The image of elegant Britannia, the personification of the British Isles themselves, has graced the coinage of the British realm for almost 2,000 years going back to the rule of the Roman Emperor Hadrin. The version we know, the one struck annually by Great Britain’s renowned Royal Mint, was first struck in 1997 out of 95.8 percent silver. The silver Britannia is Britain’s response to other government issued silver bullion coins like the United States' Silver Eagle and the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf. The silver Britannia was, and continues to be, a huge hit with its gorgeous detailing of Britannia on the coin’s reverse and the classic bust of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth on the obverse. Along with both the annual releases of uncirculated and proof finish silver Britannias, there are also several different fractional sizes that they can be found in, which allows collectors to get the perfect Britannia for their collection. Stuck in everything from one-fortieth of an ounce to a full kilogram of silver. Keep reading to learn more about this iconic series and to browse our extensive Silver Britannia inventory.
There are some notable Britannia issues that forever altered the striking of this annual coin. In 2013, the Royal Mint changed the silver Britannia from being 95.8 percent silver to being 99.9 percent pure silver. This issue marked not only an improvement in the silver purity of the annual release, but also marked a derivation in design. Rather than use the portrait of Britannia that had been a staple of the series since 1997, the Royal Mint changed the design to the iconic imagery of Britannia wielding a trident in her right hand and holding her shield in the left. The design has remained the same for the Uncirculated coins ever since. However, in 2017, uncirculated silver Britannias saw the addition of a radial design in the fields on the reverse side of the coin behind Britannia herself. The 2018 silver Britannia took that radial design and added it to the fields of the obverse behind Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
Proof Silver Britannias
The design of proof silver Britannias changes every year. The 2017 silver Britannia proof celebrated the 30th anniversary of the release of the original gold Britannia in 1987 and the 20th anniversary of the release of the original silver Britannia in 1997. It has a design that shows Britannia herself in the form of the British Isles. The 2018 silver Britannia Proof took an interesting turn and revisited the original silver Britannia design with the bust of Britannia fit with a Roman helm. The 2019 silver Britannia proof shows Britannia pointing her spear forward across a brilliant sky with her shield behind her and a mighty lion. Silver Britannia proofs keep changing their designs every year. Entire collections could be based simply around the silver Britannia proof and all its iterations.
Collecting Silver Britannias
The Royal Mint’s silver Britannia is a coin with origins going back several thousand years, featuring the personification of the British Isles that were assigned to them by the Roman Emperor Hadrin. It also holds a great place within numismatic history as one of the most popular global silver coin releases. Whether the different designs of the Proofs catch your eye or if owning all the different sizes issued in a single year is more your style, the silver Britannia series is a numismatic icon with something for everyone to collect.