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Buy British – Britannia Bullion Coins for Collectors

January 15, 2018 0 Comments

Britain’s position on the world stage may be diminished, but their coinage is as shiny as ever for collectors everywhere. If you have been rutted in collecting just American coins, maybe the New Year is an appropriate time to branch out into some less-familiar territory, and why not start with the coins of our cousins across the ocean?

Top pick to break into British coins is undoubtedly the Britannia series. These coins first appeared in 1987, but the design was updated for the release of 2017. The 2018 series, with of course that renewed design, is already available. These coins come in both gold and silver, and besides the traditional 1 oz. coin, in the gold range there are several weights, down to 1/10th of an ounce, so there is something for every pocket-book.

The figure of Britannia, like our Liberty, or the French Marianne, is a proud female representation of the spirit and ideals of the nation. For Britain, Britannia is an especially powerful symbol, celebrated frequently in song. ‘Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves, Britons never, never, never, shall be slaves’ is still sung today, although it celebrates a long-gone Empire. She has a long history too, since she was created by the Romans who conquered the country 2,000 years ago.

It was the Romans too who first placed her on a coin, in the year 119 AD, and Charles II used her on coins in 1672. Top quality low-denomination copper coins from 1672, with that design, sell today for as much as $300.

When the modern Britannia series was released in 1987, Philip Nathan, a British sculptor and coin artist, created the Britannia design. His version – today a classic – shows Britannia standing on the waves, her long gown swept back by the winds, and, like Neptune, carrying a trident in her right hand. In her left hand she holds both the olive branch of peace and the shield of defense. On the shield is engraved a Union Jack, Britain’s iconic flag. In the re-worked design first released in 2017, the rays from a hidden sun shine out in a corona all around her. Around the figure in a decorative border are the words BRITANNIA 2018 and the coin weight (e.g. 1 OZ). As well, .999 FINE GOLD (or ‘FINE SILVER’) completes the reverse.

On the obverse is a profile bust of Elizabeth II, the Queen of England, now 91 years old. This is a common feature of all British coinage. Around the bust is a border with the words ELIZABETH II D.G. REG. F.D. and the nominal value of the coin. The letters stand for, Dei Gratia Regina – By the Grace of God, Queen and Fidei Defensor – Defender of the Faith. The 1 oz. gold is valued at 1OO POUNDS; the ½ oz. at 50 POUNDS; the ¼ oz. at 25 POUNDS; and the 1/10th ounce at 10 POUNDS. The 1 oz. silver coin carries a nominal value of 2 POUNDS.

With their elegant design, and high-quality finish, all these coins are top-choice bullion, and an attractive, affordable way to build bullion and collect beautiful coins, all at the same time.

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