What is a Silver Britannia?

Silver Britannia

1997 Silver Britannia ReverseThis is an introduction to the Silver Britannia. For our main knowledgebase, listing each year with images, mintages and other information, please see see Silver Britannia.

Silver Britannia’s are bullion coins minted in the UK by the Royal Mint and are the British silver bullion equivalent to the American Silver Eagle dollar or the Canadian Maple Leaf dollar.

This article covers the Silver Britannia, but the coin is also minted in gold. Besides the 1 ounce silver coin, the silver family includes Half ounce, One quarter ounce, One tenth ounce, One twentieth ounce and a massive Five ounce coin.

Specifications

The size and silver content of this coin has changed since the coin’s release in 1997.

Originally it was 958 (95.8%) silver (which is know as ‘Britannia Silver’, the rest is usually copper).

Since 2013 the silver coins have followed the modern trend of using pure silver and are now produced with a millesimal fineness of .999 (99.9% silver).

One ounce (1997-2012): diameter 40 mm, (32.454 g).
One ounce (2013-) : diameter 38.61 mm, (31.104 g).

Face value: £2 (GBP)

Most years are also available as proof, although not every year.

Design

1997 Silver Britannia ObverseKnow by this name as an image of Britannia is always on the reverse, the coin has been minted in silver since 1997. The image of Britannia is changed every year, although odd years see Britannia standing and even years see her sitting.

Britannia, together with a combination of trident, Union Jack shield and lion are all symbols of Great Britain, devised many centuries ago to signify that Britain ruled the waves (as it did indeed in those days with the most powerful navy in the world).

Britannia has been used on several other British coins.

The Obverse is always of Queen Elizabeth II.

Image attribution: M J Hughes Coins

Year Reverse Design Also in  Proof?
2016 Britannia standing Yes
2015 Britannia standing Yes
2014 Britannia standing with lion Yes
2013 Britannia seated with owl Yes
2012 Britannia standing No
2011 Britannia seated Yes
2010 Head of Britannia Yes
2009 Britannia standing in chariot Yes
2008 Britannia next to waves Yes
2007 Britannia seated with lion Yes
2006 Britannia standing Yes
2005 Britannia seated Yes
2004 Britannia standing Yes
2003 Head of Britannia Yes
2002 Britannia standing No
2001 Britannia walking with a lion Yes
2000 Britannia standing No
1999 Britannia standing in chariot No
1998 Britannia standing Yes
1997 Britannia standing in chariot Yes

Mintages have varied over the year and have increased substantially in recent years as this coin has become an important and popular silver bullion investment coin.

Also see our knowledgebase for Silver Britannia listed by year.


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