Without question, the most popular coin series from the Royal Mint each year is the Britannia series. Bearing the image of an icon of the British Isles, known to the world for more than two thousand years, Britannia has simultaneously been known as a goddess for the isles, its protector, the name of the isles as a Roman province, and even the people themselves.
- Available since 1987!
- Contains 1 Troy oz of .917 or .9999 pure gold.
- Bears a face value of 100 (GBP) backed by the government of Britain.
- Obverse feature the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
- Reverse includes Britannias imposing figure.
First offered in 1987, the coins have been struck in every year since that time.
The Gold Britannia Coin has undergone some significant changes during its 30 year history. The coins were originally available in 22-karat gold, or .917 gold content. Starting in 2013, the Royal Mint increased the gold content to 24-karat, .9999 pure gold. Additionally, the obverse design field has changed over time to reflect changes to Queen Elizabeth IIs portrait.
On the obverse of the 1 oz British Gold Britannia Coin you receive you could find one of three different effigies of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Coins issued from 1987 to 1997 have the third-generation depiction from Raphael Maklouf, who first created his portrait of the Queen in 1984.
Coins issued from 1998 until 2015 feature the right-profile portrait created by Ian Rank-Broadley. This fourth-generation image was more recently replaced in 2016 by the fifth-generation image of the Queen at age 89. Created by Jody Clark, this latest image makes Clark the youngest Royal Mint engraver ever to design the Queens effigy.
The reverse of all 1 oz British Gold Britannia Coins features the same design year after year. Britannias figure is an imposing female goddess said to protect the British Isles from foreign invaders. She is depicted at the nations southern tip looking out over the English Channel. Her shield bears the Union Jack of the national flag, her trident in her right hand controls the sea, and her Corinthian helmet protects her as she stands in defense the nation.