Bleyer Bullion
A Brief History of the Britannia Coin

A Brief History of the Britannia Coin

At Bleyer, we love celebrating the things that make the United Kingdom great. Here's a brief history of the Britannia coin, its design, tax advantages for investment, and the range of Britannia coins we currently offer.


A Brief History of the Britannia Coin

Britannia (the female personification of the British Isles) has been a popular figure since the 1st century. Her first appearance on a British coin was during the reign of Charles II on the copper farthing in 1672. She was a firm fixture on coins from this point onwards, appearing on the pennies issued under every monarch from 1797 onwards.

The Britannia design has changed only slightly over the years, with the British reputation as a maritime world leader “emphasised by switching her spear to a trident,” (Royal Mint).

Sadly, the image of Britannia, which has graced British coins for centuries, was removed in 2008 from the 50 pence piece as part of a redesign by The Royal Mint and one of the last moves of the exiting Chancellor Gordon Brown. “It was the first time in more than 300 years that Britannia was not featured on a British coin,” (Telegraph).

The image of Britannia appeared on all pennies in the 17th century, not long after James I brought together England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland under one rule. The Britannia design was then first found on British investment coins from 1987 onwards. Many years later, the Britannia design continues to be a staple for investors looking for CGT-free bullion in the UK.


Photo of 2019 1oz Gold UK Britannia Investment Coin available from Bleyer


The Iconic UK Coin

First issued in 1987, the Gold Britannia coins are produced from pure .999 (24 carat) metal with an unlimited mintage in a range of sizes including 1oz, 1/2oz, 1/4oz and 1/10oz (subject to availability). These smaller sizes make for wonderful gifts and are perfect for naming ceremonies or wedding gifts.


Did you know - the most popular UK Gold investment coins that Bleyer sell are the Gold Britannia coins and the Gold sovereign coins?


As for Silver, the same is true. The most popular British Silver investment coin is the 1oz Silver Britannia which was first issued in 1997. The Silver Britannia is produced from pure .999 (24 carat) silver with an unlimited mintage, each 1oz coin contains 31.1035 grams of silver. 

The Britannia coins are at the core of most investor's stacks. If you buy silver, and you don’t have any Britannia coins in your collection, then it’s time to add some! The design is also available in gold, so if you're a gold stacker, you can add a gold version to your collection. 


Britannia statue on horse and cart


Tax Advantages of the Britannia Coins

Brilliantly, both the Gold and Silver Britannia coins hold tax advantages. The tax advantages of Britannia Coins are as follows:

  1. The Gold Britannia coin is V.A.T. and Capital Gains Tax-free.
  2. The Silver Britannia coin is Capital Gains Tax-free.
  3. Both may or may not incur Inheritance Tax, depending on total assets inherited and the timing of gifts. Please seek legal advice as to your yearly IHT tax-free gift limits.
  4. Unlike property or shares, there is also no stamp duty to pay on bullion coins.



Coin Designs

There have been many special edition Britannia coin designs over the years. Pre-2013 Britannias used to have different designs each year! We've stocked loads of designs of Britannias over the years at Bleyer, and we're proud to say that it is our most popular bullion coin.



Other Britannia Coin Designs

Apart from the iconic standard Gold Britannia Coin and Silver Britannia Coin, the following Britannia coins are currently available from Bleyer. Remember ALL Britannia’s are Capital Gains Tax exempt while the Gold Britannia’s are also VAT free: 


1oz Silver UK Britannia 25 Coin Tube, 20171oz Silver UK Britannia Coin, 2018

  • Latest 2018 Britannia Coin
  • Each 1oz Silver Britannia contains one troy ounce (31.1035 grams) of 999.9 fine silver
  • Tier pricing reflects combined postage and wholesale purchase discounts
  • Face value: £2 (GBP)
  • The most popular British investment coin


1oz Silver UK Britannia Coin, 20th Anniversary Edition, 2017

1oz Silver Britannia 20th Anniversary Edition Coin, 2017

  • Limited 20th Anniversary Edition
  • Extremely limited mintage of just 120,000 coins, we have a small allocation available
  • Price inclusive of VAT and insured delivery
  • Tier pricing reflects combined postage and wholesale purchase discounts
  • Additional hallmark & radial lines allow this Britannia to stand out

1oz Gold Britannia Coin (Pre-2013)

1oz Gold Britannia Coin (Pre-2013)

  • One ounce Gold Britannia Coins, produced by The Royal Mint
  • Mixed year coins at great rates
  • Design will vary (Please call to enquire about current stock)
  • Britannia coins are UK legal tender and hence capital gains tax free
  • Prices inclusive of next day insured delivery

Coin frontage of 1oz Silver UK Oriental Border Britannia Coin

1oz Silver 2018 Oriental Border Britannia Coin

  • One ounce Gold Britannia Coins, produced by The Royal Mint
  • Limited edition "Oriental Border" design
  • Just 100,000 minted
  • Price inclusive of VAT and insured delivery


If you're looking to purchase these iconic coins in wholesale, there is also great discount to be had when purchasing larger amounts. Here are the common forms of Britannia bulk buying:


1oz Silver UK Britannia 25 Coin Tube, 20172017 Britannia 1oz Silver Bullion 25 Coin Tube


1oz Silver Britannia Monster Box (Full)



If you haven’t already, start your love affair with the British Britannia Gold and Silver coins. Call one of the team on 01769 618618, email [email protected] or browse the Bleyer website and start accumulating your investment in physical Gold and Silver.


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