Mar 2012


Mar 2012

About the Gold Britannia Coin

By StoneX Bullion

Gold Britannia Coin Characteristics

The Gold Britannia Coin is a bullion gold coin containing one troy ounce of gold with a face value of £100 being first issued in 1987 by the Royal Mint. Like any other bullion gold coin, the Britannia Gold coin is also issued in denominations of 1/2 oz with a corresponding face value of £50, 1/4 oz having a face value of £25, and 1/10 oz with the respective £10 face value.

The Gold Britannia coin is made of pure gold like the Maple-Leaf and other coins. In the process of manufacturing the Britannia Gold coin, gold is alloyed with silver since 1990 making the coin to have a more appealing yellow color; prior to that gold was alloyed with copper. Therefore, it has 24K purity or 999,9% fineness.

The Gold Britannia coin is one of the most beautiful coins whether we are talking about the proof or the bullion version. The both versions of the Britannia have been issued every year since 1987, the only difference being that the proof coins are available to investors or collectors as part of complete sets. From January 2000, the investment gold coins became VAT free in the United Kingdom.

Premiums for the Gold Britannia Coin

Like any other bullion gold coins issued by different countries, the one ounce Gold Britannia coin was also designed to be sold at a very low premium over the gold`s intrinsic value. We are generally talking about an approximately 3% premium over the current gold spot price. The investors have the possibility to buy one ounce of 24K gold at a low premium. Even though the prices trading Gold Britannia coins fluctuate, their popularity only increases because the Gold Britannia is a great addition to any collection.

When thinking of investing into a beautiful coin like the Britannia Gold coin, investors must also take into consideration the distribution costs and the difference of price for Gold Britannia coins traded in quantity and the price for single pieces. Therefore, the premium might end up at a value of 5% over the current gold fix (gold`s intrinsic value) for the Britannia Gold coins traded in quantity. For the single pieces the premium could be as much as 10%.

Judging by the fact that smaller varieties of the Britannia Gold coins are not as popular with investors compared to the one once coins and that most of the small sizes are used in the jewelry industry, it is kind of expected for these smaller versions of the Gold Britannia coins to be issued at higher premiums. We are talking about premiums of 5%, 7%, and 9% respectively for bullion dealers. If we were to suppose that the smaller versions are purchased as singles, we would have to consider for the half and quarter ounce a cost of 10% to 15% premium and for the tenth ounce a 20% to 50% premium.

Gold Britannia Coin Design

The Britannia Gold coin illustrates an attractive design for both investors and collectors alike. The obverse of the Gold Britannia coin has went through two phases: on the coins issued until 1998 we will find the "Third Portrait" of Queen Elizabeth II; from then on until today the Britannia Gold coins are produced featuring the "Fourth Portrait" of Queen Elizabeth II which is more mature.

The reverse of the Gold Britannia coin is a tribute to the Britannia image dating from the time of the Roman Empire making from the British coin the first coin to depict this image. That has made the Gold Britannia coins one of the most beautiful worldwide. There have been 7 designs for the reverse of the Britannia Gold coin: a standing Britannia in 1987 which has also become known as the classic design, a seated Britannia, Britannia in helmet, Britannia driving a chariot which is a commemorative design for the 10th anniversary of the Gold Britannia coin in 1997, and for 2011 the design of Britannia among the folds of the Union Jack Flag.