British Britannia Gold Coins

Author: Focus on the User | 7 min read
British Britannia Gold Coin

The British Britannia Gold Coins, first issued in 1987 by the Royal Mint, represent a blend of traditional British iconography and modern minting excellence. These coins are renowned for their high gold purity of 999.9 fineness, making them a coveted item among gold buyers and bullion investors. Notably, the 1 oz variant of these coins carries a significant face value of £100.

The design of these coins is unique in that it changes annually on the reverse side, showcasing various interpretations of Britannia, a symbol of protection and British strength. Contrasting this, the obverse consistently features the reigning British monarch, offering a continuity of tradition in British coinage. The 1 oz Gold Britannia Coin, in particular, measures 32.69 mm in diameter, with other weights having varied dimensions to suit diverse investment needs.

History of the Gold British Britannia Coin

The Gold British Britannia Coin has a storied history that begins in 1987, with its introduction by the Royal Mint. Originally, these coins were minted with a gold purity of 91.7% (22 carats), a standard in British coinage dating back to the times of Charles II. However, in 2013, the Royal Mint increased the gold content to 99.9% purity, aligning with the growing demand for high-purity gold coins among investors and collectors.

Over the years, the reverse design of the Britannia coin has undergone changes, most notably in 2001 when it transitioned from a classic to a more modern depiction of Britannia. This evolution in design has kept the coin relevant and visually appealing. Additionally, the coin has been used to commemorate significant events, such as the special edition released for the London Olympics in 2012.

Design and Appearance

The design of the Gold British Britannia Coin is a key aspect of its appeal. On the reverse, the coin typically features Britannia in various poses, equipped with classical symbols like the trident, shield, olive branch, or Corinthian helmet, each representing different aspects of Britain's identity and history.

The obverse of the coin is graced with the depiction of Queen Elizabeth II, although with the recent ascension of Charles III, future coins are likely to feature the new monarch. The 1 oz coin, in particular, bears a face value inscription of £100. Special editions of these coins may include unique design elements such as holographic images or color accents, enhancing their collectibility and aesthetic appeal.


The standard specifications of the 1 oz Gold Britannia Coin include a diameter of 32.69 mm and a thickness of 2.79 mm, with a gold purity of 99.9%. However, these coins are also available in a variety of other weights to suit different investment needs and budgets. These include the 1/2 oz (27 mm diameter), 1/4 oz (22 mm), 1/10 oz (16.5 mm), and 1/20 oz (12 mm) variants.

Produced by the Royal Mint, one of the world's leading sovereign mints, these coins incorporate advanced security features such as micro-text and radial lines to protect against counterfeiting. These security enhancements, including the surface animation, not only ensure the authenticity of the coins but also contribute to their allure among collectors and investors alike.

Top 3 Ways to Invest in British Britannia Gold Coins

Investing in British Britannia Gold Coins offers a variety of options, each catering to different investment strategies and preferences. These coins are not only a means of owning physical gold but also serve as a symbolic representation of the United Kingdom's rich heritage. Here are the top three ways to invest in these esteemed gold coins:

1. British Britannia Gold IRA Rollover

A Gold IRA rollover presents a savvy investment strategy, especially for those looking to diversify their retirement portfolios. Britannia coins, with their 99.9% gold purity, exceed the minimum purity requirement of 99.5% for inclusion in Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

This high gold purity makes them a suitable and secure choice for investment in gold. The process involves a rollover of assets from an existing retirement account into a gold IRA, offering the benefits of deferred taxes on gains and potential tax-free distributions. This method of investment not only capitalizes on the inherent value of gold but also leverages the tax advantages associated with retirement savings.

2. Purchase Gold British Britannias Directly

Direct purchase is a straightforward method for acquiring Gold Britannia Bullion Coins. These coins can be purchased from the Royal Mint, authorized dealers, or through reliable online platforms. The price of these gold coins is influenced by the current market value of gold, the specific weight of the coin, and any dealer markup.

Once acquired, investors have several storage options to secure their investment, ranging from safety deposit boxes and home safes to third-party storage facilities. This direct approach appeals to investors who prefer having physical possession of their gold assets.

3. Diversify With Other IRA-Approved Gold

Diversifying an investment portfolio with a variety of IRA-approved gold products, including Gold Britannias, is a prudent strategy. This diversification can include other popular gold bullion coins like the American Gold Eagle or the Canadian Maple Leaf.

Balancing gold investments with other assets like stocks and bonds can effectively reduce overall investment risk. This approach necessitates an understanding of market trends and the historical performance of different gold products. It allows investors to benefit from the stability of gold while maintaining a balanced and diversified investment portfolio.

Find Out How to Invest Gold Coins in Your IRA

Gold British Britannia Types

Exploring the different types of Gold British Britannia Coins reveals the breadth and diversity of this iconic series. Each type caters to distinct segments of the market, ranging from serious collectors to general gold investors, and includes bullion, proof, uncirculated, special edition, and collector’s edition coins. These variants differ in terms of design intricacy, finish quality, and investment appeal, offering something for every type of gold buyer.

Gold British Bullion Coins

Gold British Bullion Coins are primarily aimed at investors. These are standard investment-grade coins, typically featuring a weight of 1 oz and a diameter of 32.69 mm. These coins are traded at a small premium over the spot price of gold, reflecting manufacturing and distribution costs. Bullion coins are available in various weights, with the most popular sizes being 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz. Their popularity among bullion investors is due to their balance of gold content and affordability.

Gold British Proof Coins

Proof coins are renowned for their exquisite finish, achieved by striking the coins multiple times. This process results in highly detailed designs that are much appreciated by collectors. Gold British Proof Coins are often sold at a premium over their gold content value, reflecting their collectability and limited minting. These coins are typically packaged in protective cases and come with a certificate of authenticity from the Royal Mint, adding to their desirability among collectors.

Gold British Uncirculated Coins

Uncirculated coins are characterized by their mint-like condition, although they are not produced with the same high-quality finish as proof coins. These coins cater more to investors than collectors and are priced closer to the actual market value of their gold content. They offer a more affordable option for those interested in owning gold without the additional premium associated with proof coins.

Gold British Special Edition Coins

Special edition coins are limited edition releases that commemorate significant events or anniversaries. These coins often feature unique designs, including colored elements, different metal combinations, or varied finishes. Due to their limited production, these coins have enhanced collectability and value, appealing to both investors and collectors who seek unique and rare items.

Gold British Collector’s Edition Coins

Collector’s edition coins are highly valuable, often featuring unique characteristics or being part of a limited series. These coins may include rare design elements and are targeted at serious collectors. Due to their rarity and high demand, collector’s edition coins command a higher price in the market.

Gold British Britannia Weight Variations

The Gold British Britannia series offers a range of weight variations to cater to different investment preferences and budgets. These variations allow investors and collectors to choose coins based on their investment goals, whether it's accumulating larger quantities of gold or making smaller, more frequent purchases.

1 oz Gold British Britannia Coin

The 1 oz Gold British Britannia Coin is a popular choice among investors for its significant weight and value. It has a diameter of 32.69 mm and a thickness of 2.79 mm, with a gold purity of 99.9%. The coin has a face value of £100 and is often traded at a premium over the spot price of gold. The market value of this coin fluctuates with the gold prices, making it an attractive option for those looking to invest in gold bullion.

1/2 oz Gold British Britannia Coin

The 1/2 oz Gold British Britannia Coin, with a diameter of 27 mm and a gold purity of 99.9%, offers a middle ground for investors. It has a face value of £50 and is suitable for those with smaller investment budgets. This coin provides more flexibility in investment and liquidity compared to the larger 1 oz coins.

1/4 oz Gold British Britannia Coin

With a diameter of 22 mm and a gold purity of 99.9%, the 1/4 oz Gold British Britannia Coin is an accessible entry point for new gold investors. It has a face value of £25 and is easier to trade in smaller quantities, providing liquidity and an opportunity for portfolio diversification.

1/10 oz Gold British Britannia Coin

The 1/10 oz Gold British Britannia Coin is appealing for incremental investing and gifting. It has a diameter of 16.5 mm, a gold purity of 99.9%, and a face value of £10. Its lower price point and widespread market acceptance make it highly liquid and popular among a broad range of investors.

1/20 oz Gold British Britannia Coin

Ideal for small-scale investments and collectibles, the 1/20 oz Gold British Britannia Coin measures 12 mm in diameter and has a gold purity of 99.9%. With a face value of £5, this coin is popular among new investors and serves as an affordable gift option.

Investing in Gold British Britannia Coins

Investing in Gold British Britannia Coins encompasses considerations of their historical value, purity, market liquidity, and the benefits they offer for portfolio diversification. These factors make these coins an attractive option for both seasoned and novice investors.

Historical Value and Prestige

Since their inception in 1987, Britannia Gold Coins have consistently gained in value and collector interest. They are regarded not only as symbols of British heritage but also as key pieces in investment portfolios, adding historical and cultural value. The historical performance data for these coins show a steady appreciation, especially for early editions and special releases. This enduring value is a testament to their prestige and the esteem in which they are held by collectors and investors alike.

Purity and Quality

The 99.9% gold purity of British Britannia Gold Coins places them among the highest in terms of investment-grade gold. This high level of purity is a significant factor in their global appeal to both investors and collectors. The Royal Mint, known for its meticulous quality assurance, guarantees that each coin’s weight and purity are accurately maintained. This commitment to quality ensures that investors can trust in the intrinsic value of these coins.

Liquidity and Market Availability

Gold Britannia Coins are widely recognized in the global market, making them highly liquid assets. They are readily available through various channels, including bullion dealers, online platforms, and auctions. This ease of access and recognition ensures that investors can quickly and efficiently convert these coins into cash, making them suitable for those seeking readily marketable assets.

Portfolio Diversification Benefits

Investing in Gold Britannia Coins offers significant benefits for portfolio diversification. Gold’s low correlation with stocks and bonds makes these coins an ideal hedge against inflation and market volatility. By including Gold Britannias in their asset mix, alongside other investment types, investors can balance risk and potentially enhance the overall stability of their portfolios.

Gold British Britannia Coins For Retirement

Gold British Britannia Coins are eligible for inclusion in self-directed Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), offering a tax-efficient way to invest in gold. Including these coins in retirement portfolios can provide a balance and hedge against inflation, a critical consideration for long-term financial planning. Investors interested in this route should consult with financial advisors to understand the specific implications and benefits for their retirement plans.

Other British Gold Coins

In addition to the Britannia series, the Royal Mint produces a variety of other gold coins, each with its own unique attributes and appeal. These coins, including the Sovereign, Queen’s Beasts, Lunar Series, The Royal Arms, and Landmarks of Britain, offer diversity in design and historical significance, catering to both investors and collectors.

Sovereign Gold Coins

Sovereign Gold Coins, with a history dating back to 1817, are composed of 22 carat gold, equating to a purity of 91.67%. They typically feature the iconic design of Saint George slaying a dragon on the reverse and the current British monarch on the obverse. These coins are sought after both as investment pieces and collector items, with special editions being particularly prized.

Queen’s Beasts Gold Coins

Launched in 2016, the Queen’s Beasts series features heraldic beasts representing the rich tapestry of British royal lineage. These coins are available in various sizes, including the standard 1 oz size with 99.99% gold purity and smaller sizes like the 1/4 oz with 99.9% gold purity. Their unique design and limited mintage make them both collectible and appealing for investment purposes.

Lunar Series Gold Coins

Part of The Royal Mint's Shēngxiào Collection, the Lunar Series Gold Coins feature designs based on the Chinese Zodiac. Struck in 99.99% fine gold, these coins are available in different sizes, including the popular 1 oz and 1/4 oz weights. Collectors particularly value these coins for their cultural significance and unique yearly designs.

The Royal Arms Gold Coins

Featuring the Royal Arms of England, these coins symbolize the monarchy's authority and heritage. Typically struck in 99.99% gold and available predominantly in the 1 oz size, they appeal to both collectors and investors for their historical and cultural significance.

Landmarks of Britain Gold Coins

The Landmarks of Britain series showcases iconic British landmarks like Big Ben and Tower Bridge. Struck in 99.9% fine gold and usually available in the 1 oz size, these coins are popular among collectors for their representation of British heritage and architecture.

Similar IRA-Approved Gold Coins

While Gold Britannia Coins are a prominent choice for gold IRA investments, there are other IRA-approved gold coins from around the world that also offer excellent investment opportunities. These include the American Eagle, Canadian Maple Leaf, Australian Kangaroo, Austrian Philharmonic, and South African Krugerrand coins. Each of these coins has its own unique features and benefits that make them suitable for inclusion in a diversified investment portfolio.

American Eagle Gold Coins

The American Eagle Gold Coins, introduced in 1986, are composed of 91.67% gold purity (22 carats). These coins are available in various weights, including the standard 1 oz, as well as 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz sizes. Widely recognized and traded, American Eagle Gold Coins are a staple in gold IRAs due to their reliability and the trust placed in them by investors worldwide.

Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins

First issued in 1979, the Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coins are known for their exceptional 99.99% gold purity. They are available in multiple sizes, catering to a range of investment preferences. The high purity of these coins makes them a preferred choice for gold investors and collectors, emphasizing the importance of gold purity in investment decisions.

Australian Kangaroo Gold Coins

The Australian Kangaroo Gold Coins are unique in that they feature a changing kangaroo design annually on the reverse, while the obverse shows Queen Elizabeth II. These coins are issued in sizes ranging from 1/20 ounce to 1 kilogram and are known for their 99.99% gold purity. Their annually changing design adds a numismatic value over their gold content, making them particularly popular among collectors.

Austrian Philharmonic Gold Coins

Austrian Philharmonic Gold Coins boast a 99.99% gold purity and are predominantly available in 1 oz and 1/4 oz sizes. The design of these coins features musical instruments of the Vienna Philharmonic, highlighting their cultural significance. They are popular in Europe and globally, with pricing trends and liquidity that make them an attractive investment choice.

South African Krugerrand Gold Coins

The South African Krugerrand Gold Coins are alloyed with 91.67% gold (22 karat) and a copper alloy, giving them a distinctive color. Available in 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz sizes, these coins have a historical context as one of the first gold bullion coins available to private investors. Their significant role in popularizing gold coin investment worldwide is reflected in their enduring sales and distribution data.

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Disclaimer: Content on this website is not intended to be used as financial advice. It is not to be used as a recommendation to buy, sell, or trade an asset that requires a licensed broker. Consult a financial advisor.

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