The Royal Mint Gold Britannia bullion coin encapsulates a wealth of history within its artistic rendering. The Gold Britannia contains one troy ounce of .9999 pure gold. Guaranteed legal tender by the British government, the 1-ounce coin holds a face value of 100 pounds. The emblematic status of the Britannia dates back to 1797, when she appeared on every monarch-issued penny as a powerful symbol of British liberty and unity.
Commissioned by the Royal Mint in 1987, sculptor Philip Nathan’s original Britannia design remains the centerpiece of the coin’s reverse. Britannia’s draping robes billow around her as she firmly plants her trident, a reflection of her nautical association, into the land. In her left hand, she displays both a shield and an olive branch, symbolizing both peace and protection for the British Isles. With a battle helmet secure on her head, Britannia looks over her right shoulder as the sweeping wind flows around her. Nathan’s interpretation of Britannia juxtaposes unwavering strength and elegant beauty in a standing portrait. The inspiring scene is surrounded by a frame that is bounded by a bold line and a waffle trim to hold the coin’s specifications, “1 Oz 9999 Fine Gold,” with apostrophe-like separators between each word.
The obverse features the traditional effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Designed by Ian Rank-Broadley, the sophisticated portrait features Her Majesty at 70 years old, donning her magnificent crown in a side profile view. An etched waffle trim borders the coin’s edge and acts as a pedestal for the right-facing portrait’s declaration, “Elizabeth II D G REG FID DEF,” which stands for “Dei Gratia Regina Fidei Defensor” and translates to “By the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith.” The same apostrophe-like separators seen on the reverse are used to separate the motto and the coin’s face value, “100 Pounds.”