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Great Britain 2010 Britannia and Lion £2 Pounds Silver Proof-Like BU

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A classical portrait of beauty, the goddess Britannia wearing a lion-bossed helmet, is new for 2010!

Sold out at the Mint! Since its introduction in 1997, the silver Britannia £2 coin has become a highlight of the numismatic year. The largest and purest coin with a standard, circulating legal tender denomination of the United Kingdom, it is minted in .958 Britannia silver, a most unusual alloy comprising 95.8% (23-karat) silver mixed with copper. Each Britannia is guaranteed by the British Royal Mint to contain one full ounce of fine silver, as indicated on the obverse.

A monumental bronze statue of Britannia, standing with the British lion, and with her typical shield, trident and helmet.This beautiful coin is part of the highly collectible series of one ounce, silver Britannias. The obverse design of this series, with the female personification of Great Britain, changes each year, further enhancing its collectibility. From 1998 through 2006, the even-dated years had a standard Britannia design, with a one-year-only design on the odd-dated years. This has since changed, and since 2006, the allegory of Britannia is annually novel. Many years of the silver Britannia can be very difficult to locate, much less in pristine condition (and they always increase in value!), so we advise buying a date that you need or want when you find it.

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Britannia is perhaps the most recognizable of all the allegories or personifications of nations. She is nearly always depicted wearing a helmet and classical attire. She often sports armor and bears a shield, and is very often armed, her weapons of choice being a trident or a spear. It is not unusual for a vignette of a ship to be seen in the same scene as Britannia.

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The New 2010 Design
The lion has always been associated with England, from Richard the Lionhearted to Una and the Lion. For the Britannia of 2010, a new, serene portrait of the goddess has been created by artist Suzie Zamit, who explains her design and intentions thusly:

I wanted to portray Britannia as strong (almost Amazonian) and courageous looking, but not overly warlike; more peaceful and protective. I have given her a Corinthian-style helmet and incorporated a lion on the design: the lion being the national symbol of courage - I wanted to emphasize the strong and watchful connotations - and this also links in with Greek and Roman coinage which display many animals.

This is a traditional portrait of great beauty and sensitivity, realistically rendered by a very talented artist.

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Britannia on Coinage
A nineteenth century painting of seated Britannia, with lion, shield, helmet and trident, with a sailing ship behind her. Rule, Britannia, Britannia rule the waves!It was the Romans who, in recording their invasion and colonization of the mysterious island (which they called Britannia) lying beyond Oceanus, a country which they believed full of silver, first portrayed Britannia on their coins. Much later Britannia was to become a fitting symbol to grace the reverse of the copper coins of King Charles II when, in direct allusion to the then war with the Dutch, her image symbolized her sovereignty of the seas. Universally recognized as the personification of Britain, Britannia has graced the coins of every British monarch since. On the coinage of the present Queen Elizabeth II, she featured on every pre-decimal penny and, following decimalization, was chosen to appear on the 50 pence coin. She was again chosen to grace the new gold coinage introduced in 1987, the coins of highest denomination in the realm, and on the one ounce silver coins introduced in 1997.

Britannia Silver
The Britannia £2 coin is struck in Britannia silver, an alloy of silver containing 95.8% silver and the balance copper. The Britannia standard of silver was introduced as part of the recoinage of King William III in 1696, in an attempt to limit the clipping and melting of sterling silver coinage, it being reasoned that there would be less incentive to melt sterling silver when a higher standard was used for ‘wrought plate’. In 1697 Britannia silver became the obligatory standard for items of plate silver and the lion passant guardant hallmark was replaced with ‘the figure of a woman commonly called Britannia’. Sterling silver was approved again for use by silversmiths in 1720, with Britannia silver remaining optional.

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Obverse
A bust portrait of the goddess Britannia, facing right, wearing lion-crested helmet on her head and classical Roman toga garb. The date is indicated, and the legend ONE OUNCE FINE SILVER guarantees the net silver content, while the legend BRITANNIA defines the theme. It is interesting to note that the country of issue is indicated nowhere, as is typical for British coinage.

Reverse
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of England, in crowned profile facing right. This portrait, featuring Her Majesty wearing a tiara and pearl earrings, was executed by the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley. The legend ELIZABETH II D G REG FID DEF (Latin for "Elizabeth II, Queen by the Grace of God and Defender of the Faith") and the denomination also appear.
SpecificationsA proof example of the famous gold pattern 5 Pounds coin struck in 1839 when Queen Victoria ascended to the British throne, depicting the allegory of Una and the Lion.
Country Great Britain
Mint British Royal Mint
Year of Issue 2010
   
Face Value £2 (2 Pounds)
Weight 32.45 g
Diameter 40 mm
Mintage Limit 100,000
   
Finish Proof-Like Brilliant Uncirculated
Composition .9583 Fine (23-Karat or Britannia) Silver
Edge Reeded (milled, serrated)
   
Artist Suzie Zamit (obverse)
Ian Rank-Broadley (reverse)
Packaging Archival Quality Mylar Holder

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