Following the success of the Gold Britannia bullion coins introduced in 1987, the Royal Mint produced a 1 oz Silver Britannia coin in 1997, with the 1997 Silver Britannias being issued only as proofs with a mintage of 20,000. Silver Britannia coins have a face value of two pounds (£2). The Silver bullion coins produced from 1998-2012 are .958 fine Silver, as opposed to the standard British sterling of .925 fine Silver with the 2013 bullion issue being .999 fine.
Silver Britannia Design
The Silver Britannia’s attractive design was created to appeal to both collectors and investors alike. The obverse of the 1997 issue of the Silver coin features the “Third Portrait” used on British decimal bullion coins dated from 1985 to 1997. In 1998, the obverse design of the Silver Britannia coin, along with the obverse designs on all other British coins, changed to depict the “Fourth Portrait,” a more mature likeness of Queen Elizabeth II.
The reverse of the Silver Britannia coin illustrates the Standing Britannia, which appears in a horse-drawn chariot. The Standing Britannia image was originally engraved by G.W. De Saulles and used on the florins of Edward VII from 1902 to 1910, and on the Gold Britannia coins for most of the issues following 1987.