The Royal Mint has announced that it will reprise Philip Nathan's original 1987 depiction of the British icon on the Gold and Silver Proof coins for 2012, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Britannia commemorative coin. To mark the milestone The Royal Mint has also created two very special sets that will feature all nine of the Britannia coins launched since 1987 available together for the first time.
Since her first appearance on English coins in the seventeenth century, Britannia has grown to become a powerful emblem, personifying the spirit of Great Britain. Her elevation to gold coinage came in 1987 and still today she adorns the high value coins of the realm. During the last 25 years nine different renditions of this most British of female figures have graced Britannia coins.
Designed by Philip Nathan, the 1987 portrait depicts Britannia as a standing figure in a classical, flowing gown, armed with her trident and shield and wearing a Corinthian helmet. This famed design has been chosen for 2012 to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and is complemented by the current portrait of The Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS on the obverse. All coins within the range feature the crenellated edge particular to Britannia coins.
Britannia's first appearance on English coinage was on copper coins issued during the reign of Charles II. Since this time, Britannia has become an increasingly important symbol, her image becoming synonymous with national pride, unification and celebration.
Commenting on the 2012 Britannia design, Dr Kevin Clancy, Director of The Royal Mint Museum said: "Philip Nathan's design captures Britannia in her full splendour and is itself a triumph of numismatic art. It draws its inspiration from a strongly maritime approach, Britannia windswept on a cliff-top, the very essence of authority and elegance. In such a momentous year for Britain it is entirely fitting for the coinage to be graced with an acknowledged masterpiece."
The 2012 UK Britannia Gold Proof range includes a Tenth-Ounce Coin, a Quarter-Ounce Coin, a Three-Coin Set and a Four-Coin Set. The 2012 UK Britannia Silver Proof range includes a Brilliant Uncirculated One Ounce Coin, a Proof quality One Ounce Coin and a Four-Coin Set.
In addition to the Gold and Silver Proof coins now available within the 2012 Britannia range, The Royal Mint has created a very unique 25th anniversary set, in both silver and gold Proof, which includes all nine designs of Britannia struck as half-ounce coins and dated 2012. This landmark collection includes a special 25th anniversary booklet and Certificate of Authenticity. The Gold Nine-Coin Anniversary Collection is available to purchase exclusively via The Royal Mint's contact centre on 0845 60 88 222. All other coins and sets are available to purchase now from The Royal Mint’s website www.royalmint.com.
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About The Royal Mint
The Royal Mint has a history dating back over 1,000 years. By the late thirteenth century the organisation was based in the Tower of London, and remained there for over 500 years. By 1812 The Royal Mint had moved out of the Tower to premises on London's Tower Hill. In 1967 the building of a new Royal Mint began on its current site in Llantrisant, South Wales.
There were estimated to be 28.6 billion UK coins in circulation at 31 March 2011, with a total face value of £3.8 billion, all manufactured by The Royal Mint. 1.1 billion UK coins were issued during 2010-11.
The Royal Mint's Llantrisant site was recently chosen to host the Prime Minister David Cameron’s first government cabinet meeting in Wales.
For media enquiries, please contact:
The Royal Mint Press Office
31 St Petersburgh Place
0207 853 2390
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