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.
In 2019, designer David Lawrence offered a second interpretation of Britannia, standing boldly with a lion by her side. This is the second year in a row that he has contributed a portrait of Britannia, lending her an air of consistency as the current and previous incarnations are compared side by side.
David said of his of design, “My initial thoughts were influenced by the great engravers of the past. Their work has a classical grace and gravitas I was keen to recreate. After all, coins of the realm are a serious business. The lion had to be there somewhere, as did the shield and trident... many of the components were already decided in a way. The end result is an Anglicised version of ancient Rome.”
This fortieth-ounce silver proof coin was issued in sets only, not individually.