The Royal Mint issued a 1 oz silver and a 1 oz gold ‘Britannia’ coin in 2021 for collectors and investors, which it describes as the world’s most visually secure bullion coins.
First appearing on the coins of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, Britannia (which has stood as the female personification of Britain for centuries) has been a continuous presence on British coins since 1672 during the reign of Charles II.
The icon has evolved through the ages, and this latest incarnation is a reimagination of the 1987 design created by sculptor Philip Nathan in 1987, with its carefully chosen symbols comprising a shield for protection, an olive branch for peace and a trident for Britannia’s connection to the sea.
Four new features have enhanced these elements, making it easier to authenticate the coins, security being a key requirement for the investment community.
They include a latent image that switches between a trident and a padlock when the coin is rotated, microtext spelling out the words ‘DECUS ET TUTAMEN’ (meaning ‘an ornament and a safeguard’), the use of light and dark tones created by smooth lines on flag on Britannia’s shield, and micro dot surface animation that creates a wave effect behind Britannia when the coin is moved.