Britannia Coin Designs

Author: Juliana Chard - Numismatist

Published: 29 Oct 2018

Last Updated: 2 Sep 2019

The Britannia coin was introduced in 1987 as the United Kingdom's answer to the Krugerrand. 

In 1987, the Royal Mint released the Britannia to meet the growing demand for bullion. The Britannia coin would rival the South African Krugerrand and United States Eagle bullion coins. The aim was to have a British investment coin which would be sold at a low premium over the intrinsic metal value.

The Britannia Coin Designs - Here are a selection of designs which have featured on the Britannia coins, both uncirculated bullion coins and the proof collector coins.

The Charioteer

The 1997 issue of Britannias was marked by a change to a figure of Britannia standing whilst driving a two horse chariot in the manner of Boudicca (Boadicea) by Philip Nathan. This engraving was re-used on the 1999 and the 2009 silver and gold coins.

1999twopoundsbritanniaoneounceuncsilverrev400

Britannia 1oz Silver Uncirculated Coin - The Charioteer

'Una & The Lion' Britannia

In the style of Queen Victoria's Una & The Lion, the 2001 Britannia coins show Britannia standing facing left with her back to the viewer holding her trident and shield with a lion at her side by Philip Nathan. 

2001britannia100poundsoneouncegoldproofrev400

2001 Britannia 1oz Gold Coin - Britannia 'Una & the Lion'

The Britannia Helmet

In 2003, a new modernised engraving shows a close up helmeted head of Britannia with superimposed tessellated waves by Philip Nathan.

2003britannia2poundoneouncesilverproofrev400

2003 Britannia 1oz Silver Coin - The Britannia Helmet

The Seated Britannia

Philip Nathan designed the 2005 left facing seated Britannia wearing a helmet and a gown which has an ornately embroidered hem. The engraving features a large olive branch to the left of the design.

2005 Britannia 1oz Gold Proof Coin - The Seated Britannia

The Wreath Britannia

In 2007, this seated Britannia engraving by Christopher Le Brun shows Britannia facing right holding an olive branch in her left hand and her trident in her right whilst resting against a tree.The watchful lion lies at her feet. A wreath encompasses half the design.

2007britanniatwopoundsoneouncesilverproofrev400 (1)

 2007 Britannia 1oz Silver Coin - The Wreath Britannia

The Seaside Britannia

The 2008 Britannia was designed by engraver John Bergdahl. The left facing Britannia stands holding the trident in her right hand with the large shield held in front of her. The hem of her dress has been transformed into waves.

2008britannia2poundsilverrev

2008 Britannia 1oz Silver Uncirculated Coin - The Seaside Britannia

The Profile Britannia

The 2010 Profile Britannia engraving by Suzie Zamit is reminiscent of the head of Marianne as Ceres on the early twentieth French 20 Franc gold coins. Facing right, Britannia looks rather more gaunt than on previous reverses.

2010britannia100poundoneounceuncgoldrev400

 2010 Britannia 1oz Gold Proof Coin - The Profile Britannia

The Union Jack Britannia

David Mach designed this stylish right facing, seated Britannia against a rippling Union Jack flag for the 2011 Britannia.   

2011elizabethii1oztwopoundsbritanniasilverbullionrev400

2011 Britannia 1oz Silver Uncirculated Coin - The Union Jack Britannia

Britannia and the Owl

Only available in proof finishes, the 2013 Britannia engraving by Robert Hunt features a seated Britannia looking to the right. The stylish rendition has an ancient Greek feel which is further endorsed by the addition of the owl. The owl symbolises wisdom, status and wealth. 

 2013britannia100poundsoneouncegoldproofrev400

The 2013 Britannia gold proof set contains 5 coins with the inclusion of a twentieth of an ounce £1 coin for the first time.

2013britanniafivecoingoldproofset400

2013 Britannia gold proof 5 coin set

The Globe Britannia

Jody Clark's engraving for the 2014 proof Britannia range is a rather more glamourous design than any of the Britannia designs so far. This left facing Britannia is portrayed in a highly stylised pose with the trident in her left hand, the lion laid down at her feet against a backdrop of the globe. The uncirculated bullion coin features the classic standing Britannia.

2014britanniatwopoundsoneouncesilverproofrev400

2016 Britannia 1oz Silver Proof Coin - The Globe Britannia 

The Lighthouse Britannia

Antony Dufort's engraving for the 2015 Britannia proof coins display a left facing bust of Britannia wearing a plumed helmet holding the trident against her shoulder and the shield aloft. In the background stands a lighthouse in the distance and a sailing ship. Describing it as the Lighthouse Britannia might be a touch too much artistic licence, let us know if you have another suggestion.

2015britanniatwopoundsoneouncesilverproofrev400

 2015 Britannia 1oz Silver Proof Coin - The Lighthouse Britannia

The Warrior Britannia

Suzie Zamit's 2016 Britannia engraving for the proof series features a right facing standing Britannia holding the trident in her left hand and resting the shield against her right side. The lion is lying at her far side. There is a considerable amount of detail in this design with an ornate helmet and many pleats and drapes in her gown.

2016sixcoinbritanniacollectionsilver2poundsrev500-B-1

2016 Britannia 1oz Silver Proof Coin - The Warrior Britannia

2017 Britannia - The 30th Anniversary Proof Design

The design  for the 2017 Britannia Proof Coins by British artist, Louis Tamlyn has caused a great deal of debate. The artist has cleverly combined the figure of Britannia with the outline of Great Britain. The design encroaches into the inscription band as does the Union Jack background. The 30th anniversary trident privy mark and the artist's initials LWT are positioned to the right. 

2017elizabethhii1ouncebritanniasilverproofrev400

2017 Britannia One Ounce Silver Proof Coin

2017 - Bullion 30th Anniversary Design

 In 2017, in addition to the uncirculated bullion coin, The Royal Mint issued an additional bullion coin featuring a trident privy mark on the reverse and a new guilloche design on the obverse. Even though it is only the silver Britannia that celebrates its 30th anniversary, both the gold and silver coins feature the same trident privy mark.

The guilloche is an ornamental feature used in the background behind the standing Britannia. It adds an extra layer of security against counterfeit coins.

2017uk100poundsbritanniagoldrev500-B-1

2017 Britannia 1oz Uncirculated Gold Coin - 30th Anniversary Privy Mark

Typically the bullion Britannia coins are issued to an unlimited mintage, however, the 2017 30th Anniversary bullion coins were issued to limited mintages of 7,030 for the one ounce gold coin and 120,000 for the one ounce silver coin.

Read our story of the Britannia here. 

This guide and its content is copyright of Chard (1964) Ltd - © Chard (1964) Ltd 2019. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited.

We are not financial advisers and we would always recommend that you consult with one prior to making any investment decision.

You can read more about copyright or our advice disclaimer on these links.