Like many other mints, the Royal Mint issues bullion coins in precious metals, having much higher intrinsic value than their face value. The half ounce (1/2 oz) platinum coins are denominated as Fifty Pounds (£50).
The coins are legal tender, but are not intended for circulation. They are targeted at bullion investors or collectors who appreciate the special editions as pieces of art. The coins are typically "one-year" types usually issued in parallel with other denominations with the same reverse designs.
The coins of the Britannia range in 2008 bear a new reverse design, this time by artist John Bergdahl, featuring Britannia on the beach, with her robes morphing into a giant waves, and a lighthouse in the background reminiscent of British pre-decimal designs.
The Royal Mint says:
"A new standing portrait of Britannia has been created for the coins of 2008 and is the work of John Bergdahl who wanted to convey a sense of Britannia being at one with the wind and sea and to make her seem elemental. He also wanted to incorporate traditional motifs, like the lighthouse, which have long been associated with Britannia in coin designs. Britannia here is shown to be maiden-like and innocent while at the same time being a warrior princess."
The half-ounce (1/2oz) platinum coin was issued in Proof FDC grade only, in mint sets and not individually.