Monday, September 15, 2008

Even Years of Silver Britannia

The coins are struck and issued by the Royal Mint. The obverse bears the profile of Her majesty the Queen designed by Ian Rank-Broadley (IRB) as seen below the neck of the portrait. This portrait of the Queen is also used on the Australian Lunar Series and Kookaburra. The reverse is designed by Philip Nathan which shows a standing figure of Britannia wearing a Grecian helmet, with her hair flowing freely in the wind. Her right hand holds a trident while her left grips the rim of her shield bearing the flag of the United Kingdom. Even years of 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006 have the same design on the reverse. The 2002 Britannia has the lowest mintage of the even years of 48,215.

1998 - 88,909 (UNC); 2,168 (Proof)
2000 - 81,301 (UNC)
2002 - 48, 215 (UNC)
2004 - 100,000 (UNC); 5,000 (Proof)
2006 - 100,000 (UNC)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Britannia on coins

Britannia was personified as a goddess by the Romans where she first appeared on coins struck in AD 122 to commemorate the visit of Emperor Hadrian during the building of the wall across the north of England.

This motif was revived in 1672 when the first base-metal coins, consisting of copper halfpence and farthing were issued by authority of Charles II and Britannia has since graced British coins to the present day on the 50p. In 2008, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that the Britannia would not feature in the new 50p though she will remain on the £2 coin.

Britannia also gave her name to British bullion gold coin first issued in 1987 with millesimal fineness of 917 (91.7% or 22 carat) gold. Copper was used to form the non-gold component till 1989 and from 1990, silver was used. 

The gold bullion is minted in 1, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/10 troy ounce with face value of £100, £50, £25 and £10 respectively.

2007 Britannia Silver Bullion

I began my collection of my first ever troy ounce of gold on 3 Nov 2007 and added on with more 'investor' silver bullions on 5 Nov 2007 in view of the sub-prime crisis as a hedge against hyperinflation. Here, I refer 'investor' silver bullion to bullions that have low premium over the spot price of silver.

The 2007 Silver Britannia is the first numismatic silver bullion that I bought at nearly twice the price of a 'investor' silver bullion. It was bought on 19 Dec 2007. And thereafter, I began my hunt for the rest of the years ...

The 2007 1 oz Silver Britannia depicts a seated Britannia, leaning on her Union Jack shield, gazing pensively out to sea, with the White Cliffs of Dover by her shoulder. The British Lion lies at her feet, now resting but ready to pounce into action. Britannia herself grasps the trident, symbol of naval might, in her right hand while in her left she extends the olive branch of peace.