The 2023 Britannia gold and silver bullion coin collection has been unveiled by the Royal Mint, the authorised manufacturer of UK coins. This is the first chance for collectors to possess a commemorative Britannia coin with the official picture of His Majesty King Charles III.
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2023 Britannia design
Jonathan Olliffe, who also designed the gymnastics 50p cent for the 2012 London Olympics, designed the Britannia coin for this year. Britannia’s naval heritage served as inspiration for Jonathan’s portrayal of her. The image depicts Britannia guarding the country and its shores while riding a chariot across the waves, drawn by powerful marine monsters.
2023 Britannia coin unveiled. Many of the well-known Britannia emblems are featured in the design. Britannia is seen in this year’s design with a Corinthian helmet, a trident, and a shield bearing the Union Flag. The chariot is being pulled through the waves by horses that resemble aquatic animals like seahorses, with scales on their bodies and fins in place of manes and hooves. On closer study, a lion’s face can also be seen at the front of the chariot.
Jonathan Olliffe, designer of the 2023 Britannia coin design said,
“It was my aim to create something authentic and truly original, whilst maintaining a classic style. Philip Nathan’s 1997 Britannia coin design depicts a horse and chariot. I liked the concept of featuring a chariot within the design but in a less predictable way, and I mixed the horse form with a seahorse, and it worked! The serpent fin or tail at the back added an element of the mystical to it. I looked at classical paintings and the anatomy of horses, and sea life imagery.
“These mystical aquatic creatures with suggestions of horse-like anatomy feature heavily in the foreground of the design and maintain a strong and empowering presence as they rise from the ocean waves, adding a sense of depth and structure to the design.”
Rebecca Morgan, Director of Collector Services said,
“Britannia has a long and enduring history on UK coins and is instantly recognisable among collectors across the world. From her first appearance on Roman coins through to featuring on every coin bearing a British Monarch since the reign of Charles II. The 2023 commemorative Britannia coin celebrates a true icon who’s evolved through the ages on coins produced by The Royal Mint, with this year’s design highlighting her maritime origins and connection.
“We anticipate the 2023 Britannia commemorative coin to be extremely popular among collectors, with it being the first edition in the range to bear His Majesty King Charles III’s official portrait.
Roman coins featured Britannia at first, but she vanished with the fall of the Roman Empire. Although Britannia reappeared in the Elizabethan age, Charles II’s reign saw the first appearance of the effigy on coins in 1672. She has been on every British monarch’s coin since then till the present.
The Britannia 2023 collection
The Britannia 2023 collection is available on a range of precious metal individually and as part of sets from Royal Mint.