Britannia the changing face of Britain
28 Jul 2015
The Royal Mint has launched its new Britannia 2015 Proof Coin Collection in fine gold and fine silver including individual coins such as the United Kingdom’s smallest coin, weighing just one fortieth-ounce and exceptional sets like the Premium Six-Coin Set, all finished to unsurpassed Proof finish.
The illustrious Britannia, conceived by the Romans and embraced by the nation she represents is the female personification of Britain and has featured prominently on coinage for centuries. It’s become tradition for a new design to appear on Britannia each year, with every artist bringing their own unique flair to the image of the icon, the changing face of Britain.
The 2015 Britannia has a nautical-theme and was designed by Anthony Dufort. It has a contemporary, simple and elegant feel, with the icon at the forefront, wearing her familiar Corinthian helmet and holding the trident, a nod to her maritime might. A masted ship with billowing sails reinforces the traditional seafaring nature of the island nation Britannia represents to this day.
This is Antony Dufort’s first commission for The Royal Mint. He found the task an extension of his sculptural work, but a challenge nonetheless: “Working within the constraints of the thickness of a coin was a totally new experience. But I have always collected and studied coins and medals and this helped in developing my design. Britannia has taken so many forms and been presented with such a variety of symbolic elements, that I looked back to Greek and Roman coins and statues to ensure authenticity while modelling her trident and Corinthian helmet. However, I feel I have balanced these classic elements with clean, elegant lines and a more modern face, for a contemporary-feeling composition.”
The Royal Mint’s Britannia collection for 2015 is struck in 999 fine silver or 999.9 fine gold. Britannia coins will be highly sought-after this year, the first of these flagship coins to bear on their obverse the new, fifth definitive portrait of The Queen designed by Royal Mint Engraver Jody Clark.
Each set or coin is housed in a distinguished Royal Mint case, tailored accordingly to the contents, and is complemented by a booklet that reveals Britannia’s story and the inspiration behind the design.