It was nearly two thousand years ago when Britannia was born, courtesy of the Romans who imagined a noble, graceful warrior, and placed her on coins with the legend, Britannia—signifying the new province they had claimed. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Britannia disappeared for hundreds of years—until the 17th century when England, under Queen Elizabeth I, extended its naval power and defeated a Spanish invasion. The combination of a strong female monarch and growing national confidence resulted in Britannia’s revival and her appearance on British coinage in 1672.
That was 350 years ago, and Britannia has been on British coinage ever since—the longest-running coin series from the Royal Mint!
She stands proud on British coins and symbolizes Britain’s ideals and values throughout history. In 2013, the Royal Mint organized a campaign to revive the Britannia story with the British public—recruiting “human statues” across UK cities to pose as the figure of Britannia as she appeared on the then-new gold coins. The human statues were stationed in London, Cardiff and Glasgow and told the story of Britannia to spectators.
This year’s one-year-only reverse design is worthy of the 350th anniversary! It features a contemporary, modern design by artist Dan Thorne. The new design showcases the symbolic female warrior holding her trident in one arm, and her lion-emblazoned shield in the other. The background showcases elements of the Union Flag, along with sun rays and rising waves.
Each coin’s obverse features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark, former Royal Mint designer and the man who created the 2014 Britannia design. Encircling the Queen is “Elizabeth II D G REG F D,” which stands for “By the grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith”.
These Britannia Proofs are available struck in five ounces or one ounce of 99.9% fine silver. You can also choose a 2-Pc. Set consisting of two proofs struck in one-ounce of silver, one with a proof finish and one with a reverse proof finish; a 3-Pc. Set consisting of a proof struck in a one-quarter ounce of 99.99% gold, and two proofs struck in one-ounce silver, one with a proof finish and one with a reverse proof finish; or a 6-Pc. Silver Set all in proof condition (1-oz. ½-oz., ¼-oz., 1/10-oz., 1/20-oz. and 1/40-oz.). All coins are official UK legal tender.
As Proof coins, these 2022 Britannia Proofs are struck to a much higher standard of beauty, quality, and craftsmanship than circulated coins. Proof planchets (blanks) are specially treated, hand-polished, and cleaned to ensure high-quality strikes, then hand-fed into presses fitted with specially polished dies and struck at least twice, unlike non-proofs which are struck only once. The extra strikes give proofs a glamorous shine and make intricate, razor-sharp details of the design pop off of brilliant fields. While circulated coins are struck on high-speed presses by the thousands, these Britannia Proofs are individually struck by highly-skilled artisans who are creating numismatic masterpieces.
These Britannia Proofs have all been certified by the Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC) as being among One of First Struck struck by the Royal Mint.
Your coins will arrive with a Royal Mint numbered certificate of authenticity and in a Royal Mint branded presentation case. Each coin is encapsulated with our NGC-exclusive Britannia label, which includes the classic image of Britannia from the 1987 design and the British flag in the background.
To start with, mintages for these 2022 Britannia Proofs are insanely small: 386 Five-Ounce Silver and 6,010 One-Ounce Silver Proofs. Beyond their relative scarcity, the Proofs we have available here are all among the first off the coin press with One of First Struck pedigrees, which to a large extent reduce the respective, already-small populations.
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