To mark the Britannia bullion coin’s 25th anniversary in 2012, the
Royal Mint in Britain is reviving a classic coinage design for the
silver edition in the program.
The classic Philip Nathan design of the iconic goddess will appear
on the reverse of the 2012 Britannia silver £2 coin, the Royal Mint
announced Nov. 2.
The Britannia program was launched in 1987 as a gold bullion coin
to compete with the South African Krugerrand, Canadian Maple Leaf and
American Eagle bullion coins. Ten years later, the Britannia program
was expanded to offer a 1-ounce silver £2 version. All silver
Britannias are struck in “Britannia silver,” the name given to an
alloy of .958 fine silver.
Nine different reverse designs have appeared on the Britannia gold
and silver coins since the program began in 1987, possibly none more
famous than Nathan’s design, which shows a standing figure of a
graceful Britannia, wind blowing her robes left while she holds a
trident. Britannia wears a Corinthian helmet and bears also a shield.
Nathan based his design on De Saulle’s standing figure of
Britannia on the florins of Edward VII.
Nathan’s classic design was employed on the silver and gold coins
in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006, plus special designs for the
Britannia in 1997 and 2001.
The 2012 Britannia silver coin weighs 32.45 grams, measures 40
millimeters and has a bullion finish. The mintage in bullion is unlimited.
The silver bullion coin is currently available both from the Royal
Mint’s network of distributors at a price based on the current
precious metals price plus a markup for associated production costs
and slight profit, and in a collector form offered directly by the
Royal Mint in a special colorful sleeve packaging for £59.99.
The same design will be used on the bullion coins sold through the
distributor network and the pieces in special collector packaging. No
difference in the finish exists between the bullion coins in the
special sleeve packaging and those that have begun entering the dealer
Representatives have not confirmed when Proof 2012 Britannia
silver coins would be offered.
To order the Britannia coin in special packaging, write to the
Royal Mint, FREEPOST, NAT23496, P.O. Box 500, Llantrisant, Pontyclun
CF72 8YT, visit the Royal Mint website at www.royalmint.com, or telephone
the Royal Mint toll-free at 866-519-7298 in the United States or at
866-924-0861 in Canada. ■