1 Ounce Gold Britannia : Post 2012 (Best Value)
As the name suggests, this impressive 32.69mm diameter coin is made from one Troy ounce of gold, with a purity of 999.9 parts out of 1,000 – more frequently described as 24 carat. Whilst other Britannia coins are available, such as the Half-Ounce Gold Britannia or the Britannia One Ounce Silver Coin, it is the 1oz Gold Britannia that is the best known and most sought after.
Introduced to satisfy the world demand for bullion and as a rival to the South African Krugerrand and US Eagle bullion coins, the 1oz Gold Britannia has proved a conspicuous success.
Tax advantages for bullion investors
A major attraction of the 1oz Gold Britannia for investors in fine gold is its tax-free status. As gold bullion, it is not subject to VAT and, with a face value of £100 (and a real value more around fifteen times greater) it is classed as UK Sterling legal tender and so exempt from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for UK residents. This gives the 1oz Gold Britannia a notable advantage over the equivalent gold bar.
Gold Britannia vs Gold Sovereign
A question often asked by investors is whether to base their bullion investment on a single 1oz Gold Britannia or a number of Gold Sovereigns.
If it is simply a case of affordability, the Gold Britannia at 1oz costs many times more than the Gold Sovereign at a quarter of an ounce, so it will be easier to build up an investment portfolio in stages by buying Gold Sovereigns.
This is also relevant if you are looking for flexibility from your gold bullion investment; you can raise funds by selling a single Sovereign, but otherwise would have to sell your Gold Britannia and start again when finances allow. That’s no problem, obviously, if you have a larger amount to invest and can buy several Gold Britannias.
Are Gold Britannias as collectable as Gold Sovereigns?
At the present time, they are not regarded as particularly collectable. As they have only been minted since 1987, the Gold Britannia does not offer the sheer variety of the Gold Sovereign, which has been around in its current form since 1816 and therefore has borne the heads of numerous monarchs.
In addition, Gold Sovereigns were minted in in several British Empire countries, and this widespread production has ensured they are recognised worldwide, which adds to their collectability.
The classic 1oz Gold Britannia design
Since they have all been produced in the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, it is her portrait that has always adorned the obverse of the 1oz Gold Britannia. The current design is by Jody Clark, with previous issues featuring the work of Raphael Maklouf and Ian Rank-Broadley.
The reverse of the 2020 1oz Gold Britannia shows, appropriately, Britannia in a dramatic pose with wind-tossed hair, apparently facing up to a storm. She stands against a fine guilloche background.
Guilloche is an extremely precise mechanical engraving process producing very finely detailed, intricate repetitive patterns, of the type sometimes seen on high-end watch faces. Introduced to the 1oz Gold Britannia in 2017 for its 30th anniversary, it is not only aesthetically delightful but also adds extra protection against counterfeiting.
Other Gold Britannia coins
Whilst the 1oz Gold Britannia is the best known and original version, the Royal Mint has produced other variants over the years. In 2013, a 5oz Gold Britannia was introduced with a face value of £500. In contrast, the same year saw a one-twentieth version with a face value of £5. Half ounce, quarter ounce and one tenth of an ounce coins have also been minted.
If you have been wondering whether to buy gold or silver, you may like to know that the Royal Mint has created Silver Britannias as alternatives. For 2020, the 1oz Gold Britannia has also been released with an oriental border, designed to appeal to the wealthy new Asian markets.