The 1 oz Silver Britannia Coin (Common Date) has been in production by the Royal Mint since 1997. It is one troy ounce of .999 fine silver, and has a face value of 2 pounds sterling backed by the British government.
The reverse features the iconic Britannia figure after which the coin is named. She is a symbolic protector of the British Isles and the coin displays her vigilantly watching over her homeland, armed with her trident, shield and Corinthian helmet. Balancing her armor, her left hand holds an olive branch as a symbol of peace. An added detail that is often missed is the name, Nathan, stamped in the bottom giving credit to its designer, Philip Nathan.
What does "Common Date" mean? These are circulated coins (i.e. pre-owned). The years will vary and may be mixed or all the same. These affordable coins have signs of wear including tarnishing or oxidation but the value of their silver content is not diminished.
History of the Silver Britannia
The Royal Mint has been striking coins for over 1,000 years. And the Silver Britannia continues the tradition. It takes its inspiration from ancient Britannia coins first struck by the Romans.
It was the practice of the Romans to personify continents and countries as female figures. And for the Province of Britannia (the Roman controlled regions of England, Scotland and Wales) they used the figure of Britannia. On coins of emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD) she is featured in classic flowing robes with a spear and shield, seated on rocky crags which probably provided the invaders’ first view of Britain.
Pictured below, early Britannia coins:
After the Romans, she was brought back during the reign of Charles II, but as a maritime figure as the British Empire sought to assert its sovereignty over the seas. This is the inspiration behind the trident pictured in today’s design.
Silver Britannia coins draw from a deep historical heritage, and its .999 purity and reasonable premium over spot make it ideal for the modern precious metals investor now.