When the Romans began their conquest of the British Isles, the island of Britain was known as the province of Britannia. It took the Romans two centuries to fully pacify the islands native inhabitants, after which time the term Britannia came to be associated with a personification of a goddess guarding over the isles.
Starting in 1987, the Royal Mint released a series of bullion coins featuring the famed image of Britannia as the primary design. These coins launched that year with a gold version, and the Silver Britannia was issued a decade later in 1997. When the British Silver Britannia was first released in 1997, it featured .958 pure silver content. That continued through 2012, with all 2013-present coins feature .999 pure silver instead.
Silver Britannia’s issued from 1998 to 2015 included the fourth-generation design from Ian Rank-Broadley. The latest design, created in mid-2015 by Royal Mint Engraver Jody Clark, is available on some 2015 coins and all 2016-present issues in the Britannia range.