From a leading UK coin and bullion dealer:
We received our first delivery of the 2013 silver Britannias in December 2012. Whilst technically a bullion coin – bought primarily for their precious metal content – we also advertise them as uncirculated coins as they have not been in circulation.
. . . we make allowances here for the mass production methods used to produce modern coins. However, even these allowances can not be expected to cover the extremely low quality of this year’s silver Britannia.
We have heard that The Royal Mint do not yet plan to do anything about their substandard manufacturing methods. Apparently it is the way the coins are removed from the machine after striking and that is that! Presumably the coins have always been struck in the same way and it is the change of alloy – from Britannia silver (.958) to fine silver (.999) – that has affected the end result.
These coins are still in the protective sheeting as issued by The Royal Mint and I can assure you that we have not been rolling them around our stock room or playing shove ha’penny with them. In fact, they will be the same as if you purchase them from anywhere else. We have had a conversation with one customer who had bought them from Europe and experienced the same problem. In fact if your dealer has not warned you then you can assume that either they haven’t checked the coins or they are trying to feign innocence.