2022 new Britannia commemorative coins, from Royal Mint
- March 08, 2022
To celebrate International Women’s Day, The Royal Mint has unveiled a new depiction of Britannia, one of Britain’s oldest and most enduring feminine icons, on a collectable UK coin. The new design is inspired by Gustav Klimt’s classic 1905 painting “The Three ages of Woman” and features Britannia moving from girlhood to maturity. It is the first time that Britannia has appeared three times on one UK coin, and champions women of all ages as equal. It was created by Italian artist and sculptor, Sandra Deiana and updates a classic theme for modern collectors.
“The Three ages of Woman”, by austrian artist G. KLIMT (courtesy of G.KLIMT.com)
2022 silver and gold BRITANNIA, by SANDRA DEIANA
A second design also features in the Britannia range, capturing Britannia’s time-honoured and classical look. Made with pioneering laser technology to incorporate intricate details, this second unique design retains Britannia’s classical appeal, while displaying a modern vision and was developed by Daniel Thorne from The Royal Mint’s Product Design team.
2022 silver and gold BRITANNIA, by Daniel THORNE, from Royal Mint
Britannia first appeared on UK coins around 2,000 years ago under the rule of Emperor Hadrian. The Romans depicted Britain as a strong female – a symbol that has endured and continues to grace the nation’s coins today on the circulating £2 and commemorative designs.
The Royal Mint has a strong commitment to gender equality, and in 2018 appointed Anne Jessopp as the first female Chief Executive in its 1,100 year history. It has 50-50 representation on its Executive Board, and is one of a number of companies in the UK to have a gender pay gap which is marginally in favour of women.
Britannia remains one of The Royal Mint’s flagship coin ranges, with new designs released each year for collectors. Last year the collection featured the first depiction of Britannia as a woman of colour on a UK coin as part of commitment to reflecting and celebrating Britain’s diversity.
Several collectors will be issued by royal mint. The most affordable will be the silver coin in UNC condition.
Sandra DEIANA and Daniel THORNE,
Designers of the 2022 Britannia coins
Sandra DEIANA explains that she particularly likes the theme of Britannia. It is the most challenging concept she has faced so far.
When she started to study the brief, Sandra immediately thought, “This is the most difficult concept I’ve ever faced”. Britannia had been depicted on coins, but no one had harmonized three female representations together. So it was a real challenge for her. She had to find a way to represent the iconic Britannia in three different eras, through the three ages of a woman.
For her, study is key. Before starting a design, she can spend several days thinking and studying, designing only mentally. She doesn’t draw anything. Then, all of a sudden, when she has a composition in mind, she can draw. From that point on, she does the design in a single day, or even in a few hours. Of course, there is then a phase of adjustment and revision, working with the Royal Mint to harmonize her creativity with the Royal Mint’s needs.
She designed the Britannia coin on April 21, 2021, Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday.
Sandra then usually creates the relief with clay and makes plaster molds. Recently, however, she has adopted digital creation techniques and is completely rethinking her creative process. However, she remains very attached to her traditional method of working.
Sandra DEIANA at her workbench, designing the 2022 Britannia coin
Daniel THORNE’s goal with this coin was to merge a classic feel with something that appealed to a broader, modern audience. He placed the design in an unusual three-quarter view. However, he kept the iconic far-away look and proud stance. He wanted to have a fully 3D modeled Britannia but with the background in a flatter graphic style to really make it stand out. All of the iconic images associated with Britannia – the lion, the waves and the flag – were inserted into the design, but in a more subtle way. All of these elements are surrounded by beads that are reminiscent of the older coins.
As an illustrator, he is inspired by traditional artists of the 1950s or like Leyendecker, who illustrated postcards and magazine covers in the early 20th century. He likes figurative work and the engravers and etchers of the early medieval period. His favorite themes are portraits and animal drawings. In terms of inspiration for the new Britannia coin, the Royal Mint published a book on the subject. He refers to it constantly. His favorite Britannia is the 2018 coin by David Lawrence. He is always inspired by designers of the past.
Daniel THORNE, in the engraving workshop of the Royal Mint
Sources: Royal Mint and NUMISMAG.