One of the surprise hits of 2016, especially in the United Kingdom, the Beatrix Potter series of Tales of Peter Rabbit coins almost crashed the Royal Mint website as thousands queued to buy them. Ostensibly simple coins, just a quarter-ounce of silver with colour highlighting, even a price of £55 per coin didn’t seem to dampen enthusiasm. In 2017, a doubling of the mintage and a price rise to £60 similarly failed to halt interest.
There have been a couple of ways to buy the 2017 quartet of coins. The primary chunk of the mintage (30,000 out of 40,000), went to an attractive standard package with the coin enclosed in a great quality acrylic block and selling for £60.00. A further 3,150 of the coins were sold through UK Post Offices. In a bizarre piece of marketing, these come in standard black boxes, nowhere near as attractive as the acrylic blocks, yet sell for a staggering £25 more.
Now added onto these two options is a third and to be honest, difficult option. We think this is easily the most attractive and impressive way to pick up these coins as you can see below. Presented in a themed box, the package contains the coin in its acrylic block and a special copy of the original Beatrix Potter book that matches the character on the coin. It’s a fine looking item, but has a serious problem – price. At £120.00 and with a mintage of 3,500 editions, it’s of questionable value for a ¼oz coin, even with a book enclosed. It would be different if these had been announced at the same time as the standard edition, but many have paid over £100 for standard coins on the aftermarket only to find this package coming out for similar money. There’s also the matter of the final 3,350 coins yet to be accounted for in the overall 40,000 mintage. How will they be offered? We’d like to see all options available on day one in future, so collectors can make an informed choice initially.
A gold version of the 2017 Peter Rabbit coin has also been added to the mix in a boxed set. Also containing a book, it is again a great looking package, but a price of £1,000 for it seems hefty. Struck in half an ounce of 0.9167 gold, it eschews colour for a classic look. Just 450 will be made available. No news on 2018 yet, but we’d be very surprised if there were no additions to the Beatrix Potter coin range, especially in light of the recent publication of a previously unknown manuscript called The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots. All coins are available to pre-order now.