Back for the second year, The Snowman rejoins an ever-growing range of classics that the Royal Mint is putting on its fifty pence coin range, alongside the recent Wallace & Gromit, Paddington and Gruffalo issues. The same range as usual, comprising an 8g sterling silver coin and a 15.5 gram 22kt red gold variant, with the former getting a paint job.
Most readers are familiar with these issues now. Very nicely packaged, especially the silver in its neat themed acrylic frame, they make nice packages for fans and we know these are super popular with collectors, despite what is rapidly becoming some very high pricing indeed. This 50p format has always been the mints first choice for their media issues, but we’d like to see a bigger coin to justify the price of these. While we’re the first to argue against the ridiculous notion many bullion stackers hold that collectible coins should be priced similarly to bullion, we’re not blind to the fact that £65 for a quarter-ounce of silver is really pushing it as far as value goes.
If a younger collector just wants the design, a base-metal brilliant uncirculated version is available in a nice presentation card for just £10. This isn’t a design that will enter general circulation. Available now, the gold coin is already listed as 95% sold, as we’d expect given the incredible sales performance of previous gold issues.
First published back in 1978, Raymond Briggs’ children’s word-less picture book, The Snowman, debuted to critical acclaim. Telling the story of a young boy that builds a snowman which then comes to life, it was adapted to an Oscar-nominated animated short film in 1982. Much loved, especially in its British homeland, The Snowman has become a staple of the Christmas TV schedule and the book continues to sell. A sequel called the Snowman and the Snowdog was published on the 30th anniversary of the original.