Probably the best well known British silver coin is the Britannia. This coin is struck from 95.8 percent silver and is classed as one of the worlds heaviest silver bullion coins.
Compared to the millions of Canadian maples and American Eagles, only 100,000 are minted each year and the Britannia continues to be very popular with collectors. The 2006 mintage is now available and is likely to be no exception here.
Since the Roman Emperor Claudius had his coins inscribed with the title ‘De Britannis’, when he was entitled Britannicus, Britannia has been associated in the minds of Britons and others Great Britain.
The large 2 pound uncirculated coin is always in great demand by collectors, containing a full one ounce of fine silver.
The 2006 issue returns to the original design this year, as it does every other year. Struck in 958/1000 'Britannia Silver', the coin is also Britain's purest silver coin and is LARGER than a full crown size.
Great Britain has a history of producing silver coins and even up to recently silver was 50 percent of many circulated coins. From 1582 all British silver coins were 925 parts of silver out of 1000. The other 5 parts were copper and this was considered sterling silver. This standard of silver continued right up to 1919-1920 when most British coins were struck as 50/50, half silver and half copper. This applied to the halfcrown, florin and shilling. In 1947 all the ‘silver’ coins were struck in the common cupro-nickel (copper-nickel alloy) which most coins are today.
So if you get any silver coins prior to 1947 they will have a silver content of at least 50 percent.
The British Royal mint, however, continues to produce collectors coins of Brilliant Uncirculated and proof quality coins each year of silver and gold.
British silver coins are always a special favorite with collectors and are sure to continue giving pleasure for years to come.