|Coin||Silver Fortieth-Ounce 2017 Britannia|
Britannia coins are British bullion coins issued by the Royal Mint in gold since 1987 and in silver since 1997.
The original Britannia silver coins contain one troy ounce (1 oz) of silver and have a face value of £2. Silver Britannias are also issued in fractional sizes of one-half, one-quarter, one-tenth, 1/20th and 1/40th of a troy ounce and with face values of £1, 50p, 20p, 10p and 5p respectively (that is, the fortieth-ounce silver piece is officially denominated as 5 pence). There is also a five-ounce coin of face value £10.
Britannia as a symbol has been depicted on British coinage for centuries. The bullion series called Britannia has been issued in gold since 1987 and in silver since 1997; it has a "definitive" depiction - used on bullion coins (Brilliant Uncirculated grade), as well as “Britannia, the Changing Face of Britain” - a series of one-year designs like this one - used on proofs made for collectors.
While firmly rooted in the times of the Romans, a modern Britannia has emerged, appearing as a symbol of design excellence in high fashion magazines and associated with all things fashionable during the ‘Cool Britannia’ phase in the 1990s. On the 20th anniversary of the silver Britannia bullion coin, fine art student Louis Tamlyn has created a contemporary reverse design, reflecting a time of political change when the eyes of the world have often been on Britain. His design also contains a trident mint mark that celebrates these important anniversaries.
This fortieth-ounce silver proof coin was issued in sets only, not individually.
The obverse of the coin depicts the crowned old head of Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem crown worn for her Coronation (her effigy known as the "Fifth Portrait").
In small letters below the head, the artist's initials J.C (for Jody Clark).
Running continuously around the effigy is the monarch's legend: ELIZABETH II · D · G · REG · F · D · 5 PENCE ·. Translated from Latin: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith, followed by the value and denomination in English.
The reverse shows the standing figure of Britannia, in a style breaking with earlier traditional depictions. She is seen from the back, cradling her trident in one arm and holding a shield in the other hand (textured with concentric circles), and is wearing the familiar crested Corinthian helmet. Britannia's lower torso and legs are transformed into a map of Great Britain, with lines radiating outward from the centre of the coin.
To her right, the design displays the characteristic lines of the Union Jack.
Around, the inscription BRITANNIA 1/40 oz FINE SILVER 999 2017, interrupted in the right field by a trident privy mark with the numerals 20 between its teeth, as a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the silver Britannia range.
The artist's initials LWT (for Louis Tamlyn) are between the trident mark and the 2 of 2017. The face value is on the obverse.
The Royal Mint released sales figures in March 2020; however, some of them are not final as some of the products listed were still available for sale at that time.