The British press is atwitter over the design of the new 2013 proof Britannia coins announced by the Royal Mint. Put off by a recent poll that showed that one in four Britons could not correctly identify the national icon, the Mint has embarked on a campaign to have noted artists come up with different Britannia designs, and will feature a different one each year. The silver bullion version of the Britannia will retain the original Philip Nathan design every year.
Well, if the RM was wanting publicity, they’ve certainly gotten it. The first design, by artist Robert Hunt, harkens back to Greek pottery design, with Britannia lounging on a Greek couch, looking over her shoulder, wearing a classical gown and Corinthian helmet. That’s all fine and good, but some folk looking askance at the bare left breast of the embodiment of their country (which really, is keeping with the whole “classical Greek” theme.)
Frankly, we personally would probably have not caught on about the bare booby if it hadn’t been pointed out, but then again we’re the one who didn’t realize the Angel of Independence on the Mexican Libertad was topless. We do wonder why the stereotypical Greek mythological owl was included in the design, when one of the complaints was that too many people confused Britannia with Minerva.
The 2013 Commemorative Proof Britannias are available for preorder at the Royal Mint, in various sizes and sets in both gold and silver. Each limited edition coin or set comes in presentation box, and we would assume, COA.