Changes Coming for Royal Mint Bullion Coins

In a blog post from the Royal British Mint, some broader plans and specific changes for their Gold Britannia and Silver Britannia bullion coins are discussed.

Specific changes include altering the specifications of the coins. The gold coins will be changed from the current composition of 22 karat gold (91.67%) to 99.99% purity.

The silver coins will be changed from the “Britannia silver” composition of 95.8% purity to 99.9% purity. The new purer compositions match those used by many other world mints for their bullion coins.

The packaging will also be revised, changing from blisters to tubes. The use of tubes is common for lower premium bullion offerings from other world mints.

The post also speaks more broadly about “expanding into the bullion market”. This will be done though refining their strategy via the composition and packaging changes mentioned above, as well as taking “a proactive approach to acquiring new customers”.

Currently, the Royal Mint probably has a relatively small share of the world bullion market compared to other mints. As an example, for many years they have limited their one ounce Silver Britannia bullion coins to a mintage of only 100,000, which is minor compared to the sales in the millions achieved by the Royal Canadian Mint, US Mint, and Austrian Mint.

Personally, I have favored the Silver Britannia coins in part due to the low mintage limit. If the Royal Mint is planning on expanding their market share, this seems like it would have to involve removing or increasing the mintage limit on the Silver Britannia. If production of future issues is much higher, this seems like it could have a positive impact on the earlier issues which would have lower mintages by comparison.

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Comments

  1. Louis says

    Interesting development. As far as I know, we still do not know the mintage of the 2012 coin. Has anyone heard anything on that?

  2. Nate says

    I had the same reaction – if they’re actively looking to expand their customer base, this may drive interest to lower mintage issues of earlier years. Maybe I’ll start looking for some. I’ve always liked the Britannia bullion but have not bought any yet.

  3. Alan says

    It’s about time! 🙂 I’m sure this will improve sales and collector interest.

    I would have bought some Britannia silver before but the “weird” composition not shared by any other coin always made me reconsider against it. I’m biased in favor of 90% (coin silver) or .999 since I can more easily determine their relative value, and because those are commonly used in coins.

  4. Sergey says

    Michael, agree with your idea of a positive impact on the earlier issues with lower mintages. I have already bought many of the previous issues of Silver Britannia and they are beauties.
    Also I wanted to add that blisters in which Silver Britannias are supplied keep coins in FDC condition, while the coins (Eagles, Maples) which come in tubes sometimes may have some problems like minor scratches and similar imperfections. Still, let’s see.

    PS Great respect for your work on both Blogs! Hope to contribute to the World Mints News Blog with the review of the Russian Mint Silver Buillion coins

  5. Samuel says

    off topic; anyone knows whether RCM will produce the collector penny after they eliminate the penny?

  6. says

    Samuel,

    You are correct that this could potentially be the last penny/proof set. That was part of the reason I went ahead and got the Canadian silver proof set before it was too late.

    Back on topic, this post was pretty timely as my proof and uncirculated silver Britannias arrived from the Royal Mint this morning. They are both fantastic pieces. The uncirculated, to my surprise, has a “prooflike” finish similar to the AtB five ounce bullion coins. The proof, of course, is a magnificent piece. I am grateful to the blog for alerting me to both these.

    I have to say, though, that the Royal Mint is the most expensive Mint that I’ve bought from yet. The proof Britannia was about $120 – this is more than the Perth proof silver dragon and the Perth proof silver colored dragon originally sold for. They are also doing an “all silver” proof set similar to the Canadian Mint that contains ten coins. But the price is £408.33 or $663!

    Recently they announced a Diamond Jubilee 1 kilo silver coin: http://blog.royalmint.com/the-diamond-jubilee-kilo-coin-from-the-royal-mint/ But the price for it is £2,800 or $4,500! Their gold coins are similarly overpriced.

  7. Samuel says

    Captain,
    i saw u said u bought the polar bear with the proof set. u did not buy form the mint?

    by the way, the britannia is on gainesville. i will wait until next time i buy other stuff to buy them together. maybe apmex will have them soon as the 2010 ones. the britannia sells very very slow.

  8. says

    Samuel,

    I bought the polar bear coin from a place called Gate West, recommended to me by Louis. They gave my coin buying group good customer service and have a very nice selection of Canadian coins.

  9. Tom says

    A change in the purity and mintage limits provides a logical entry point to begin collecting the series going forward without an overwhelming sense of needing to buy the lower mintage previous issues with a lower purity. Most of the pre-2010 issues currently command a hefty premium.

    I consider it to be good news, as I am always looking for a new series to COLLECT.

    As far as INVESTING in silver bullion, I think I will stick to rolls of Eagles, Maples, and Philharmonics, at least for now.

  10. jeff72 says

    wow…I’m gettin dumber by the minute….not France (above post)…2012 Unicorn is from the Republique Du Cameroun. Africa.

    I go now.

  11. says

    off topic….
    I received my 2012 WWII Nose Art 3 coin silver set yesterday. These are from the New Zealand mint for (Niue). These coins are awesome!!! Limited to 3000 sets.
    http://www.apmex.com/Product/67427/2012_WWII_Nose_Art___3_x_1_oz_Silver_Collectible_Coin_Set.aspx
    The pics at APMEX do not come close to capturing how good these coins look. If any of you purchased the New Zealand “Dragon” coin(also Niue) that was limited to 2500 sets and came in the cool packaging, then you would really like this set too!

    I also received my 2009 Libertad 5 oz proof coin..it looks great as well.

  12. Alan says

    @steve It really amazes me how coin mints seem to want to display unflattering images of their coins. I wonder if they realize that by showing actual photos of the coins rather than mockups, they might make a few more sales? 😛

  13. Saucexx says

    Steve,

    I’ve been eyeing those WWII coins but I honestly don’t know how they’ll appreciate over time. Anybody have thoughts on the New Zealand Mint? CO mentioned it above that foreign mints have a much higher premium on their coins than the US mint. The upside to the US mint being fairly conservative in their offerings is you also generally know what will gain in value and what won’t. And as cool as they can look I have a hard time with colored coins. Some I really like others seem gimmicky, something you’d buy from the Franklin Mint or out of the back of TV guide.

    Alan, I agree.

    CO, Got my proof in a week ago. Beautiful coin. I agree the price is exorbitant though. Plus if you have to send it back it might cost you another 17-38 dollars to do it. I have that problem now with another coin and just may sell it on ebay for less than I bought it for.

  14. Samuel says

    Captain, what do you think about the upcoming perthmint coins? which one u plan to buy? i like the HR bird one.

  15. says

    Samual, re: Perth…I’m also interested in the HR Kookaburra, the Chinese Dragon (2nd in the Dragons of Legend series) and maybe the M. Monroe…depends on what it looks like and the mintage limit.

  16. VABEACHBUM says

    I have been a fan of the Britannia series for some time, and have been fascinated with some of the unique REV designs. Yeah, I know Lizzy is always on the OBV; if the citizens can live with it, I can, too!! I currently have two complete, running sets of the Britannia UNC coins, as well as one complete, running set of their “Display Packaging” line. If the Royal Mint is intent on pursuing their share of the world bullion markets and do increase Britannia production moving forward, these first 14 coins should begin to see a steady appreciation as new collectors attempt to compile a complete set.

    Steve – I had been eyeing those Nose Art coins, but still am unsure. So hard to judge the quality w/ the pics that are used. As for the Niue Dragon, I picked up one of those on the Bay for less than Mint costs. I am extremely pleased with the coin and the packaging, even though the packaging is a little over done. If the coin had been proof rather than gilded, I think the cameo on that coin would have been awesome.

    C.O. – I have been checking your blog regularly – looking for your thoughts on the Perth Releases for May 1st. Like you, I have become fascinated with the HR coins and, based on some of your previous comments, I also have picked up the Sydney Cove medal and the Pheidippidis Marathon coin. Two very nice pieces.

  17. says

    Samuel,

    I’m planning to snag the second dragons of legend coin and the high relief kookaburra.

    I won’t be buying anything though if the Perth website doesn’t start working! I haven’t been able to access it all morning and it’s only an hour until the coins are supposed to be released.

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