The Gold Britannia stands at the pinnacle of over 1,000 years of coining by The Royal Mint. Located for 500 years in the Tower of London, while used simultaneously as a prison and place of torture and execution, the Mint is now headquartered in Llantrisant, Wales on a 38-acre (15 hectare) site with nearly 1,000 employees … free to come and go and availed of the most modern equipment and technology. One ancient tradition remains, almost unchanged from its beginnings in the year 1282. The Trial of the Pyx continues as the annual procedure by which new coins are determined to conform to the required standards. The “pyx” is the wooden chest in which the coins are presented, and the ceremony is an actual trial, involving a judge and expert jury of assayers who assess whether criteria are met for chemical composition, weight, and diameter. Britannia’s shining beauty is backed by rigorous standards.
The Royal Mint strikes its Gold Britannia to bullion standard, in 24-carat gold (.9999 fineness). Previous to 2013, the coin was of 22-carat (.917 fineness) gold with the remaining .093% made up of copper (until 1989) and then silver. Marking its 30th anniversary in 2017, original (1987) designer Philip Nathan added an evolutionary element to the classic pose of the wind-swept warrior in the form of a speckled radial sunburst. The limited-edition anniversary coin also bears a trident mint mark with the number 30. “Britannia” is the name Roman conquerors gave to the islands, with the helmeted female first appearing on coinage for the Emperor Hadrian circa 119 AD. In 1672, during the reign of King Charles II, Great Britain adopted the image on its own coins. Hers is the face of British bullion to the world to this day.
Obverse: : The crowned profile of Britain’s longest-serving monarch designed by Jody Clark, whose initials (JC) appear beneath. Surrounding text is ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 100 POUNDS
Reverse: Britannia looks in the direction of the trident in her outstretched right hand, an olive branch and Union Jack shield in the left, crested medieval war helmet over long hair blowing in the wind, along with full-length gown revealing one bare foot on the island rock, into which is carved the last name of image designer Philip Nathan. Circling about the radiant sun background, from the bottom left, are the trident head mint mark (30th anniversary edition) and BRITANNIA year of mintage 1 OZ 999.9 FINE GOLD
Fine weight: 1 ounce (31.1035gr)
Minted since 1987
Legal Tender Value: 100 Livre Sterling
Size available (Face value) : 1/20 oz. (£ 5), 1/10 oz. (£ 10), ¼ oz. (£ 25), ½ oz. (£ 50), 1 oz. (£ 100), 5 oz. (£ 500)
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