One of the oldest operating mints in the world is the Royal Mint of England. The sovereign mint of Britain has a history that dates to the opening of the London Mint in 886 AD. Throughout its history, the Royal Mint expanded to feature branch locations in far-flung corners of its empire such as Australia and India. Today, the Royal Mint of England operates a state-of-the-art coining facility in Llantrisant, Wales, where it produces both circulation coins and banknotes, as well as some of the world’s finest bullion coins. In the paragraphs below, you can learn all about the variety of British Silver coins emanating from Britain and available to you from JM Bullion.
The official silver bullion coin of Britain, the British Silver Britannia coin debuted in 1997 at the Royal Mint. The coin features the popular image of Britannia from Philip Nathan on the reverse side. Nathan designed this powerful, modern depiction of Britannia as the personification of Britons and the protector of the realm in 1987 for the gold bullion version of the Britannia coin. It remains in use on the reverse side of the Silver Britannia each year.
On the obverse side of British Silver Britannia coins is an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty’s portrait is routinely updated by the Royal Mint to reflect her age as the Queen of England. The vast majority of Silver Britannias available today have the 1998 design from Ian Rank-Broadley present as that was used from 1998 to 2015 on British coins. 1997 coins feature the Raphael Maklouf portrait of the Queen, while all coins issued from 2016 onward have the Jody Clark design.
When the British Silver Britannia was released in 1997, it featured 1 Troy oz of .958 silver content. This continued through 2012, with the Royal Mint increasing the silver content to .999 pure silver in 2013.
In 1997, the Royal Mint issued the British Silver Britannia in limited-issue proof coins and proof sets. The 1998 release and all subsequent even-number date marks through 2012 have Philip Nathan’s standing depiction of Britannia. The 1999 release and all subsequent odd-number date marks through 2011 have different images of Britannia each year. Starting in 2013, the Royal Mint opted to change the design each year regardless of even or odd date mark.
The most popular series outside of the Britannia Silver in the 2010s is the Queen’s Beast Silver coin collection. The 10-coin design program features 10 of the most important heraldic beasts in English history. Each one featured at some point in the Royal Arms of England or the personal badge of a reigning monarch, with two of the animals still present in the modern Royal Arms of England. The Queen’s Beast Series features bullion and proof versions in both silver and gold, but what made the debut of the Queen’s Beast Silver coins unique was the bullion option.
When the program launched in 2016, the series included a 2 oz silver bullion coin that represented the first-ever 2 oz bullion strike by the Royal Mint of England. The silver bullion versions of the coin eventually garnered a 10 oz silver bullion strike, and the proof silver coins in the Queen’s Beast Series feature 1 oz, 5 oz, 10 oz, and 1 Kilo silver options.
The bullion versions of the coin and the proof versions share the same reverse design, with all coins also sharing the same fifth-generation effigy of Queen Elizabeth II from Jody Clark. In fact, the Queen’s Beast silver coins were among the first to feature the new portrait of Her Majesty when it began appearing on 2020 date marks. There are a few differences to note in the Queen’s Beast Silver range though:
In total, 10 different beasts feature in the reverse designs in this series and it is not a matter of coincidence. The beasts were chosen because each one appeared in the form of a wooden statue at the coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II in early 1953 at Westminster Abbey. The designs available in the series include the following:
Introduced in 2014, the Shengxiao Series is the Royal Mint of England’s answer to the rising demand for lunar-themed silver bullion. Though not as robust as the leading program in this genre from the Perth Mint, the Royal Mint’s Shengxiao Series offers its own distinctive beauty. Available in 1 oz silver and 1 oz gold bullion versions only, the Shengxiao Series has (to date) featured designs on the reverse from Wuon-Gean Ho. The Shengxiao Series debuted in the middle of the 12-year cycle of the Zodiac and focused on the Year of the Horse. Each release gets its own distinctive primary design and supporting elements. Reverse features to date include:
Because this series has been available since 2014, the obverse design elements have seen just as much change to date as the reverse animal designs. The 2014 and 2015 coins feature Ian Rank-Broadley’s fourth-generation bust of the Queen wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara. This design was in use from 1998 to 2015. The coins issued 2016 and onward have the Jody Clark portrait of the Queen. This bust captures Her Majesty at the age of 89 wearing the George IV State Diadem Crown. From 2014 to 2016, the coins had a clear background field. The 2017 coins had a hammered background field on the obverse. All coins issued 2018 and later have the new guilloche background element on the obverse.
A unique four-coin release, the Landmarks of Britain series of silver for sale launched in 2017 with design release stretched through early 2019. The collection features four of the most prominent pieces of British architecture, many of which even those who have never been to England would recognize in a photo. The series offers 1 oz silver bullion coins only, each one with .999 pure silver content and a limited mintage of only 50,000 coins per release.
In keeping with other series, the coins gained the guilloche background element on the obverse starting with the 2018 Tower Bridge release and previously featured a hammered background on the 2017 Big Ben coin that launched the series. The Jody Clark portrait of the Queen features on the obverse of all four release, with the reverse offering the following designs (in order of release):
The next two collections featured are newer series that are still expanding, but that offer consistent designs similar to the British Silver Britannia Series. First up is the British Valiant Series. The Valiant Series offers 1 oz and 10 oz silver bullion coins to investors, each one boasting .9999 pure silver content. The British Silver Valiant Series reimagines one of the most produced designs in English history: St. George slaying a dragon. Prominent on the British Gold Sovereign dating to 1817, the Valiant coins offer a new depiction for the reverse in which St. George rides to battle and slays the dragon with a long spear by stabbing it through the neck. His horse bucks up as he impales the beast and you can see that he has at his side a shield with the cross of St. Andrew on it.
Another series launched in 2019 with prominent English symbolism depicts the modern Royal Arms of England. The Royal Arms represents the monarchy, not the modern state, but it remains a powerful symbol of the realm that is recognizable around the world. This particular series launched in 2019 with a 1 oz .999 pure silver coin and expanded in 2020 to include a 10 oz silver coin alongside the 1 oz option.
On the reverse of these coins is the modern depiction of the Royal Arms of England. The heraldic shield is quartered with the Three Lions of England in quadrants one and four, the Lion of Scotland in quadrant two, and the Harp of Ireland in quadrant three. The shield is crowned and supported by the Lion of England on the left and the Unicorn of Scotland on the right.
New for 2020, the Royal Mint introduced its British Music Legends Series of silver. These low-mintage coins are available in both silver and gold with various bullion and proof specimens available. JM Bullion carries two proof options and a singular bullion coin in the silver series. The 1 oz proof silver coin stands out as the most unique in that it offers colorized elements on the reverse design field and is the only option in silver to do so. Planned designs in the series include:
Fans of 007 have been waiting several years for a new James Bond feature film and that wait is almost over with a new film hoping to hit theaters in 2020. As the 25th, No Time to Die is generating anxious anticipation among fans of the series and is giving investors something to look forward to as well. Silver bullion coins are coming out from mints around the globe and the Royal Mint is on in the action with its own coins. Available in proof with commemorative box packaging and a Certificate of Authenticity, the Proof British Bond, James Bond coins share the same reverse design of an Aston Martin and the obverse portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
While the Royal Mint of England is the only sovereign mint in the nation, it is not the only mint in Britain. The Pobjoy Mint is a private, family-owned mint that is the largest of its kind anywhere in Europe. It produces bullion coinage for countless Commonwealth nations and former British territories around the world from Gibraltar and St. Helena to the Isle of Man and the British Virgin Islands. Pobjoy Mint coins tend to come in a variety of styles and weights with low mintages. Below is a brief rundown of some of its more popular collections:
There are many options awaiting you in our collection of British silver coins. Please feel free to contact JM Bullion with any questions by calling us at 800-276-6508, chatting with us live online, or emailing us directly.