The Snowman is back at the Royal Mint with a new range of coins and more

Now a perennial fixture on the Royal Mint’s release schedule, Raymond Brigg’s ‘The Snowman’ is back for a fourth successive annual release. Part of the mints ever growing fifty pence media range, this one is quite a bit more restrained than the usual Hollywood glitz, going for a more traditional vibe by keeping a close link to the original artwork. They did something very similar with the excellent Alice in Wonderland range as well.

No surprises on the style here as it closely apes earlier issues. The artist Robin Shaw does the honours again, having also done the previous two as well, and it’s a fine piece that’s instantly recognisable. The 8.0 gram silvver coin is coloured, while the 15.5 gram 22kt gold coin remains cleanly struck. We often complain about the high price of the mints 50 pence coins and that’s unfortunately still the case. For the size, £67.50 (almost $95 USD) is a hard sell, and we’d like to see that trimmed a little. There’s a base-metal version also on sale in both clean and coloured variants, the latter costing double!

As well as the coins, the mint has added a couple of oddities. First is a piggy bank in fine bone china that carries The Snowman theme. Only 200 will be offered at £150 each. Of more interest is an advent calendar, the windowed treat for kids, that includes a coloured base metal coin worth £20 in its £30 cost. The rest are filled with chocolate coins and there will only be 1500 of these offered. The silver coin is also available in a set wioth a pop-up book for £95. Finally, there’s a limited print by Shaw that is signed and numbered (of 200), which looks good and sells for £95. All are available now.


Following the popularity of the The Snowman™ coin series, the 2021 design features the moment James adds the finishing touches to the snowman by drawing his smile. This is the fourth commemorative Snowman coin released by The Royal Mint in collaboration with Snowman Enterprises Ltd and officially licensed by Penguin Ventures (part of Penguin Random House UK), with the first coin released in 2018.

The collectable coin range celebrates Raymond Briggs’ timeless picture book with a bespoke 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. Included in the range is a limited edition print of original sketch by Shaw, as well as an exciting The Snowman™ advent calendar containing a brilliant uncirculated colour 50p.

Clare Maclennan, Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said, “This is the fourth coin that we’ve launched as part of The Snowman™ series, and the design is just as charming as ever. Raymond Briggs’ classic characters are a tradition of the festive season for many families across the country and we are delighted to continue The Snowman™ and James’ adventures this year.”

The Royal Mint’s innovative digital colour printing technology has brought The Snowman™ design to life on the brilliant uncirculated coloured 50p, keeping true to the hand drawn, nostalgic quality of Shaw’s original sketches.

Speaking about the design, award-winning animator and illustrator Robin Shaw said, “Because of the size of the finished coin, the design had to be very clear. I drew on the frames from the original picture book showing James building the snowman, as these capture the growing relationship between the two of them before the snowman has even come to life.

“They also needed to work perfectly as small, clear images that individually capture a moment. That’s ultimately what I wanted to achieve with this design; it’s all about showing the relationship between the little boy and his snowman.”

Last year, to celebrate the coin series, The Royal Mint worked with Robin Shaw to create an exclusive ‘sketch-a-long’ for fans. The free, online class, which is still 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.

COMPOSITION 0.925 silver 0.9167 gold
WEIGHT 8.0 grams 15.55 grams
DIMENSIONS 27.3 mm 27.3 mm
FINISH Proof Proof
MINTAGE 7,000 300
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Yes / Yes