The Royal Mint’s next big thing? Paddington Bear is 60 and a new coin range celebrates.

The Royal Mint had a hit with its Tales of Peter Rabbit coins, with three series of four coins issued from 2016-2018, but inevitably there has been a slowing of interest. Sure that the core concept of a 50 pence coin range celebrating popular literary icons is still sound, the mint has issued its first coin (of two) marking the 60th anniversary of the iconic Paddington Bear.

A super polite anthropomorphised bear, Ppaddington arrived from Peru with a TARDIS-like suitcase and wearing a blue duffel coat and a red hat. Discovered in Paddington Station by the Brown family, he has an uncanny knack of getting into trouble – something that forms the basis of the more than twenty books written by British author Michael Bond, ably helped by artists like Peggy Fortnum. First appearing on on 13 October 1958 in the children’s book A Bear Called Paddington, the character remains hugely popular today, with a second hit movie garnering a massive 100% approval rating on the Rotten Tomatoes movie review site.

As it’s a classic seven-sided 50 pence coin, the specification is well known to collectors. The silver variants will be struck in 8 grams of metal, with the gold far heavier at 15.5 grams to maintain the same dimensions. Two designs are offered – one now and one in August. Today’s issue is called Paddington at the station and depicts the character in colour with a cleanly-struck train at the platform in Paddington Station in the background. The August issue has a coloured, flag-waving Paddington standing in front of an uncoloured depiction of Buckingham Palace. The gold coins remain uncoloured – a good thing give it rarely works well on gold, especially the redder-tinged 22kt (0.9167) fineness used here.


Packaging is superb of course. This mint usually does it well and the acrylic frames for the silver are perfect for display and quite substantial. The gold is more traditionally presented using a polished wood box, one the mint uses for most of its gold releases in one form or another. Brightly themed shippers round out the look in fine form.

There are a couple of downsides to the silver coins in particular. The mintage on each is listed at 60,000 pieces, so speculators likely need not apply. In addition, that mintage refers to this presentation only (acrylic frame), with a maximum coin mintage listed as ‘unlimited’. We need not tell you the effect that will have on the chance of substantial appreciation and we’ve already noted some quite ridiculous prices on everyone’s (least) favourite auction site. The second drawback is less important given it seems to have little effect on popularity with the general public – price. At £60 for a ¼oz coin, it isn’t going to win any value awards in strictly coin collector terms.

The gold sells for £780.00. While this seems a lot, it’s actually far less of a premium over spot as a percentage than the silver coins. With golds much lower mintage, you should expect to pay a chunky premium anyway, so we’re less disappointed here. Early signs are that it will sell well, but again, the mintage of 600 refers to this presentation (single coin in a wooden box) only, with a maximum mintage set at over double that – 1.250. It’s possible we’ll see some premium packages like the Peter Rabbit issues with the books.

A widely loved and high-profile character, well realised in coin form means this one will be popular for sure and we guess that’s what really counts. Coins like this raise the profile of coin collecting and that’s good for all. Available now, please use the banner link at the bottom and AgAUNEWS gets a small commission at no cost to you.


2018 marks the 60th anniversary since the first publication, A Bear Called Paddington™. Today, Paddington is a British icon around the world and a firm favourite with children and adults alike. The Royal Mint continues its tradition of honouring Britain’s childhood favourites with two official UK coins celebrating the charming bear that started a new life a long way from home in Darkest Peru.

GOLD: This exclusive gold Proof edition features Paddington at the station where his British story begins. Every nostalgic detail, from Paddington’s famous duffle coat and battered bush hat, is struck in 22 carat gold and finished to Proof standard. Presented in a wooden case for safekeeping, this gold coin is a beautiful keepsake and lasting gift for fans of Paddington.

SILVER: For the first release in our celebratory collection, we’ve captured the much-loved bear at the beginning of his story. Paddington is sitting on his iconic suitcase at Paddington Station,; every detail, from his signature blue duffle coat to his red old bush hat, has been brought to life with vibrant colour printing. Struck in 925 sterling silver and finished to Proof standard, each coin comes in a clear acrylic presentation case for safekeeping and is accompanied by the story behind Paddington’s new life in London.

COMPOSITION 0.9167 gold 0.925 silver
WEIGHT 15.50 grams 8.0 grams
DIMENSIONS 27.3 mm 27.3 mm
FINISH Proof Proof
MINTAGE 1,250 (600 in this box) Unlimited (60,000 in this box)
BOX / COA Yes / Yes Yes / Yes