After the smash-hit launch of the seven-sided fifty-pence coin for 2016 themed around 150 years since the birth of celebrated childrens author Beatrix Potter early last year, it comes as no surporise that the Royal Mint has revisited the franchise for a second year. Other than the coin subjects, the designs remain exactly the same in spirit, with the original designer, Emma Noble, again doing the honours.
The coin is the classic 50 pence in shape and size. Struck in 8g of sterling silver, it’s an uncluttered design, the reverse features the inscription of the name of the character, as well as a picture on a proof mirror background. Last years debut 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, its value was hard to see. This years coins have seen the mintage double to 30,000 and the price rise to £60.00, both real negatives for coin collectors, but these have always been about new collectors, so if they bring new blood into the market, all well and good.
Packaging remain top class, the mint using solid acrylic frames again, much like the New Zealand Mint in recent years. The subject of the first coin is a generic Tale of Petter Rabbit, with the final three 2017 coins depicting the characters Benjamin Bunny, Tom Kitten and Jeremy Fisher, in that order. Their popularity seems assured, with our recent attempt to get on the mints website leaving us at 8,600 in the queue, quite extraordinary and a credit to the mint that the website handles the traffic in a logical, fair way. Available now. The usual base-metal version is also available at £10 and comes on a card.
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 last September, a previously unknown manuscript that was uncovered in the archives of the Victoria and Albert Museum last year was published. Titled The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots, the book will be illustrated by Quentin Blake.