are gold and silver bullion coins minted by the UK Royal Mint. Silver coins have been issued since 1997 and gold coins – since 1987. The gold Britannia has a face value of £100 and contains 1 troy ounce. Fractional sizes are minted as well, of one-tenth, one-quarter, and one-half ounces, and their face values are £10, £25, and £50, respectively. Coins are produced from 22-karat gold and have fineness of 91.7 percent. Until 1989, the non-gold metal was copper, and it was changed to silver in 1990.
The one-ounce silver Britannia was minted after the successful introduction of the gold Britannia. Its face value is £2 and is minted from .958 fine silver
Britannia has been depicted on coins
since Roman days and is the symbol of Great Britain. It had a warlike appearance in the past, and her image was associated with the sea, protecting the country and being its source of power. Today, Britannia is depicted in different ways, sitting, in a chariot, with a lion, and a helmet. Depending on the weight and year of issue of the coin, Britannia can be seen standing as well. The design of the Standing Britannia was created by sculptor Philip Nathan and used on gold coins. The profile of Queen Elizabeth is depicted on the observe of the coin, and it does not change with every new issue. The reverse design changes to make new collections more interesting.
Britannia coins minted between 1987 and 1996 feature the standing Britannia, facing to the left and with her gown flowing around. The year and weight are shown around the coin’s border. The same design was used for new collections between 1998 and 2006 as well. The reverse of Britannia coins that were minted in 1997 and 2009 has a chariot design. Britannia is depicted with 2 stallions and faces to the right. The year of issue and value are seen near the outside border. The coin minted in 2001 features the Standing Britannia, with her face to the left and back facing out. A majestic lion is depicted in front of Britannia, and it also faces left. A side profile of Britannia is featured on coins issued in 2003. With her helmet tipped back and her hair flowing, the goddess faces to the left. The year of issue and weight show behind her head in straight lines. Finally, the 2005 coin features a seating Britannia with her face facing left. She holds a laurel leaf in one hand and a trident in the other. The weight follows the left edge while the year shows at the bottom.
All Britannia coins are legal tender and sold as investment coins
. Thus, they are exempt from both Capital Gains Tax and Value Added Tax. This makes the coin a great investment instrument compared to pure gold bars
and other bullion.
The gold Britannia has different specifications depending on the denomination. The 1-ounce coin is with a diameter of 32.69 mm while the one-tenth ounce coin is with 16.5 mm. Released in 1997, the reverse of the silver Britannia features the standing figure of Britannia. Since then, non-repeating, alternate images of Britain’s symbol have been used for the reverse. The diameter of the one-ounce coin is 40 mm, while of the tenth-ounce – 16.5 mm.
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