The Royal Mint always release a good selection of anniversary commemoratives every year.  With a history as long and rich as Britain’s, the mint is spoilt for choice on subject matter and the 2016 range is a good case in point. Subjects as wide-ranging as the 950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, the 350th Anniversary of the Great Fire of London, the 400th Anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, and the Queen’s 90th birthday, all show the range on offer. The seven-sided fifty-pence coin for 2016 is themed around it being 150 years since the birth of celebrated childrens author Beatrix Potter.

Born in 1866, Beatrix Potter was an English author world reknowned for her series of childrens books starting with The Tale of Peter Rabbit. She wrote around 30 books over her life, the 24 children’s tales being those she is best known for. A broad selection of eclectic characters have endeared her works to generation after generation of readers, both young and old. Even today, over 2 million Tales of Beatrix Potter books are sold every year and this September, a previously unknown manuscript that was uncovered in the archives of the Victoria and Albert Museum last year will be published. Titled The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots, the book will be illustrated by Quentin Blake.

The coin is the classic 50 pence in shape and size. Struck in 8g of sterling silver, it’s a very clean and simple design, the reverse carrying an inscription of the name of the character, as well as a picture on a clean background. What has surprised in light of the relative lack of ambition with the design is the huge popularity of it, a testament to the love for the authors work. This first coin, Peter Rabbit, sold out of its run of 15,000 coins in just 8 days, amazing given that at £55.00 for ¼oz of sterling silver, the value is hard to quantify. Packaging is first class, the mint using solid acrylic frames for the first time, an item popularised by the New Zealand Mint over the last few years.

Following on from this will be three more coins in the style of Peter Rabbit which you can see below, and which will be released roughly one a month from June. Each will be packaged  as the Peter Rabbit coin, have the same mintage, and sell for the same price. A huge surprise hit, so congratulations to the mint for a perfectly targeted coin release. Peter Rabbit might have sold out, but the next three are on pre-order now.


The adventurous hero of the Beatrix Potter’s first book was so popular that ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ would be the first in a series of 23 little tales. The inquisitive, blue-coated bunny has become the emblem of Beatrix Potter’s work, and is captured on this 50p coin – the first official United Kingdom coin to feature this family favourite.

Now, continuing the series celebrating the wonderful world of Miss Potter, the second coin has been struck as a sterling silver Proof edition. Royal Mint coin designer Emma Noble’s design incorporates colour printing, reflecting the watercolour style of the original illustrations. The coin is presented in a contemporary Perspex presentation case, with an accompanying booklet and gift box to be enjoyed and passed down through the generations, just like the books that inspired it.

BEATRIX POTTER™ © Frederick Warne & Co., 2016


£0.50 UKP 0.925 SILVER 8.0 g 27.30 mm PROOF 15,000 YES / YES


The final three coins are all in the style of the Peter Rabbit one and feature three more of the most well-loved characters in Potters works. Prices remain at the same £55.00 per coin, and each maintains the 15,000 mintage of the first one. The Jemima Puddle-Duck coin will be avalable in early June, the Mrs Tiggy-Winkle coin in early July, and the Squirrel Nutkin coin in late August. It’s likely that all three will be big hits like the first coin.


One of Beatrix Potter’s most famous characters, Jemima Puddle-Duck, continues the series celebrating the pioneering woman behind the little tales and their charming characters. Despite her naivety, generation after generation have taken the maternal duck to their hearts, relieved when good old Kep the wise collie rescues her from a bushy-tailed ‘gentleman’.


The series celebrating the life and works of the inspirational author and illustrator, Beatrix Potter, continues with the fourth coin in the series, featuring Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle. The conscientious hedgehog is shown in her washerwoman’s dress and petticoats on this 50p coin – the first official United Kingdom coin to feature Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle.


This time, The Royal Mint has chosen one of the naughtiest of Beatrix’s characters, Squirrel Nutkin. The flaws of Beatrix Potter’s characters may get them into trouble, but also make them so delightful, and Squirrel Nutkin is one of her most ill-mannered. So many will have developed a soft spot for the cheeky little squirrel when reading the cautionary tale of how he came to lose half his tail.




Released earlier this year, this coin commemorates 150 years since the birth of Beatrix Potter, the author of the classic The Tale of Peter Rabbit, and a whole host of books in the same vein. This is the only coin of the five to be released that celebrate the author rather than the characters she created.

Available in a half-ounce gold, and 8g and 16g (piedfort) of sterling silver, theses are not presented in the acrylic frames of the coloured issues, but in standard Royal Mint boxes.


£0.50 UKP 0.925 SILVER 8.0 g 27.30 mm PROOF 6,500 YES / YES
£0.50 UKP 0.925 SILVER 16.0 g 27.30 mm PROOF 2,500 YES / YES
£0.50 UKP GOLD 15.55 g 27.30 mm PROOF 7,750 YES / YES