21 March 2021
The Royal Mint has revealed its 2021 Britannia Collection, featuring a number of 'firsts', including the depiction of Britannia – the personification of Britain – as a woman of colour.
Each year The Royal Mint produces a new Britannia collection that is inspired by different aspects of the nation.
This year the collection celebrates Britain’s spirit of innovation, and for the first time will feature two designs – a Core range and a Premium Exclusive range - both of which have been designed by Irish artist P.J. Lynch.
The core Britannia range is a continuation of the collection, and features the iconic female next to her lion guardian whilst looking out to the horizon with a trident and shield.
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For the first time in her 2,000-year history, Britannia is depicted as a black woman.
Artist P.J. Lynch said:
"I wanted her to look strong, resolute and attractive, but I also felt that her features should reflect something of the diversity of the people of Britain in the 21st century."
Premium range available
The Premium Exclusive range is a new addition to the collection. In contrast to the core range, she is shown up close and in profile, whilst new minting technology gives the impression of moving waves in the background. The Royal Mint confirmed that over the next four years they will "continue to explore diversity through the Premium Exclusive Britannia range."
For more information visit the Royal Mint shop.
Clare Maclennan, Divisional Director of Commemorative coin for The Royal Mint, said:
“Britannia is an enduring symbol of the people, and as the nation evolves it is right that her image should evolve too. Each year our Britannia series celebrates a different element of Britain and for 2021 we celebrate the spirit of innovation with two new designs.
“As well as continuing to offer our Core Britannia range, we have extended the collection to include a Premium Exclusive range which celebrates diversity and features the latest minting technology. We have also introduced a gold Proof kilo for the first time to meet the growing demand for larger, precious metal coins.”
A 2,000-year-old icon
Britannia has been an icon of the British people for over 2,000 years, first appearing on coins under Emperor Hadrian. The Romans depicted Britain as a strong female – a symbol that has endured and continues to grace the nation’s coins today, including the definitive £2.
Read more in our guide to Britannia coins.