2013 Silver Britannia specifications
  4. ^ 2012 Silver Britannia specifications
  5. ^ "2014 Minted Britannia Coin minted with incorrect obverse". Mar 5, 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  6. ^ "Lunar Year of the Horse 2014 UK One Ounce Silver Proof Coin". Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  7. ^ "'Mule' Britannia: error versions of silver £2 coins surface". Mar 3, 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-12. 
  8. ^ "Silver Britannia Mintage". Silver Bullion World. Retrieved 15 September 2013. 
  9. ^ "2003 Dated UK Collector Coin Sales". 
  10. ^ "2004 Dated UK Collector Coin Sales". 
  11. ^ "2005 Dated UK Collector Coin Sales". 
  12. ^ "2006 Dated UK Collector Coin Sales". 
  13. ^ "2007 Dated UK Collector Coin Sales". 
  14. ^ "2008 Dated UK Collector Coin Sales". 
  15. ^ "2009 Dated UK Collector Coin Sales". 
  16. ^ "2010 Dated UK Collector Coin Sales". 
  17. ^ "2011 Dated UK Collector Coin Sales".