The Royal British Mint has unveiled the 2013 Britannia Gold and Silver Proof Coins. These coins feature an all new design of the iconic figure and represent the start of a new design series for the numismatic product range.
Starting in 2013, the Royal Mint made significant changes to the Britannia program. The purity of the coins was changed from the traditional 22 karat gold (91.67%) and “Britannia silver” (95.8%) to the finer purity of 99.99% gold and 99.9% silver. The typical mintage limit of 100,000 for the silver bullion coins was removed. Lastly, the bullion versions would now feature the static design of Philip Nathan’s “Standing Britannia” while the numismatic versions would feature a new design for each year of issue.
The design for this year’s numismatic versions was created by portrait sculptor Robert Hunt and features Britannia seated and dressed in classical robes, creating a familiar appearance. However, her head appears turned, symbolizing an interest in lands beyond her borders. She wears a Corinthian helmet and holds Neptune’s trident to represent her claim as “ruler of the waves.” An owl is present as a symbol of wisdom. The image appears solitary against an empty field with the exception of the word “BRITANNIA” at the upper left. The precious metal content and date appear at the base.
The new design was revealed on the Royal Mint’s website, which has a section dedicated to the new Britannia coins available for pre-order in a wide array of different sizes and product options.
The silver products include a 1 oz brilliant uncirculated coin, 1 oz proof, two coin set (1/10 oz and 1/20 oz), five coin set (1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, and 1/20 oz), and 5 oz proof coin struck in high relief.
The gold options include a 1/20 oz proof, three coin proof set (1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, 1/20 oz), three coin premium proof set (1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz), five coin proof set (1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, and 1/20 oz), and 5 oz proof coin in high relief.
Earlier this year many readers voiced complaints related to the quality of the 2013 Britannia Silver Bullion Coins, although initial sales easily eclipsed prior year levels. These new numismatic releases represent the other side of the Royal Mint’s attempt to expand and revamp the Britannia program. In time, we will see if collector response is more favorable.