We’re not going to pretend we’re unbiased, Jody Clark’s 2014 proof Britannia was for us, the outstanding coin release of last year by a large margin, some feat given the quality of the competition, and one we shouted about from the first day. With examples, especially the superb high-relief 5oz version, selling for multiples of the issue price, it’s clear that the coin has appreciated beyond the reach of most collectors. That was that, or so we thought. Fast forward a year and the Royal Mint has used the design for its first £50 for £50 silver coin.

Struck in brilliant-uncirculated quality onto a 1oz 0.999 silver round, the design has lost virtually nothing in translation to the lower-quality finish judging by the images. Fair enough it isn’t going to wow like the proof original, but given the Royal Mint website has been in slowdown mode all day with queues of over 400 people at a time waiting to buy, it doesn’t seem collectors are that bothered and are keen to snap up this quite sublime piece of work.

As a £50 for £50 coin, the price is obvious and brisk first-day sales would seem to indicate that the 100,000 mintage isn’t going to be around for long, quite a feat in itself and a testament to the original. Our advice is to grab one while you can and own at least one version of what will no doubt be looked back upon as a landmark numismatic design. Available now.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

The Royal Mint has announced a new addition to its face value coin range – the UK’s first ‘£50 for £50’ fine silver commemorative coin. In a celebration of Britain’s story, the unmistakeable ‘fifth portrait’ obverse of Her Majesty The Queen by Jody Clark has been paired with his contemporary figure of Britannia – a new denomination face value coin, featuring two iconic British figures, both by the same designer.

The Queen’s portrait has been a reassuring presence on our coins for more than six decades, and this image, the fifth effigy, first appeared on UK coinage earlier this year. The figure of Britannia is a popular representation of Britain that has been reimagined through the centuries, and often reflects the United Kingdom at a moment in time. Today’s Britannia, depicted by Jody Clark, is strong and elegant, standing with the British lion at her side.

Director of Commemorative Coin, Anne Jessopp, said: “It seems apt that these two familiar British figures feature together on the UK’s first face value £50 coin in the year that The Queen became Britain’s Longest Reigning Monarch, and Britannia returned to the circulating coinage.”

Jody Clark’s Britannia design is a contemporary take on this classic symbol of Britain, but it respects tradition. He looked to British heraldry and treasures like the Una and the Lion coin for inspiration, reuniting Britannia with the British lion, a pairing also seen on plaques commemorating the soldiers of the First World War.

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
£50 UKP 0.999 SILVER 31.00 g 34.00 mm BR/UNC 100,000 CARD
THE ROYAL MINT