Britannia £2 Silver Bullion Coin Revealed

01 Nov 2011

Iconic depiction of the goddess revived to mark 25th anniversary

The 2012 Britannia Bullion CoinThe Royal Mint is proud to announce the release of a commemorative Britannia £2 silver bullion coin for 2012. Designed by Philip Nathan, this celebration coin has been struck with his classic 1987 image of the powerful maiden to mark the 25th anniversary of Britannia bullion coins.

Since her first appearance on English coins in the seventeenth-century, Britannia has grown to become a powerful emblem, personifying the spirit of Great Britain.

Since her first appearance on English coins in the seventeenth-century, Britannia has grown to become a powerful emblem, personifying the spirit of Great Britain.

Philip Nathan portrays Britannia as a standing figure, depicting her in a classical, flowing gown, armed with her trident and shield and wearing a Corinthian helmet. He succeeded in creating an instantly recognisable female personification of the British Isles.

Britannia's first appearance on English coinage was on copper coins issued during the reign of Charles II. With the constitutional unification of England with Scotland in 1707 and then with Ireland in 1800, Britannia became an increasingly important symbol, her image becoming synonymous with national pride, unification and celebration.

The release of the 2012 Britannia coin comes at a particularly appropriate time, as the UK prepares to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Commenting on the 2012 Britannia coin, Dr Kevin Clancy, Director of the Royal Mint Museum said: "Philip Nathan’s design captures Britannia in her full splendour and is itself a triumph of numismatic art. It draws its inspiration from a strongly maritime approach, Britannia windswept on a cliff-top, the very essence of authority and elegance. In such a momentous year for Britain it is entirely fitting for the coinage to be graced with an acknowledged masterpiece."

Philip Nathan has designed a number of other coins for the Royal Mint including a portrait to mark the late Queen Mother’s 80th birthday, an official coin design for Her Majesty The Queen and Prince Philip’s Golden Wedding anniversary.

The 2012 Britannia £2 Silver Bullion is priced at £59.99 and is available from 1st November 2011 from the Royal Mint’s website www.royalmint.com

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For media enquiries or images, please contact the Royal Mint Press Office on 020 7853 2390.

Note to editors

Coin specifications

The 2011 UK Britannia £2 Silver Bullion Coin

Denomination £2
Alloy .958 Britannia silver
Weight 32.45g
Diameter 40.00mm
Designer (Reverse) Philip Nathan
Designer (Obverse) Ian Rank Broadley FRBS
Production Standard Bullion
Launch date 1 November 2011

On 1 January 2010 the assets of the Royal Mint Trading Fund were vested into a private company, called The Royal Mint Limited. HM Treasury remains 100% owner of the shares of the company. All assets of an historical nature have been vested into a separate company, The Royal Mint Museum to preserve, protect and enhance them for future generations to come. With the exception of the assets separated into the Museum, all other assets and liabilities, including those of a contingent nature, were transferred into the new company effective 1 January 2010.

About the Royal Mint

  • The Royal Mint has a history dating back over 1,000 years. By the late thirteenth century the organisation was based in the Tower of London, and remained there for over 500 years. By 1812 the Royal Mint had moved out of the Tower to premises on London’s Tower Hill. In 1967 the building of a new Royal Mint began on its current site in Llantrisant, South Wales.

  • There were estimated to be 28.6 billion UK coins in circulation at 31 March 2011, with a total face value of £3.8 billion – all manufactured by the Royal Mint.

  • 1.1 billion UK coins were issued during 2010-11.

  • The Royal Mint’s Llantrisant site was recently chosen to host the Prime Minister David Cameron’s first government cabinet meeting in Wales.