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British Gold Britannias

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British Gold Britannias from BGASC

BGASC proudly presents the official gold bullion coin of Great Britain, the Britannia Series. These exquisite gold bullion versions of the coin were the pioneers from the Royal Mint featuring the female personification of Britain. The Britannia design, with origins tracing back over 2,000 years in the British Isles, was the Royal Mint’s ideal choice when launching its new bullion series for contemporary investing. Since its inaugural release in 1987, the Gold Britannia has become an enduring classic, consistently struck each year.

History of the Gold Britannia Coin

The British Gold Britannia Coin made its debut in 1987 during a dynamic period in the gold bullion market. The gold Bull Market of the 1970s prompted various sovereign mints to respond to the success of the 1967 South African Gold Krugerrand by meeting the growing demand for privately-owned gold bullion coins. Following the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, issued in 1979, came the Chinese Gold Panda and American Gold Eagle.

While the modern Gold Britannia coinage dates back to 1987, Britannia’s image has a far-reaching history. The term Britannia was first used during the Roman Empire’s invasion of the British Isles, around the year 119 AD. King Charles II of England reintroduced the vision of Britannia on British coinage in 1672, with increased use following the unification of England and Scotland in the early 18th century. The 1987 Gold Britannia marked a significant return of Britannia to British coinage in a design unparalleled in the nation’s numismatic history.

Mintage History of the Gold Britannia Coin

Produced at the Royal Mint’s state-of-the-art Llantrisant facility in South Wales, the British Gold Britannia Coin is struck with an unlimited mintage each year, meeting investor demand or securing gold bullion blanks for coining. Originally issued in 1987 with 22-karat gold, the composition included copper. In 1990, the alloy shifted from copper to silver, maintaining the 22-karat gold standard until 2012. In 2013, the Royal Mint upgraded to 24-karat .9999 pure gold. Coins issued from 2013 onward weigh 31.1035 grams, down from the 34.05 grams of pre-2013 issues.

All British Gold Britannia Coins bear a face value in Pound sterling, the official fiat currency of Britain. The 1 Troy oz coin carries a face value of £100 (GBP) on its obverse.

Design of the British Gold Britannia Coins

Queen Elizabeth II, through the Privy Council Office, commissioned the Royal Mint to produce the Britannia in 1987. Selected through a competition, Philip Nathan’s interpretation of Britannia won out among 52 designs from 14 designers.

Nathan’s design reimagines Britannia as a powerful yet feminine figure, standing on the southern coast of Britain with a trident in her right hand and an olive branch and shield in her left. The shield bears the Union Jack, symbolizing the nation’s strength and commitment to peace.

The obverse features Queen Elizabeth II, with different portraits over the years:

  • 1987-1997: Raphael Maklouf’s third-generation portrait
  • 1998-2015: Ian Rank-Broadley’s fourth-generation effigy
  • 2016-2023: Jody Clark’s fifth-generation design, capturing Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 89
  • 2023-present: Featuring the new effigy of King Charles III by Martin Jennings

Debut of New Security Features on 2021 Gold Britannias

In 2021, the Royal Mint introduced innovative security features to the Britannia Series. These features, present on both silver and gold coins, include:

  • Surface animation: Reflecting the rolling waves of the ocean’s water as the coin is viewed from different angles.
  • Latent feature: A circular security mark changing between a trident and a padlock.
  • Tincture lines: Horizontal and vertical lines in the background of the Union Jack shield.
  • Micro-text: Latin text “Decus et Tutamen” (An Ornament and a Safeguard) along the border between Britannia and the design rim.

Shop British Gold Britannia Coins at BGASC

BGASC is your destination for the latest British Gold Britannia Coins. For inquiries about purchasing coins from this series, contact our customer service team at 888-992-4272, chat with us online, or send us an email.