The eagerly awaited proof Britannia is here for 2018 with a full range and three precious metals

One of the most anticipated releases in the numismatic calendar, the Royal Mint’s proof Britannia range has garnered considerable admiration over the last half-decade, especially since Jody Clark’s beautiful 2014 issue caused a stir. Today’s the day the 2018 design is offered for sale for the first time and the selction of sizes and metals is as broad as ever.

To take a look at the design first, we like it and it certainly fits in with the series ethos. The depiction of Britannia is attractive and while not filling as much of the coin as we’d like because of the wide border, is a nice classical change from the stylistic approach of 2017 and represents a more romanticised view of Britain. The obverse, as you would expect of a Royal Mint issue, simply features the Jody Clark effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The range is extensive, of course. Eight silver, eight gold and a solitary platinum coin make up the range, ranging in size from a 1/40 oz up to a kilo (although the 30oz gold, if indeed it is coming, has yet to be revealed). The twenty-ounce silver variant is gone – replaced with the more traditional one-kilo format. As before, most of the smallest variants are only available in one of the various sets on offer. The quarter-ounce platinum coin was popular enough to warrant a 2018 return, although with the mintage reduced from 850 to 650 pieces. Two gold sets are available. One incorporates the three traditional fractional sizes (½, ¼, 1/10), the other the six coins from 1 oz down. There’s an silver set comprising six coins with the largest at an ounce in weight and the smallest one a tiny 1/40 oz coins with an 8 mm diameter.

While not reaching the heights of the epic 2014 coin, something hardly any coin has managed to do in our view, this lloks to be an attractive and appealing design. Plenty of price points on offer, so something for everyone, and the packaging is up to the usual Royal Mint high standard. Available to buy now.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Each year Britannia is recast, presenting an opportunity for a British artist to reimagine our most famous national symbol. For 2018, David Lawrence returns Britannia to a more classical feel in a composition that channels the spirit of a nation. His take on a numismatic icon is inspired by Ancient Rome.

Creating a design that works within the confines of a coin presents its own unique challenges. David’s approach to getting the reference shots he wanted was certainly novel, enrolling various family members to pose as Britannia, bedecked with bedsheets and broomsticks, before working through the compositions until some pleasing shapes could be resolved within the constriction of the coin’s roundel. The result is an Anglicised version of antiquity.

Overseeing the production of Britannia from concept to coin was The Royal Mint’s Coin Design lead, Lee Jones.

“David has produced a romantic view of Britannia, so lightness was required on our part to complement his treatment of the subject. To achieve the right effect, we increased the amount of plain area, which we refer to as the ‘table’, which is highly polished on the final product. This process also strengthened the silhouette of the head which is important to ensure the design is legible on every size of coin.”

With the design approved, the next step in the process was to strike the coins themselves. Proof coins like Britannia are struck using special dies with a strictly limited shelf life. Between each strike the die is polished and the coin aligned by hand. Proof coins are struck at least twice – the second strike deepens the relief and firms the definition. Each strike uses less pressure than our standard minting process in order to preserve more of the fine detail present in the artwork.

This process showcases the artistry of the design and gives the coin a degree of engineered precision that only striking to Proof standard can achieve: more detail, a clearer relief and a finer, smoother surface than coins struck to normal standards.

SILVER RANGE
DENOMINATION £500 UKP £10 UKP £2 UKP £1 UKP £0.5 UKP £0.2 UKP £0.1 UKP £0.05 UKP
COMPOSITION 0.999 Silver
WEIGHT 1005.0 grams 156.3 grams 31.21 grams 15.71 grams 7.86 grams 3.15 grams 1.58 grams 0.80 grams
DIMENSIONS 100.0 mm 65.0 mm 38.61 mm 27.0 mm 22.0 mm 16.5 mm 12.0 mm 8.0 mm
FINISH Proof
MAX MINTAGE 250 750 7,150 1,350 1,350 1,350 1,350 1,350
BOX MINTAGE 150 650 5,100 1,350 1,350 1,350 1,350 1,350
BOX / COA Yes / Yes
GOLD RANGE
DENOMINATION £800 UKP £500 UKP £100 UKP £50 UKP £25 UKP £10 UKP £1 UKP £0.5 UKP
COMPOSITION 0.9999 Gold
WEIGHT 937.71 grams 156.3 grams 31.21 grams 15.60 grams 7.80 grams 3.13 grams 1.58 grams 0.80 grams
DIMENSIONS 100.0 mm 50.0 mm 32.69 mm 27.0 mm 22.0 mm 16.5 mm 12.0 mm 8.0 mm
FINISH Proof
MAX MINTAGE TBC 95 TBC TBC 1,500 220 220 220
BOX MINTAGE TBC 90 170+220 170+220 170+220=1080 220 220 220
BOX / COA Yes / Yes
PLATINUM RANGE
DENOMINATION £25 UKP
COMPOSITION 0.9995 Platinum
WEIGHT 7.85 grams
DIMENSIONS 20.0 mm
FINISH Proof
MAX MINTAGE 650
BOX MINTAGE 600
BOX / COA Yes / Yes
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By |2018-07-02T18:07:10+00:00July 2nd, 2018|Categories: Culture, Gold, Silver, Royal Mint, United Kingdom|2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Silver1320 July 2, 2018 at 15:31 - Reply

    Nothing will reach the beauty of the 2014 version as you noted. It was just one of the best designs of all time, of any mint in the world, IMO.

    • Mik Woodgate
      Mik Woodgate July 4, 2018 at 11:09 - Reply

      Absolutely. my coin of the decade so far.

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