Silver Britannia coins have been issued by the Royal Mint since the year 1997. In this year a silver proof set was introduced as the inaugural issue of these silver coins. The design of the silver Britannia is one of its most appealing features. The coins released in even numbered years have a standing Britannia depicted on the reverse. Since 1999, in this place, different Standing Britannia designs have been used on coins released during odd numbered years. Since 1998, every Silver Britannia has carried a depiction of the Queen Elizabeth II (based on the fourth portrait) on the obverse. The obverse design on the earlier versions of these coins were based on the third portrait of Her Majesty.
In 2011, a new reverse design was adopted showing a seated Britannia with a flowing Union Jack superimposed on her. This design was quite a challenge to recreate on the metal and this fact makes the 2011 series a special one.
Weight and Silver Content
Britannia silver coins come in fractional sizes too which makes these an ideal investment for small investors. You can buy silver Britannias in 1/10th, 1/4th and ½ ounce weights. These coins also carry a face value of 20p, 50p and £1 respectively. Each of the one ounce versions of these UK silver coins carries a face value of 2. These coins are forged with 95.8% fine silver or Britannia silver, as it is also called. Both FDC and proof quality coins are available in this series.
Distinctive Silver Britannia Coins
Some of these U.K. silver coins are highly sought after because they carry a unique design. The 1997 version of these coins, which was the year of their introduction, are the only ones to carry the third portrait of the Queen. There were Silver Britannias struck this year with Britannia standing in a horse drawn chariot on the reverse. In this year, Britannia silver coins were only minted in the form of Proof sets. Later, in 1999, the same chariot design was revived for a single year but these designs only appear on Uncirculated coins. These rare designs make these specific versions of Britannia silver coins very valuable collectibles.
25th Anniversary Britannia Silver Coins
The year 2012 marks the 25th Anniversary of Britannia silver coins. The Royal Mint has already launched the designs that will be used for this upcoming coin series. In the 2012 version, the original depiction of Britannia is revived, showing her in a standing pose in flowing robes. She carries the trident and shield and wears a Corinthian helmet. The obverse of the coin remains unchanged from previous versions. Considering that this will be a special edition for the 25th anniversary, the 2012 Britannia silver coins should be excellent choices if you intend to invest in silver in this year. These coins are sure to garner good value as collectibles which will greatly enhance their market price.
Why Buy Britannia Silver Coins?
Britannia silver coins make an excellent investment. They are made almost entirely of silver with copper being used to add strength to the alloy. In addition, the choice of patriotic designs makes these coins a favorite with British buyers. In the U.S., investors prefer these coins because of the intricate designs that are used on these coins as well as the variations in reverse design.
Although the one ounce Britannia silver coins are the most popular, there are fractional sizes in this series that are very affordable for small investors as well. Considering that silver is mainly sought after by investors who want an excellent store of value that is also more affordable than gold, these British silver coins do make ideal investments.
Buying Britannia Silver Coins
If you have decided to buy Britannia silver coins then you need to first identify a reliable and trustworthy dealer for the transaction. Dealers who are approved by reputed grading organizations like the American Numismatic Association offer high quality genuine coins for sale. Since there is no way for you, the buyer to gauge the quality of the precious metal used in the coin, it is best to buy only from such dealers.
Another factor to keep in mind is the prices offered. Even among reliable dealers, there may be a few offering attractive prices on bullion. Always compare prices offered by various dealers you have shortlisted for the Britannia silver coins you have decided to purchase. Check customer reviews for the dealer offering low prices to ensure that his customer service is good. This will help you find a trustworthy dealer who sells genuine Britannia silver coins at low prices and ensures that you get the same delivered in the shortest possible time.