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The rise in popularity of the 50p and the end of an era…

Posted by Hannah Meneghini-Relf on

The 50p coin has undoubtedly become the collector’s favourite and Britain’s most collectable coin.

And whilst there were hints of rising popularity before (Kew Gardens and the Olympics 50p coins top of the list), it wasn’t until a mischievous little bunny appeared on the coins that things really kicked off. And with it came a whole new dawn of collecting, and a new generation of collectors.

The First Peter Rabbit 50p

In 2016, we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birth of one of Britain’s most revered authors: Beatrix Potter. Of course, she wasn’t just an author she was also an artist and gave the world a total of 28 books, including the wonderful illustrations and tales of Peter Rabbit and his friends.

Beatrix Potter wrote 23 children’s tales. Image credit: Penguin Books

In honour, of her legacy and this anniversary, The Royal Mint decided to release a series of 50p coins, one featuring her name and four more featuring characters from the world of Peter Rabbit.

Of course, the 50p featuring Peter Rabbit himself was the one that struck a chord with collectors worldwide.

2 UK First’s in 1 Coin

The Tale of Peter Rabbit has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide in 35 different languages, and with both TV and film adaptations, I’m sure you’ll agree, that the popularity of Peter Rabbit himself was enough to cause this collecting phenomenon, but incredibly the new 50p also carried two UK first’s:

  1. It was the first UK 50p coin to feature a fictional, children’s book character
  2. The Silver Proof version was the very first to feature a colour printed image

The UK 2016 Peter Rabbit Silver 50p featured a colour image for the very first time.

These two facts revolutionised 50p collecting, since its release we have seen best-loved characters; Paddington Bear, The Gruffalo and The Snowman feature on UK 50p coins with each featuring coloured Silver Proof editions. But it was, Peter Rabbit who was the first to go from being a beloved literary character to a collecting sensation.

The UK’s most popular coin series?

The interest on the day of the release of the 2016 Peter Rabbit 50p was so unprecedented, The Royal Mint’s website crashed. Not only that, but all 15,000 Silver Proof coins sold out in a matter of days.

Of course, that was just the start, we’ve since had four more 50p coins featuring Peter Rabbit, as well as 9 coins featuring his furry friends!

When the UK 2018 Peter Rabbit 50p was released, all 35,000 coins completely sold out! Image credit: The Herald

Each coin has proved incredibly popular, and even in 2018 when the Silver Proof edition limit shot up to 35,000 it completely sold out!

The end of an era

And so, it should come as no surprise to you that when the last ever UK Peter Rabbit 50p coin was released earlier this year, with an edition limit of just 14,500 (the lowest ever edition limit for a Peter Rabbit 50p) – it completely sold out.

The last ever UK Peter Rabbit 50p has already sold out at the Mint.

Clearly, it’s going to be incredibly hard for collector’s to complete their collections, with this final Peter Rabbit 50p the rarest of all. But, as a series that has changed the collecting world, we have no doubt that collector’s will be trying to secure them all for years to come.

It does make us wonder though…what will be the next collecting sensation? Let us know you’re thoughts in the comments!

If you’re interested…

Now you have the chance to own the very last Peter Rabbit 50p in either the Silver Proof or Brilliant Uncirculated edition.

Be warned though we have less than 25 of the 2020 Peter Rabbit Silver Proof Coins remaining, and we’re unlikely to be able to get our hands on any more.

Click here to view the UK 2020 Peter Rabbit 50p Coins >>


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