A perennial favourite, the Royal Mints Britannia bullion coin design has changed many times since its introduction in 1987. In 2014 however, the mint moved its design changes over to a unique annual proof range and settled on the original Philip Nathan design for the bullion coin. Despite that, there have been multiple tweaks to the design ever since, including crinkled and radiating pattern backgrounds. For the 2018 coin the Royal Mint has released a limited mintage alternate version with some more fundamental changes.
Inspired by the British trade dollar that was minted from 1895 for use in the eastern colonies like Hong Kong and Singapore, this new variant has a border in place of the band of inscriptions on the standard coin. A similar border adorned the trade dollar, which also featured a representation of Britannia in the middle. For us, it’s a far more attractive coin than the standard one. The incorporation of the inscriptions into the main design is usually frowned upon here, but just seems so much better in this case – no doubt aided by the reduction in size of the text. There are no changes to the obverse.
Mintages are limited to 100,000 of the silver variant (the originals are limited only by order volume) and just 5,000 for the gold. Prices are a little higher than the standard bullion coins – the silver by around 10%, but the gold by just $7. We’ve only seen these at APMEX aat the moment, although they’re sure to be available at more places shortly. They ship from the end of next week. A very nice and unexpected release.