United Kingdom Gold Britannia Coins

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United Kingdom Gold Britannia Coins are beloved around the globe for their dependability, beauty, and large face value. Their quality and weight is verified in a famous and centuries old yearly Trial of the Pyx. The British Royal Mint has been striking these lovely Gold Britannia coins since 1987, making the 2017 issue their 30 year anniversary coin. Each year, 150,000 of the gold bullion pieces are minted. This gives the series a worldwide market share of one percent. It also qualifies the ever popular British coins as among the most popular bullion issues in existence.


United Kingdom Gold Britannia Coins Background and History

Lady Britannia enjoys a long and distinguished pairing with Great Britain. She has embodied this great nation for nearly 2,000 years since the days when the Roman Empire first invaded the British Isles and staked them out as the new province of Britannia. Lady Britannia first graced the portrait of coins in the “Isle of the Mighty” under the reign of Roman Emperor Hadrian around 119 A.D. Her modern age revival began with King Charles II's coins in 1672.

The Royal Mint rolled out new Britannia coins under its prestigious bullion portfolio beginning in 1987. Sculptor and designer Philip Nathan was called upon to create a modern day interpretation of Britannia that would be ideal for the new bullion issue. He crafted the image with a powerful maritime influence. She stands in a classical gown which is swept back by the wind and with the waves lapping at her feet. In her hands she bears shield, trident, and an olive branch. This design has become instantaneously recognized throughout the international coin marketplace as the present day face of British bullion and its long time tradition of strength and reliability. Nathan's Britannia remains an embodiment of all the good in modern Britain with her powerful and commanding, yet peaceful and elegant image.

United Kingdom Gold Britannia Coins Physical Characteristics

As the year 2017 commemorates the thirtieth year anniversary of the historic and bold gold Britannia coin design, creator Philip Nathan stepped forward to refresh the image for the Royal Mint. He updated her visage to include a speckled radial sunburst behind her. This makes the anniversary coin more striking than ever before realized.

Coin Design

The front side of every coin is called “the obverse.” The obverse of the United Kingdom Gold Britannia Coins carries the classical design of Lady Britannia standing strong in the face of a potent gale that whips past her shield, Corinthian-styled helmet, and olive branch. This new anniversary design also carries the stunning addition of a speckled radial sunburst behind her.


The backside of coins is known in numismatics as the “reverse.” As with all official British coinage, the reverse of this issue features the graceful portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The coin also declares its impressive face value of 100 British pounds sterling. These United Kingdom Gold Britannia Coins are official British legal tender, accepted anywhere within the boundaries of the United Kingdom, including England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.


United Kingdom Gold Britannia Coins come in a range of sizes including one-tenth, one quarter, one half, and one ounce weights. Their denominations range from £10 to £100. The most popular one ounce size dimensions are as follows:

  • Mass:  31.21 grams
  • Diameter: 32.69 mm
  • Thickness:   1.8 mm
  • Content: 1 troy oz. actual gold content
  • Purity: 99.99% gold (24 karats)

United Kingdom Gold Britannia Coins Pricing

United Kingdom Gold Britannia Coins have always been legal tender in the United Kingdom. Their face value ranges from 10 pounds on up to 100 pounds. The most demanded one ounce size includes a 100 pounds sterling denomination. Even though this is a considerable sum, no one in their right mind would spend these treasured pieces for daily purchases and needs. The reason is that the intrinsic value of these gorgeous bullion issues is massively higher than the still substantial face value indicates. The true value of these amazing coins is derived from the spot price of gold as well as the premium over bullion prices which these coins are able to command.

The reality is that the intrinsic value determines the market value of the coins. This market value is how portfolios which contain them are valued. United Kingdom Gold Britannia Coins include a significant three percent premium over spot gold prices. This is to cover the substantial expenses of minting and releasing them into circulation. The market price of these coins fluctuates on a trading day basis and moves lockstep with the continuously changing price of gold on the international markets. You are able to determine the current real time price of gold by clicking on our homepage.

Can IRA Accounts Contain United Kingdom Gold Britannia Coins?

The question of whether the precious metals IRA retirement accounts are able to contain the United Kingdom Gold Britannia coins is entirely up to the discretion of the Internal Revenue Service. Such precious metals IRAs may only hold bullion pieces which pass both a tough minimum purity and strict no collectibility nature policy that the IRS mandates. This taxing authority has determined that to fund such an account initially, you must purchase at least $5,000 in qualified bullion gold or silver for the IRA. Later on, you are allowed to add subsequent purchases in as little as $1,000 increments. If you already own an IRA account that is not a self directed type, you are able to relatively easily roll it over into such a precious metals IRA account. After your initial approved gold bullion IRA purchase has been completed and received by your account administrator, you need to have a third party depository on standby to vault and maintain your precious metals for you according to IRS policies.

The issue of whether or not these coins are allowed to be contained within a precious metals IRA account is complex. All of the minted years meet the IRS' mandated .995 fineness of gold with their impressive .9999 gold purity levels. The problem is that the coins have been treated as collectible bullion for most of their existence, meaning that the IRS did not allow them to be included in the accounts. The new 2017 thirty year anniversary of the series has been approved by the IRS for IRA inclusion at this time. To be on the safe side, retirement investors should avoid these coins in their IRAs completely to avoid confusion and potential IRS problems and penalties down the road. These amazing coins still make excellent choices for other investment and retirement portfolios. The current year can be purchased directly from the website of the British Royal Mint. Earlier years are available in limited quantities from reputable coin, bullion, and jewelry dealers from around the globe.

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