Philip Nathan’s design is beautifully complemented by the current portrait of the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS on the obverse.
In keeping with tradition that dates back to the late 17th Century, the 2012 £2 Silver Britannia is struck in the Britannia standard of silver 0.958 Ag.
Obverse DesignThe obverse of the 2012 Britannia range bears the current portrait of the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS.
Reverse DesignThe 2012 coin reverse features Philip Nathan’s original, breathtaking portrait of Britannia framed in the crenallated border peculiar to Britannia coins.
Britannia; An Enduring Icon of BritainThe figure of a woman, called Britannia, has long been a symbol of British national pride. She first appeared on British coins in the seventeenth century and has subsequently graced the coinage of every monarch to the present day.
She made her debut on the coins of the Romans and has, from Tudor times, beautifully symbolized an empire based on maritime power. Great and free, she has fascinated artists and sculptors throughout her history and remains a favourite icon for British stamps, medals and coins.
In 1696 the Britannia standard of silver was introduced as part of the recoinage of William III in an attempt to limit the clipping and melting of sterling silver coins, it being reasoned that there would be little incentive to melt sterling silver when a higher standard was used for wrought plate.
By the time the Queen came to the throne in 1952, Britannia had assumed the status of an immortal, having featured on British coinage for almost 300 years. In 1987 she was elevated to the new gold bullion coinage and today appears on the highest value coins of the realm. The silver version was launched during 1997.