Britannia has been The Royal Mint’s flagship bullion coin since it was first introduced in 1987. Renowned for its beauty and reliability, the original Britannia design was created by sculptor Philip Nathan and has been reproduced in 2023. He presented Britannia with carefully chosen symbols – a shield for protection, an olive branch for peace and a trident for her connection to the sea. These elements have been enhanced with four design features that make it easier than ever to authenticate and liquidate Britannia bullion coins. These design changes make the coin difficult to counterfeit, leading to increased trust and worldwide recognition amongst investors and institutions. With its global recognition and trust, the Britannia coin has a thriving secondary market, making it a particularly liquid choice for many investors.
The security features of the Britannia coin include:
First introduced on the £2 coin, the latent image acts like a hologram and changes from a padlock to a trident when the coin is seen from different angles.
The addition of the inscription ‘DECUS ET TUTAMEN’, which translates to ‘an ornament and a safeguard’, surrounds the figure of Britannia, and is created using specialist lasers.
To reinforce security, The Royal Mint has reintroduced the traditional art of tincture lines, depicting colours and patterns on metal that are incredibly hard to recreate.
Micro details on the coin combine to create the illusion of waves rolling behind the figure of Britannia. These are created using advanced picosecond lasers, and come to life as the coin is rotated.
The Royal Mint was one of the first mints in the world to use advanced picosecond lasers – used in medicine and aerospace – for the production of coins. This technology enables The Royal Mint to work on a submicron level, creating complex designs using indents that are 200 times narrower than the width of a human hair.
Together these tiny indents can create spectacular special effects, such as the movement of waves seen in the background of the Britannia coin. The advanced technology and intricacy of the design make it incredibly difficult to replicate, reassuring the owner that they have the genuine artefact simply by rotating it in the light.
“Our Britannia bullion range is already one of the most sought-after in the world, and these innovative security features make it even more appealing for investors. Simply by moving the coin, you can authenticate it as a genuine Royal Mint product, giving investors complete confidence, whether they are buying directly from us or from our partners.”
Andrew Dickey, Divisional Director of Precious Metals for The Royal Mint
Britannia bullion coins are renowned for their reliability, with their weight and quality verified at the centuries-old, annual Trial of the Pyx in Goldsmiths’ Hall.