British Gold Bullion Coins
Gold is the most coveted investment metal for those looking to protect their hard-earned wealth. You can purchase gold products from various mints around the globe, and in different forms. There are gold coins and bars available from private and sovereign facilities alike, and the Royal Mint is among the most popular producers of gold products. Below you can find a complete rundown of the British Gold Coins available from JM Bullion.
British Gold Britannia Coins
Without question, the gold bullion program that anchors the Royal Mint numismatic offerings is the British Gold Britannia coin. The official gold bullion coin of the United Kingdom was introduced in 1987 with a gold content of .917 fine gold. Since 2013, the coins have been struck as 24-karat pure gold coins with .9999 fine gold content. Like its silver counterpart, the British Gold Britannia coins are celebrating a milestone in 2017 having reached their 30th anniversary of release. Highlights of the modern Gold Britannia include:
- Ships in an individual plastic capsule, mint tube of 10 coins, or box of 100.
- Contains 1 Troy oz. of .9999 pure gold in BU condition.
- Face value of 100 (GBP) is fully backed by Britain’s government.
As the Gold Britannia is from the same program as the Silver Britannia, and was in fact the design basis for the latter, the gold coins in this collection have the same design concepts as the silver coins and have also only seen changes in the design of the obverse portrait of Queen Elizabeth II over time. Details include:
- On the reverse of the British Gold Britannia Coin, you’ll find the image of Britannia, which has featured on the coins unchanged for the last 30 years. Britannia originally featured on sovereign coins in the early 18th century at the formation of the United Kingdom between England and Scotland.
- The obverse of all British Gold Britannia Coins includes the new fifth-generation depiction of Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty’s effigy was last updated in 1998 by Ian Rank-Broadley, but in 2015 the Royal Mint unveiled a new image of the Queen from 33-year-old Jody Clark, the youngest engraver and artist ever to complete her portrait.
Unique Britannia Coins
Like other coin programs, there are occasionally opportunities for investors and collectors to nab the Gold Britannia with unique design finishes that increase the collectible value of the original product. Among these, you’ll find the 2016 British Gold Britannia Monkey Privy Edge coin.
On the reverse face of the coin is the image of Britannia, fabled guardian of the United Kingdom. She is featured wearing a Corinthian helmet, holding a trident in her right hand to control the seas, and a shield with the Union Jack emblazoned on it in her left hand. Along the milled edge of these Gold Britannias you’ll find a privy mark honoring the Year of the Monkey on the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The first privy mark on the milled edge of a Britannia occurred in 2013 on the silver variant, and came to the Gold Britannia in 2014 for the Year of the Horse, which makes this the third version for the gold coin.
More recently, the Royal Mint launched a 30th anniversary British Gold Britannia coin to mark the original release of these special gold bullion products. The Royal Mint is celebrating two anniversaries for the Britannia program in 2017. The Gold Britannia leads the way in this stunning series with its 30th anniversary, but the Silver Britannia coin marks its 20th anniversary this year with a celebratory release of its own.
Included on the reverse side of both versions of the coin in 2017 is a mint mark that honors the anniversary of the individual programs. Located to the bottom-left of Britannia’s image you’ll find the head of a trident with a “3” and “0” between the spikes, commemorating the 30th anniversary of this famous coin.
For the 30th anniversary of the gold coins, the Royal Mint has increased the security of the coins with new protection features. You’ll notice a new high-security radial sunburst emanating from the background field that helps better deter counterfeiting efforts.
MintID Gold Britannias
The British Gold Britannia is one of the world’s leading gold bullion coins. Produced by the Royal Mint of England annually from 1987, 2020 brought with it a new, secure form of the Britannia. However, it wasn’t the fields of the coin that changed in 2020, but rather the ability to purchase the coins in a new MintID blistercard.
MintID uses the latest in NFC microchip and encryption technology to deliver secure bullion for investors. The 2020 British Gold Britannia Coins with MintID packaging are BU specimens from the Royal Mint Series. The coins are housed in a capsule at the center of the blistercard. The blue blistercard from MintID has an NFC microchip built into the card. The microchip is tamper-evident and will “die” if it is tampered with in any way. Chips that have been tampered with render an invalid result when scanned. All microchips are encrypted with 128-bit encryption and connect to just one, unique profile in the cloud.
You can instantly authenticate your Gold Britannia with the MintID app. You don’t need to provide any sensitive personal or financial information to use the MintID app. Simply open the app and press your phone up against the NFC microchip on the card to instantly authenticate the coins.
The Gold Coins of the Shengxiao Series
If you’re looking to buy gold, the Royal Mint has more than just its flagship bullion offering. Launched in 2014, the Shengxiao Series from the Royal Mint is an increasingly popular series celebrating the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Each year, the coins in the program feature the new animal in the Zodiac represent a particular year on the lunar calendar.
Coins released to date in the Shengxiao Series include the Year of the Horse, Year of the Goat, and Year of the Monkey gold coins. All Royal Mint gold coins consist of .9999 pure gold, with face values listed in Great British Pounds (£ GBP), and share common obverse imagery of Queen Elizabeth II’s right-profile image.
Coins released prior to the 2016 year of issue in this collection feature Ian Rank-Broadley’s 1998 image of the Queen, while post-2016 coins have the new Jody Clark design released in 2015. All reverse designs in the Shengxiao Series from the Royal Mint were designed by British-Chinese artist Wuon-Gean Ho, and each one is completely unique from other lunar coin series produced at other mints around the globe. Currently, the following designs are available from the Royal Mint’s gold Shengxiao Series:
- 2014 British Gold Year of the Horse: The reverse of the debut issue in the Shengxiao Series comes with the depiction of a powerful steed. The horse’s muscular frame is captured from the left-profile side with a long, swooping tail that swirls around the Chinese symbol for a horse. Inscriptions with the name of the release, the date, and the weight, purity, and metal content all feature on this side of the coins.
- 2015 British Gold Year of the Sheep: In the second release of the collection, the Year of the Sheep coin comes with a reverse design of two mountain goats. The sheep have thick, swirled horns on the heads. One sheep is in the background with its head looking back over its left side toward the sheep in the foreground. The sheep in the foreground is looking back to its right at the sheep in the background. The foreground sheep has detailed, swirling wool on its body. Between the heads of the sheep is the inscription of the Chinese symbol for a sheep.
- 2016 British Gold Year of the Monkey Coin: On the reverse of each coin is the Year of the Monkey design from the Royal Mint. In it, a pair of monkeys is visible dangling and swinging amongst the trees. In the background, one monkey is visible dangling while a monkey in the foreground prepares to leap from one branch to the next. Face value of £100 (GBP) is fully backed by the United Kingdom. Ships to you in an individual plastic flip, Mint tube of 25, or Monster Box of 500.
- 2017 British Gold Year of the Rooster Coin: The reverse of the 2017 Gold British Rooster includes the all-new Year of the Rooster design from Ho and the Royal Mint. This year’s design features a rooster in the center of the field, along with engravings that identify the year of issue, name of the issue, and the Chinese symbol for rooster. Ships to you in a protective plastic capsule, mint tubes of 10, or sealed Monster Boxes of 100. Issued a face value of £100 (GBP) by the British government.
- 2018 British Gold Year of the Dog: The release of the Year of the Dog Lunar coin in 2018 brought with it some very distinct visuals for the Shengxiao Series. The design for the Year of the Dog includes a running terrier species, a favorite species of the reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. The field of the coin has brilliant, contrasting visuals that include matte, textured elements and clear, mirrored elements. These are interspersed throughout the design of the coin with a small circle including the Chinese symbol for the dog.
- 2019 British Gold Year of the Pig: For the 2019 coin in the Shengxiao Series, the Royal Mint features the mother pig with its piglets. The Year of the Pig design includes a sow lying on its side as her young piglets feed off their mother. In the background field, a humble cottage is set on a hill as the moon and stars twinkle in the sky. A small plume of smoke billows from the smokestack of the cottage. The entire background field comes with a set of radiating lines as a new security feature.
- 2020 British Gold Year of the Rat: As a new cycle dawns within the Zodiac, the Year of the Rat comes around again in 2020. The Royal Mint’s design includes a rat with its long tail running beneath its figure to the other side of the design element. PJ Lynch is the designer of note for this reverse element, one of the first artists other than Wuon-Gean Ho. The rat is foraging in a field and has stopped to raise its head in the air and sniff for any signs of potential danger.
The Gold Coins of the Queen’s Beast Collection
This exciting series of silver and gold coins from the Royal Mint marks the newest release of numismatic or bullion coins from the mint. The British Queens Beast Coin program is a planned 10-design series that features new designs for each of the animals featured in the coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II. The British Queens Beast coin series features a 1 oz gold coin, a 1/4 oz gold coin, as well as the Royal Mint’s first-ever 2 oz silver bullion coin. Subsequent additions include the 10 oz silver and 1 oz platinum coins in the bullion range as well.
First in the collection is the 2016 Queen’s Beast Lion coin, available in all three versions mentioned above. In the British monarchy’s heraldic shield, the lion plays a significant role. The position of the lion determines the mood and attitude of the monarch at the time, or in special situations. For example, when the lion is featured in a passant position it is considered to be walking and is shown with just its right fore paw raised off the ground.
Similar to the Britannia program, the Queen’s Beast Lion coins feature the same obverse and reverse designs on the coins regardless of silver or gold content. Design specifics are as follows:
- The reverse face of the 2016 British Queen’s Beast Coins depicts the heraldic shield of Britain with a lion in rampant position behind it. When the lion is rampant, it is depicted standing on its hind legs with both fore paws raised, and is indicative of the monarchy’s readiness to strike its enemies. You’ll find engravings of “Lion of England” on this side, as well as the weight, metal content, purity, and year of issue for the coin.
- On the obverse is the all-new right-profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The fifth version of Her Majesty’s effigy on British coins, this portrait was created in 2015 by Jody Clark. At just 33 years old, Clark is the youngest artist to create a depiction of Her Majesty, and he also created the “Lion of England” design on the reverse.
The Royal Mint of England continues the program beyond its initial, widely known offering to feature some of the historical heraldic beasts of the monarchy that are not as well-known to the masses. These follow-up releases include:
- 2017 Griffin of Edward III: The second design in the Queen’s Beast Series was the Griffin of Edward III. King Edward III was the longest-reigning monarch in Medieval England and remains one of the longest-reigning monarchs in the history of the Kingdom of England. His 50-year rule brought with it the rise to prominence of the Griffin in English heraldry. The Griffin is a mythical beast with the body of a lion and the wings and head of an eagle. The combination of the features of the King of the Jungle and the King of the Birds makes the Griffin the King of all Beasts.
- 2017 Red Dragon of Wales: For the third release of the series, a heraldic beast from a family outside of England comes to the Royal Arms of England. The Red Dragon of Wales features on the coins of the third release. It was first used by Owen Tudor in heraldry, the man who was the grandfather of King Henry VII. Owen Tudor came from a prominent family in the Isle of Anglesey off the coast of Wales.
- 2018 Unicorn of Scotland: The unicorn has been rumored to exist dating as far back as the 5th century BC. Though most scholars believe the animals were simply misidentified as wild bulls or horses, the mythical creature maintains its legacy as a beast with ferocity and strength in its nature. Over the course of time in Scottish heraldry, the unicorn came to be more of an elegant symbol. The design on the Queen’s Beast Unicorn of Scotland coins includes the rampant Unicorn with a crown around its neck and a chain leading to the shield. On the heraldic shield is the rampant lion of Scotland. The royal coat of arms of Scotland has not changed since the rule of Alexander III and many of its elements were incorporated into the English royal arms by James VI of Scotland, who would unite the crowns as James I of England.
- 2018 Black Bull of Clarence: The Black Bull of Clarence is a design linked to the Plantagenets through the cadet House of York. The Black Bull is significant in that it is the first heraldic beast in British history from the Yorkist kings. The bull came to the British royal arms through King Edward VI, the first King of England from the House of York. It was Edward IV who overthrew the Lancastrian rule of Henry VI during the Wars of the Roses. Edward IV reigned twice. His first reign followed his defeat of Henry VI in battle and the latter’s subsequent exile to Scotland from 1461 to 1470. Henry VI returned to power for a decade, but would again be defeated and captured by Edward IV in 1471. Edward favored the Black Bull in his royal arms, as did his brother Richard III. The Black Bull is depicted here standing guard over the quartered shield favored by Plantagenets dating to Edward III. It features the three lions of England in two quadrants and the three golden lilies of France in the other two quadrants. The inclusion of the latter design element supported the claims of British monarchs during this period to the throne of France.
- 2019 Falcon of the Plantagenets: The House of Plantagenet was one of the longest-reigning monarchies in British history. From the rise of Henry II in 1154 to the battlefield death of Richard III in 1485, the Plantagenets ruled the English throne. The Falcon of the Plantagenets comes from King Edward III. He chose the falcon for his personal symbol and shield due to his love of hawking. The white falcon appears above the shield while another falcon on the shield clutches a fetterlock. In this case, the fetterlock is an open one that points to Elizabeth II’s legitimate claim to the throne. The Falcon was used by countless monarchs, from the Plantagenets to the Tudors. In fact, it was Henry VII who founded the House of Tudor by defeating the last Plantagenet king, Richard III. His granddaughter Elizabeth I was also said to favor the falcon in her badge.
- 2019 Yale of Beaufort: Another mythical beast to feature in the heraldic history of the monarch, the Yale is both a distinct creature and one with an impressive background. The Yale is a mythical creature that is often depicted as an antelope or goat in British heraldry. The Yale of Beaufort came to the royal arms through Lady Margaret Beaufort. She was the mother of King Henry VII, founder of the House of Tudor. She was married four times, but only her second marriage to Edmund Tudor produced an heir. The sole heiress, herself, to the lands and titles of John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, she was also related to the great King Edward III from the House of Plantagenet. The Yale stands behind a quartered shield with white-and-blue quadrants and a gold portcullis in the center. This symbol was used by Henry VII in his badge and is also part of the coat of arms for the city council of Westminster, the home of Westminster Abbey and site of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.
- 2020 White Lion of Mortimer: Descended to Queen Elizabeth II through King Edward IV, the first and longest-reigning monarch from the House of York, the White Lion of Mortimer represents the House of York in the history of the Royal Arms of England. The White Lion is featured in the reverse design and stands in a rampant pose with its left forepaw raised in defense of the shield and its right forepaw resting on the shield. The shield bears the seal of the House of York. The seal includes a white rose against a golden sun.
- 2020 White Horse of Hanover: The White Horse is the most recent heraldic beast to have been introduced into the Royal Arms of England. While most other animals came from the 15th century, the White Horse of Hanover came to the Royal Arms of England in 1714 with the ascension of Elector George of Hanover to the throne following the death of Queen Anne. King George I was the first of four Hanoverian monarchs ruling England from 1714 to 1721. The White Horse of Hanover also brought about a four-quartered shield with Lion of Scotland and Three Lions of England in the first quadrant, the French fleur-de-lis in the second quadrant, the Harp of Ireland in the third quadrant, and the combined Arms of Hanover in the fourth quadrant.
- 2021 White Greyhound of Richmond: The final Queen’s Beast design is that of the White Greyhound of Richmond. The Greyhound stands in support of the shield of the House of Tudor. The Tudor badge features a white rose against a larger red rose on a shield with a crown above the roses. This design was adopted by King Henry VII, founder of the House of Tudor, and symbolized the union of the House of York and House of Lancaster. The Greyhound of Richmond was the badge of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and the 3rd son of King Edward III. John of Gaunt’s son, King Henry IV, used the badge as well as a member of the House of Lancaster.
The Gold Coins of the British Legends of Music Series
Introduced in 2020, the Royal Mint of England debuted a series of collectible and investment-grade silver and gold coins honoring the legendary musical acts that have come from Britain. The series offers a wide range of options, but when it comes to the gold coins for sale in the series, the primary option is a 1 oz gold coin. The 1 oz gold coins have 1 Troy oz of .9999 pure gold in Brilliant Uncirculated condition. The coins ship in individual protective plastic capsules and have a limited mintage of only 2,500 coins. Each one has a face value of 100 Pound sterling (GBP) backed by the government of Britain.
The coins all have the same obverse design element, that of Queen Elizabeth II. Since 2016, the Royal Mint has featured Jody Clark’s fifth-generation effigy of Her Majesty in right-profile relief. In this design, the Queen wears the George IV State Diadem Crown. The background field includes a guilloche visual element with inscriptions of “100 Pounds,” “Elizabeth II,” and “D.G. Reg. F.D.”
As for the reverse design elements that represent the series, the collection has two designs available through 2020:
- 2020 British Music Legends Queen: First up in the series is a coin honoring one of the most popular stadium rock bands of the 1970s and 1980s. Queen formed in London in the early 1970. Members Roger Taylor and Brian May were already performing together, as early as the 1960s. Freddie Mercury was a fan of the duo and eventually convinced them to adopt new staging and recording techniques to enhance their performances. Mercury joined Taylor and May in 1970 to form Queen. John Deacon was later recruited in 1971 as the bass guitarist. Symbols of each member of the group are visible in the design with a microphone in the center, piano keys above, and drums with guitars below.
- 2020 British Music Legends Elton John: In the second release of the collection, Sir Elton John is featured in a stunning design that honors one of Britain’s greatest solo artists. Elton John’s eclectic style and impressive voice have given him staying power over the course of decades in the limelight. Elton John’s flair and eclectic style form the basis for the design on the reverse of these gold coins. His iconic top-hat and glasses feature in the design element, with the glass lenses forming the bottom loops of a musical note. Beneath his name on this face of the coin is his popular bowtie. The background field is dominated by the Union Jack, the flag of Great Britain.
The Gold Coins of the Royal Arms Series
In 2019, the Royal Mint of England introduced a coin with the image of the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom on the reverse. Known simply as the Royal Arms, this emblem is the official seal of both the United Kingdom and the monarch ruling over the kingdom. The modern Royal Arms of England is carried by Queen Elizabeth II, monarch of England since 1952 and the longest-reigning monarch in the history of England.
On the obverse side of British Gold Royal Arms Coins is the fifth-generation bust of Queen Elizabeth II. Designed by Jody Clark in 2015, the image shows the Queen in right-profile relief and has been in use on British coins since the release of 2016 date marks.
The reverse field of the British Gold Royal Arms Coins includes an image of the modern Royal Arms of England in use since 1837 and the reign of Queen Victoria. Designed by Timothy Noad, this design offers a crowned shield that is quartered. The quadrants include the coat of arms of England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The first and fourth quadrants have the Three Lions of England, the second quadrant the Lion of Scotland, and the third quadrant the Harp of Ireland. The Imperial State Crown is above the shield with the Lion of England supporting the shield on the left and the Unicorn of Scotland on the right.
Options in the British Gold Royal Arms Coin debuted with a 1 oz gold coin in 2019 and gained an additional option 2020 with the debut of a 1/10 oz gold coin.
Background on the Royal Mint
Originally founded as the London Mint in 886, the British Royal Mint is one of the oldest operating facilities in the world. Throughout its history, the Royal Mint has produced some of the most widely used coins in the world, due in large part to the size and scope of the former British Empire. Coins from the Royal Mint were once used from North America to Europe, Australia, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
Today, the Royal Mint remains one of the foremost facilities in the world. The most popular product from the mint is the sovereign Britannia coin. On the reverse face of each coin is the image of the mythical Britannia, a goddess from Roman times who was believed to have watched over the nation. She is featured on each Silver Britannia coin with a trident in one hand and a shield bearing the Union Jack flag of the United Kingdom, her eyes constantly fixed on the English Channel separating the British Isles from mainland Europe.
Buying British Gold Coins from JM Bullion
Many of these British Gold Coins are available to you on an annual basis from the Royal Mint of England. If you have any questions about the British Gold Coins available here, please don’t hesitate to ask. JM Bullion customer service is available to answer your questions at 800-276-6508, online through our live chat, and via our email address. If you have questions about payment methods, please consider reading through our Payment Methods FAQ page for more information.