Britannia Bullion Coin With New Security Features

A Royal Mint employee examines the Britannia coin.
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The Royal Mint has unveiled the world’s most visually secure bullion coin. The Britannia range contains four innovative security features, which enable customers to verify that the product is authentic by rotating it in the light.

The Royal Mint is the primary producer of bullion coins in Britain, as well as offering a range of other physical and digital precious metal products, safe storage and wealth management solutions.

Britannia has been The Royal Mint’s flagship bullion coin since it was first introduced in 1987. The new edition, which goes on sale from 19 October 2020, introduces layers of new security features which combine to make it the most visually secure coin in the world. The features include:

  • Latent image: First introduced on the £2 coin, the latent image acts like a hologram and changes from a padlock to a trident when the coin is seen from different angles.
  • Surface Animation: Micro details on the coin combine to create the illusion of waves rolling behind the figure of Britannia. These are created using advanced picosecond lasers, and come to life as the coin is rotated.
  • Micro-text: The addition of the inscription “DECUS ET TUTAMEN” which translates to “an ornament and a safeguard” surrounds the figure of Britannia, and is created using specialist lasers.
  • Tincture lines: To reinforce security, The Royal Mint has reintroduced the traditional art of Tincture lines – depicting colours and patterns on metal.
The new Britannia gold bullion coin design features four new security features.

Advanced Picosecond Lasers in Coin Production

The Royal Mint was one of the first mints in the world to use advanced picosecond lasers – used in medicine and aerospace – for the production of coins. This technology enables The Royal Mint to work on a submicron level, creating complex designs using indents which are 200 times narrower than the width of a human hair.

Together these tiny indents can create spectacular special effects – such as the movement of waves seen in the background of the Britannia coin. The advanced technology and intricacy of the design makes it incredibly difficult to replicate, and gives the owner confidence that they have a genuine gold product simply by rotating it in the light.

Andrew Dickey, Divisional Director of Precious Metals for The Royal Mint, said: “Our Britannia bullion range is already one of the most sought after in the world, and these innovative new security features make it even more appealing for investors. Simply by moving the coin you can authenticate it as a genuine Royal Mint product, giving investors complete confidence, whether they are buying directly from us or from our partners.”

“Our precious metals division has experienced its busiest year on record, and we know that investors value the trust and authenticity that comes with a Royal Mint product. We have seen demand for gold increase significantly since March 2020, which has included a large proportion of customers investing in gold for the first time as they diversify their portfolios.”

Gordon Summers, Chief Engraver at The Royal Mint, said: “Britannia is one of our most iconic and enduring designs, so it was vital we retained the beauty of the coin whilst adding sophisticated new anti-counterfeit measures. By focusing on the natural reflection of the metal, and using advanced new technology, we have created a unique and highly safe coin which gives customers complete confidence.”

A Significant Increase in Sales of Gold Britannia Coins Since April 2020

Demand for gold has significantly increased from April to September 2020 as investors look for ways to diversify their portfolio through ‘safe haven’ assets such as Precious Metals. The Royal Mint has seen website sales of gold Britannia coins increase by 236% from 1st April – September 2020, when compared with the same period last year. UK net gold bar and coin demand in Q1 (April-June) increased 86% when compared to the same period last year according to data from the World Gold Council.

Britannia bullion coins are renowned for their reliability, with their weight and quality verified at the centuries-old annual Trial of the Pyx in Goldsmith’s Hall. Gold Britannia coins are VAT free for non VAT registered private individuals and UK capital gains tax free for UK residents only, due to being legal tender.


For further information visit the website of The Royal Mint.

You don’t know who the lady on British coins is? Read our CoinsWeekly article to find out more about Britannia!