Top 10 Collectable Silver Coins Europe Has to Offer
Are you looking for information about the top 10 collectable silver coins Europe has to offer? You’ve come to the right place. Europe has a proud tradition of silver bullion coins. European countries have used pure silver in their currencies for hundreds of years, and the use of some silver coins predates the countries that currently exist on the large continent. For example, did you know that Ancient Romans used to conduct currency manipulation schemes using silver coins? While the days of mighty Rome are clearly over, Europe continues its exciting history of silver bullion with a number of fantastic silver coins.
Hero Bullion offers several of the top collectable silver coins Europe has to offer. Many of the best silver coins in the game from Europe are minted by the British Royal Mint, although certain coins from the Austrian Mint also remain exceedingly popular among collectors. Collectable coins from Europe frequently center imagery of Queen Elizabeth II on their obverse side, especially pieces minted by Great Britain or one of their close allies.
Let’s take a look at some of the top collectable silver coins Europe has to offer.
British Britannia Coin
The Britannia Coin has been distributed annually by the British Royal Mint since 1987. The silver version of the piece is a bit newer, having been first minted in 1997. Britannia is a classic feminine depiction of the United Kingdom.
Queen Elizabeth’s image has been used on coins and British imagery for centuries, with its first uses popping up during classical antiquity. She holds two things: a trident in one hand and a British shield in the other. Newer versions of the silver coin Britannia features a repeating wave pattern, which makes it harder for counterfeiters to replicate the collectable piece.
The obverse of the Britannia Coin is a depiction of Queen Elizabeth. She is shown from the neck up and wears a pearl earring and her classic crown. The current design for Queen Elizabeth was premiered in 2015 by mint artist Jody Clark. Both full 1 Oz and fractional coins are available from the British Royal Mint each year. Weights include one-quarter, one-tenth, and one-half ounces. Coin purity from 1987 to 2012 was .958, but coins minted from 2013 until the present are .999 pure silver.
Queen’s Beasts Coins
The British Royal Mint’s Queen’s Beasts series has been a fixture of the European silver coin market for five years. This makes them notably newer than many of the coins listed in this guide. But this series has built up a sizable following in the past five years.
The first in the series debuted in 2016 and featured the “Lion of England.” The coins in this collection are meant to each symbolize one of the “Queen’s Beasts,” a series of statues created for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Each of the Queen’s Beasts represents one part of the royal ancestry and lineage of the Queen.
On the obverse of each coin, the familiar face of Queen Elizabeth II is featured. Jody Clark designed this depiction of the Queen; she also designed the reverse-side artworks on each coin in the series. Recently, the British Royal Mint announced the release of the “Queen’s Beasts Completer Coin,” which is intended to cap off the series and pay homage to each of the Queen’s Beasts in the larger collection.
Great Britain Myths and Legends Coins
This is actually a brand new release from the British Royal Mint. It is anticipated that several new coins in the series will be minted in the coming years. The concept behind this top collectable silver coin Europe has to offer is simple. The British Royal Mint plans to pay homage to the incredible myths and legends essential to British history and culture. This first release’s subject should be familiar to most readers. The coin features Robin Hood, the cloaked figure of legend who stole from the rich and gave to the poor.
On the reverse of this first series coin, Robin Hood is shown in his archer outfit, pulling back his bow and shooting at a target. He stands atop a tree branch and stares intently at his target. Unsurprisingly, Jody Clark’s incredible depiction of Queen Elizabeth adorns the obverse side of the piece. The coin is minted using .999 fine silver, which helps to really make the intricacy of the design stand out.
Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Coin
We’ll admit it: this coin isn’t technically minted in Europe. However, it shares quite a bit in common with the other pieces on this list. The coin is minted by the Royal Canadian Mint, which is technically held by the “Queen of Canada.” This Queen is– you guessed it– Queen Elizabeth II. For this reason, the coins created by the Canadian Royal Mint are sometimes lumped in with the other coins produced and distributed from European mints. The Canadian Maple Leaf Coin is easily the most popular annual release of the Royal Canadian Mint.
The reverse-side of this coin depicts the Canadian sugar maple leaf. For more than a century, this image has been a foremost symbol of the people and culture of Canada. Globally, collectors often consider the Canadian Maple Leaf Coin to be one of the most highly anticipated early releases on the market.
In addition to being legal tender in Canada and carrying a face value of 5 CAD, the piece is minted using .999 pure silver. The reverse of the Canadian Silver Maple includes the Susanna Blunt depiction of Queen Elizabeth II, which further cements the coin as a proper collectable coin Europe has to offer.
Australian Silver Koala Coin
This is another coin that isn’t technically European but has strong European influences. Like the Royal Canadian Mint, the Perth Mint is strongly inspired by Great Britain’s renowned tradition of silver and gold coin mintage. In fact, the history of this mint is closely linked to the history of British colonial control of Australia. It was one of the foreign branches of the Royal British Mint placed on Australian silver. Nowadays, the Australian Perth Mint’s coins pay homage to their relationship to Great Britain using the familiar imagery of Queen Elizabeth II.
The adorability of the Australian Koala is one reason why this coin makes it onto our list of the top 10 collectable silver coins Europe has to offer. Here, the koala is shown on the reverse side of the coin, taking a nap on top of a eucalyptus tree. The obverse of the Australian Silver Koala Coin depicts Queen Elizabeth II. She wears her pearl necklace, pearl earrings, and her crown. Jody Clark is responsible for this image. It is minted using .9999 pure silver.
Austrian Silver Philharmonic Coin
Now this coin is clearly one of the top silver coins Europe has to offer. The Austrian Mint’s most popular coin is easily the Philharmonic Coin which makes visual reference to one of the most famous musical monuments in the world. The obverse of the piece depicts the Great Organ, which is located inside the Golden Hall of Vienna. This musical hall has hosted some of the most famous performances in musical history, and it is considered a “must see” for tourists visiting the old city of Vienna.
Collectors often praise the reverse-side design, which depicts eight different instruments classically used in Austrian orchestras. The design of these instruments is almost utilitarian in nature; they feature fine-lines that add a level of artistry that we see in few other silver coins. The piece uses .9999 pure silver and is backed by the Austrian government with a face value of 1.5 Euros.
Cook Islands Silver HMS Bounty Coin
This is another popular silver coin Europe has to offer that is more European in spirit than actual location. The Cook Islands are located near Australia in the South Pacific Ocean. The country itself is considered a “free association” with New Zealand, whose monarch is Queen Elizabeth II. For our purposes, it might also be useful to remember that the subject of the coin’s design is inseparable from the history of the British Empire. The HMS Bounty was a famous British naval ship that was mutinied, stolen, and burned while on a trade mission for Great Britain.
This coin revels in detail; a repeating wave-like background on the reverse and obverse adds a new level of security while also contributing to the aesthetic appeal of the piece. Every rope and flag on the HMS Bounty is clearly visible and stands out against the .9999 pure silver striking of the coin. The HMS Bounty sails once more on the reverse of this coin, and collectors all over the world appreciate the unique historical moment entailed by its brilliant and intricate design. It has a face value of one dollar and is backed by the government of the Cook Islands. The obverse of this coin is Queen Elizabeth II as designed by Ian Rank-Broadley.
Australian Silver Platypus Coin
If you thought that the Australian Koala was a unique animal, just take a quick look at the platypus featured on this collectible silver coin Europe has to offer. The Perth Mint pays homage to the Queen on the obverse of this piece, featuring Jody Clark’s widely respected depiction of Her Majesty. On the obverse, we’re given a brilliant look into the underwater existence of the platypus, a strange little animal that is native to Australia. Two of the creatures float underwater above rocks and flora as their breath bubbles float to the surface.
.9999 pure silver is used to mint this silver coin, and it comes with the backing of the Australian government. Interestingly enough, this coin actually comes with a limited mintage of only 75,000 pieces. This makes it one of the rarer collectable silver coins Europe has to offer on our list.
This coin is a part of the larger “Next Generation Series” being distributed annually by the Perth Mint. In this series, some of the most popular animals in Australia are given their own silver coin designs. This series has quickly become a fixture of bullion sales for the Perth Mint. Who doesn’t love the look of the unique platypus?
French Lunar Calendar Coins
The Monnaie de Paris regularly mints coins in its “Lunar Series.” The idea of a series celebrating the Chinese Lunar Calendar is nothing new in the bullion industry, but we’ve come to really appreciate the way that these coins capture the elegance and detail of the original Chinese Lunar Calendar. Each coin in the series features one of the animals from the Chinese calendar. Each beast supposedly says something about the character and traits of people born in its ‘year.’
Many of the coins in this series come with a limited mintage, making them relatively rare and highly collectable. For example, the 2021 Year of the Ox coin is only being minted 3,000 times. These pieces are struck using .999 fine silver and feature a full depiction of the Chinese Lunar Calendar on the obverse.
Australian Silver Kangaroo
At this point in our guide, you might be a bit tired of seeing Australian “Next Generation” coins. These coins provide exceptional value, however, and their limited mint numbers make them excellent pieces to add to any collection. The Australian Kangaroo is likely the most popular image associated with the country, meaning that the animal has understandably earned its place on a coin. Like all coins in this Australian series, the Australian Silver Kangaroo is minted using .9999 silver and depicts Jody Clark’s Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse side.
Final Thoughts: Top Collectable Silver Coins Europe has to Offer
When we sat down to write our list of the top collectable silver coins Europe has to offer, it dawned on us just how many countries are related to the British Royal Mint and to Queen Elizabeth II. Many coins from around the world are minted in a European tradition, even if their home mint is located across the globe from the British Royal Mint. In any case, European coins provide a rife opportunity for silver investors of all experience levels.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the Hero Bullion support team with any questions or concerns you might have as you look forward to buying some of Europe’s best silver coins.
About The Author
Jake HaugenFollow @herobullion
Hero Bullion provides an environment that is informative and safe for those looking to own physical gold and silver bullion as an investment. We love helping folks at all stages throughout their bullion journey making progress towards acheiving their financial goals. Whether you are a seasoned bullion investor or brand new to the game of gold and silver bullion ownership, we're here to help and serve you in any way we can.