The Gold Britannia.
Gold coins continue to be one of the most solid investments you can make. They have intrinsic value because of their gold content, and they have collectible value due to their function as currency.
While most people think of gold coins as being older, there are many gold bullion coins being minted and issued today. One example of a modern gold coin is the gold Britannia.
These coins are produced in 22 carat gold. When minting began in 1987, the non-gold component used in the production of Britannias was copper. After 1990, however, the non-gold component was changed to silver.
Gold Britannias are available in four different standards. The most valuable is the one ounce Britannia, containing one troy ounce of gold and carrying a face value of one hundred pounds. It has the largest diameter of the collection, at 32.69 mm.
The half-ounce Britannias feature one half of a troy ounce, a face value of fifty pounds and a diameter 27.00 mm.
Quarter-ounce Britannias are only slightly smaller, measuring 22.00 mm. The troy weight in gold is one quarter of a troy ounce, and the printed face value is twenty-five pounds.
The smallest of this collection is the tenth ounce Britannia, with a diameter of 16.50 mm, has a face value of ten pounds and contains one tenth of a troy ounce of gold.
The Gold Britannia is named so because of its depiction of Britannia on the reverse of the coin. The image of Britannia is that of a goddess who is prepared to go to battle. She wears a centurion’s helmet, carries a shield and is armed with a trident.
Sculptor Philip Nathan designed the “Standing Britannia” that is used on the gold Britannia coins. This design may vary from one year to the next, making any collection more interesting.
The obverse of the gold Britannia features the profile of Queen Elizabeth. This design does not alter from one issue year to the next.
Coins dated between 1987 and 1996 will show the standing Britannia, her gown flowing out around her as she faces to the left. The weight and year are printed around the border of the coin. This design was also used in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006.
Britannias issued in 1997, and in 2009, feature a chariot design on the reverse of the coin. Britannia and two magnificent stallions face to the right, with the value and year of issue printed around the outside border.
2001 has a reverse design depicting Britannia standing with her back facing out, and her head turned to the left. In front of her, also facing to the left, a majestic lion is featured. The year is printed along the staff, and the weight is printed along the shield.
Coins issued in 2003 feature a side profile of the goddess. She is facing to the left, her centurion’s helmet tipped back, revealing her face and her flowing hair. The name Britannia is printed directly before her, with the weight of the coin and the year printed in straight lines behind her head.
The year 2008 features a right facing profile of the goddess, with the weight and year printed along the edges of the coin. Coins minted in 2010 also feature a side profile of the goddess, with the weight and year printed along the outside edge.
In 2005, Britannia is shown seated and at rest. Her profile is shown, as she faces left. The weight and year are printed around the border. 2007 also features a relaxed, seated Britannia. One hand holds her trident, the other a laurel leaf. In the foreground, a lion lays at rest in front of her. The year is printed on the bottom with the weight following the left edge of the coin and the name following the right edge.
Britannias are valuable coins to collect. Their recent minting years make them relatively easy to find in excellent condition, and their variety of design and denomination make them one of the more interesting collections.
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