The Gold Britannia is a British 1 troy ounce (31.104 g) Gold coin, minted by the Royal Mint. It has a millesimal fineness of 0.9999 making it a 24 carat gold coin. It is denominated as £100.
Around 1979, the only 1 oz gold coin was the Krugerrand, but South Africa was experiencing political problems and the supply was sometimes difficult. Canada responded by launching a 1 oz Gold Maple and the competition for the large gold bullion coin market began to heat up.
Britain had variations of the Gold Sovereign but they needed a 1 oz coin to compete in this lucrative bullion market as currently legal tender gold coins are VAT Free and Capital Gains Tax Exempt in the UK.
Gold Britannia’s were first minted in 1987, originally in 22 carat, 0.917 gold. The coin itself weighed 34.05 g (31.104 g gold and the rest copper) and had a diameter of 32.69 mm.
From 2013 the coin became a larger but thinner coin, with a diameter of 38.61 mm (the same as a crown). It became (literally) pure gold; the coin weighs 31.104 g and has a gold content of 31.104 g.
The coin also spurned a family of fractional children: 5 oz, 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10th oz, 1/20th oz. The Silver Britannia was launched in 2013.
Interesting to note that as the Britannia is denominated as £100 then the 1/20th oz coin is another £5 gold coin!
The obverse shows the Monarch’s head (Queen Elizabeth II) and the reverse is the eponymous Britannia in various forms. Britannia is the female personification of Great Britain and has been part of British coinage for a long time.
From a numismatic point of view these are beautiful coins, and due to their tax exemptions make a very good investment.