Since 1997, certified British bullion coins have been highly sought-out pieces for both collectors and investors alike. Known as the Silver Britannia, the British bullion coin reflects the history of Great Britain while showcasing incredible detail and exacting specifications. The ancient image of Britannia, the personification of the British Isles, first appeared on coins in the Roman Empire during the reign of Hadrian around 119 A.D. Her depiction on British coins first appeared in 1672. Needless to say, Britannia silver bullion coins are symbolic of the illustrious history of Great Britain.
The Britannia silver bullion coin was first struck in 1997. Since 1998 (and each subsequent even-number year afterwards), the coins have depicted an image of a standing Britannia figure. Since 1999, each odd-number year, the silver bullion coin has featured an alternating, non-repeating version of the Britannia figure. In addition, beginning in 2013, the proof version has featured a different design each year while the bullion version has continued to feature the standing Britannia.
One of the most highly prized types of Silver Britannia coins is known as the “”Mule Britannia.”” Thought to be around 17,000 in circulation, these 2014 coins feature a mis-strike on an incorrect obverse side, which features an image of a horse.
British Lunar Series coins are another popular type of bullion coin produced by the Royal Mint. These coins celebrate the Chinese Zodiac calendar by featuring a theme which celebrates the current year's animal. For example, the 2014 coins feature a horse design.
Certified Silver Britannia coins are a product of The Royal Mint, a renowned and historical British institution. Operating for approximately 1100 years, The Royal Mint has undergone many changes over its vast history, but the formal organization, along with its standard of coinage, is thought to have formalized in the mid-13th century. During this time, the mint was moved to the Tower of London where it stayed for 500 years. In fact, Sir Isaac Newton served as the Master of the Royal Mint for nearly 30 years.
From 1997 to 2012, the Britannia silver bullion coin featured one-troy ounce of silver with a millesimal fineness of .958, or 95.8 percent pure silver. However, since 2013, the coins have featured one-troy ounce of silver with a millesimal fineness of .999, or 99.9 percent pure silver. Like most coins, grades are given in accordance to their condition. Silver Britannia coins can vary from Poor to Very Fine to Mint State, which indicates a perfect condition, along with many more conditional grades.
One of the most interesting facts about The Royal Mint is its Trial of Pyx, a procedure that ensures quality standards to certify the mint's coins. The annual Trial of Pyx procedure has been part of the certification since the 12th century. In the trial, a judge and jury of assayers preside over the trial to assess the quality of coins. Due to The Royal Mint's storied and rich history, numismatists and investors around the world prefer and value the mint's coinage. Along with its illustrious history, The Royal Mint is also revered for its strict standards of quality.
The Royal Mint's Silver Britannia is typically affordable, and the mint offers stable availability, helping to make sure suppliers stay in stock. Of course, bullion silver varies in price due to world-wide bullion market conditions. However, considering the Britannia image has been in circulation since ancient Roman times, the Britannia certified silver bullion coin continues to be a highly collectible coin. Also, since the Royal Mint recently increased the silver purity of the coins, new coins are also favorites among investors and collectors.
The most readily available Silver Britannia coins found online fall between VG, or Very Good, to VF, indicating a Very Fine grade. However, these secondhand Silver Britannia coins do not offer the same excellent standard available straight from the mint. Considering the certified coins' elegance, detail and historical value, along with The Royal Mint's esteemed history and quality standards, the Silver Britannia in Brilliant Uncirculated condition is prized among investors and collectors.
At JM Bullion, we mail each Silver Britannia as received from the mint in a Brilliant Uncirculated condition or in certified Mint State grades. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our certified Silver Britannia coins, please contact us at 800-276-6508 or browse our website for more information.