The Snowman is back at the Royal Mint for the third successive year with a new design by Robin Shaw

Returning for a third annual appearance, Raymond Briggs iconic seasonal tale, ‘The Snowman’ has become a refreshing holiday coin release in a market overwhelmingly populated by Santa designs. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but a little variety doesn’t hurt, and what better way than a beloved childrens book like this one to draw upon. (2018 coin, 2019 coin)

It was over forty years ago, 1978 to be precise, when Briggs published his illustrated tale, one devoid of text. Telling the tale of a young boy that builds a living snowman, it made the transition to an animated short just four years later. Nominated for an Academy Award, it has gone on to be one of the most admired animated works of all time, inspiring a 2012, 30th anniversary sequel called The Snowman and the Snowdog.

This is one of the Royal Mints many heptagonal fifty pence designs, a format that seems to have grown exponentially in popularity oover the last half decade or so. An 8 gram sterling silver coin, coloured on the reverse face, will be the popular choice, more so now the mintage has dropped to the considerably more sensible 7,000 pieces, down from last years excessive 27,500 units. The gold is a heavier coin, necessary to get to the fixed format size, and comes in at 15.50 grams of 22kt fineness metal. That one tops out at just 275 pieces – very tempting given the increased popularity of Royal Mint gold coins lately.

A heartwarming design, very much in the style of the animation, if you liked the previous pair of issues, we see no reason why you wouldn’t jump on this one. The silver is £67.50, with the gold at £1125.00. If you just want the design, for the kids perhaps, a base-metal brilliant uncirculated version is available in a nice presentation card for just £10, and in a coloured version for double that, the latter limited to 15,000 pieces and only available directly from the mint. Seems quite a markup for a paintjob. Available now.


The Royal Mint, the original maker of UK coins, together with Snowman Enterprises Ltd, has today unveiled a brand new 50 pence featuring one of Britain’s most iconic festive characters, The Snowman™. The collectable coin range celebrates Raymond Briggs’ classic tale with a new design created by Robin Shaw, award-winning animator and illustrator. Shaw was also the art director on The Snowman and The Snowdog animation, the heart-warming sequel to the original television adaption.

The poignant design shows The Snowman and James hugging, reflecting how the timeless tale brings people together at Christmas. To celebrate the new coin and provide a fun activity at home, The Royal Mint worked with Robin Shaw to create an exclusive ‘sketch-a-long’ for fans. The online class, available via The Royal Mint’s website, provides hints and tips to help budding animators create their own Snowman drawings and share them via #SnowmanSketchalong.

The 2020 Snowman coin comes in a range of finishes – including brilliant uncirculated, silver proof and gold proof – and arrives in beautiful packaging which explores the classic Raymond Briggs’ tale. There is also the option to purchase colour coins, which bring Shaw’s design to life using the latest printing technology.

Robin Shaw, Designer of The Snowman 2020 coin, and award winning animator and illustrator, said: “I’m delighted to have worked with The Royal Mint once more to bring The Snowman to life on a fifty pence. In a year where many of us have been separated, The Snowman helps remind us of the importance of a hug and our love for one another. In creating the 2020 design I wanted to capture this unique bond between The Snowman and James in recognition of Raymond Briggs’ timeless tale which unites us each Christmas.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all the fantastic drawings created through our special The Snowman sketch-a-long. As a child I was inspired by Raymond Briggs 1978 book and the 1982 television adaptation, so I’m excited to see what this generation of budding illustrators and animators comes up with.”

Clare Maclennan, Divisional Director of Commemorative Coin and The Royal Mint Experience, at The Royal Mint said, “We’re excited to launch our third coin celebrating the magical story of The Snowman. Raymond Briggs’ classic characters are a tradition of the festive season for many families across the country, and we’re delighted to continue The Snowman and James’s adventures on a fifty pence.

“Each year our coins celebrating The Snowman prove incredibly popular with adults and children alike, and we hope this year’s design depicting a hug will be a poignant addition to the collection.”

COMPOSITION 0.925 silver 0.9167 gold
WEIGHT 8.0 grams 15.50 grams
DIMENSIONS 27.3 mm 27.3 mm
FINISH Proof Proof
MINTAGE 7,000 275
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Yes / Yes