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Change In Purity Levels Marks 30th Anniversary Of 2017 Silver Britannia

Monday, June 12, 2017

In a bid to compete with the rest of the world’s big mints, The Royal Mint have launched a new 2017 silver Britannia coin which consists of .999 purity. First produced in 1987 and designed by Sculptor Philip Nathan, the silver Britannia also celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

Silver bullion coins

Used to make coins for more than 2,500 years and today remaining a treasure for both producers and collectors alike, silver is a precious metal widely used in the making of bullion products.

As a Capital Gains Tax-free asset, silver Britannia coins are particularly popular amongst UK-based bullion investors. Produced in the UK by The Royal Mint, the silver Britannia has a rich history and is commonly regarded as one of the best silver bullion coins available on the market.

It is worth mentioning here that the 2012 silver Britannia, which is no longer in production, is the last available in the old purity. Containing one troy ounce of pure silver, it is struck from .958 Britannia silver (according to the historic standard set in 1697 by William III – as detailed below) and features the standing Britannia figure on the back.

Now a scarcely available coin, the 2012 silver Britannia coin is still stocked by The Gold Bullion Co. and often bought as a collectable.

From 2013, the shift was made to use .999 purity silver – as seen in the latest 2017 coin.

The history of the silver Britannia

Historically, the mandatory silver Britannia standard, set by the 1697 Parliament’s Act, was .958 purity. At the time the Act was introduced, there was a high demand for quality silverware that promoted the idea of luxury and wealth, with the clipping and melting of coinage to make such items becoming a serious problem for the Crown.

The act, signed by William III, was introduced to replace sterling silver (.925 purity) with silver Britannia and to limit the practice of clipping and melting coins with the introduction of milled coins which could not be clipped.

This revolution in coin production prompted a change of hallmarks, which saw the lion passant guardant to denote sterling silver replaced by the female figure of Britannia.

First featuring on copper coins in the seventeenth century and appearing on every British monarch’s coinage since, Britannia is the female personification of Britain and an immortal, iconic representation of the pride of the British people. Often regarded as ‘a symbol of optimism’, she embodies the changing ideals and values of Britain throughout history.

The Gold Bullion Co. stock 2017 silver Britannia coins which consist of .999 purity and are Capital Gains Tax-free. Shop now for real-time pricing that ensures the most competitive rates.