Coin of the Month: The Silver Britannia

Photo courtesy of Provident Metals

Photo courtesy of Provident Metals

If you’re looking for a silver bullion coin with a lot of history for a good price, you should think about buying the Silver Britannia. Minted annually by the Royal Mint of England, the current Silver Britannia coin has been produced since 1997. There is also a Gold Britannia that the Mint began making in 1987.

This coin is made of 1-troy once of .999 pure silver. Here, we’ll tell you about the design and the history of the coin.

Front/Obverse Design: The front of the Britannia features a rendition of Queen Elizabeth II, the current Queen of England. The coin is inscribed with its value in the British currency of pounds, “2 pounds,” as well as the official name of Elizabeth, “Elizabeth II D G REG FID DEF.”

The strange letters are a kind of abbreviation for the Latin phrases “Dei Gratia Regina,” which means “Queen By the Grace of God,” and “Fidei Defensor,” which means “Defender of the Faith.” So the Queen’s official name is Elizabeth II, Queen by the Grace of God, Defender of the Faith. That’s a pretty cool (and long) name!

Back/Obverse Design: The reverse side of the coin features Britannia. Britannia is a very ancient figure. She’s the personification of the nation of Great Britain, which means she’s a mythical figure that represents the spirit of the proud island nation.

Britannia is a young goddess who wears the helmet of a soldier and carries a shield and spear.  She first appeared as a representation of Britain on coins when the powerful ancient nation of Rome (located in modern day Italy) first conquered part of the island in 43 AD.

After the Roman Empire fell, so did the use of Britannia on coins. In 1636, however, the British King Charles II began using the image of Britannia again on the nation’s coins; she’s been on some sort of coin ever since then. That’s over 350 years of history! The modern Britannia still looks similar to the early Roman coins; the only difference is that her shield shows the emblem of the British Empire—the Union Jack—and she stands a watch guard of the seas surrounding England.

The back of the coin is inscribed with the words “Britannia” and “One Ounce Fine Silver,” as well as the year the coin was produced.

The Silver Britannia is a well-known coin around the world. Its purity makes it a good coin to invest in, while the featured images of Britannia and the Queen of England make it a collectible piece of history.

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