Wallace and Gromit are the latest classic characters to join the Royal Mint’s ever expanding range

Beatrix Potter, the Gruffalo, Paddington, and the Snowman are all classics of children’s literature and motion media that have enraptured people for decades. What they also have in common is appearing on a shiny piece of metal with the Queens head on the back. Each of these icons has been the subject of the Royal Mints attention, and the latest to join this elite group is easily our favourite – Wallace and Gromit.

The creation of Nick Park of Aardman Animations, the stories tell of the adventures of Wallace and his dog, Gromit through a series of four stop-motion animated short films and a single movie. How good are they? The first three shorts (A Grand Day Out (1989), The Wrong Trousers (1993) and A Close Shave (1995)) have 100% positive ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, while the movie (The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, 2005) has garnered a 95% rating. That’s a remarkably consistent performance. Voiced by Peter Sallis, it has become a classic of Englishness that has captured millions of fans worldwide. Pretty good subject for a coin then…

The coin release is another of those 50p designs that have become the Royal Mints go-to format for this genre. Three metals on offer again. A 22kt gold 1/2oz piece occupies the high-end, a sterling silver 1/4oz with colour sits in the middle, and a base-metal version is for those that want the design on a budget(this one won’t be entering general circulation). A simple design, and one that works brilliantly, especially in gold form. It seems perfectly at home in cleanly struck form. Sadly, the silver coin is almost completely coloured. Normally not something we criticise as colour certainly has its fans, but this ultra-clean design just looks so good in bare metal form.

No changes on packaging, with the wooden box and acrylic frame back in employment for their respective variants. The BU version comes in a blistercard, although if you’d like to trundle down the Royal Mint Experience in Wales you can strike your own. Indeed, on 01 November, some Aardman model makers will be there showing people how to make their own model, which you can take home afterward.

A great subject and a cool design, this one has hit written all over it, and with online queues building up for lesser subjects that have exceeded 30,000 people for some past releases, we ‘re going to predict their website will take a battering tonight. We usually give the mint an earache over pricing (the gold version has risen to a hard to justify £830), but what’s the point? It should be up any time now (we’ve gone live right as the embargo lifted).

PRESS RELEASE

To celebrate thirty years since one of Britain’s favourite double acts first graced our screens, The Royal Mint has unveiled a stunning new coin commemorating Wallace & Gromit.

The coin is inspired by the original Wallace & Gromit short film, A Grand Day Out which saw the pair build and launch a rocket ship to the moon, where they tuck in to a picnic of moon cheese and crackers.

Featuring the Latin inscription ‘CASEUS PRAESTANS’, which translates to ‘cracking cheese’, the coin depicts Wallace and Gromit and the outer shell of the rocket ship that took the duo to the moon. The cracking coin was designed by the creator of Wallace & Gromit, Nick Park and the team at Aardman.

Since A Grand Day Out was first screened in 1989, Wallace – a good-natured, eccentric and cheese-loving inventor – along with his companion Gromit – a silent yet loyal and intelligent dog – became one of the nation’s most loved, iconic duos. The pair went on to star in three further half hour specials and are internationally celebrated winning over 100 awards at festivals – including 3 Academy® Awards and 5 BAFTA® Awards.

Nicola Howell, Director of the Consumer Division at The Royal Mint, commented: “Wallace and Gromit are two of Britain’s most loved characters, so we felt it was only right that we marked this momentous anniversary by giving them a place on UK coinage. The films are such a huge part of our popular culture and are loved by generations of all ages, so we’re delighted that we can be a part of the 30th anniversary celebrations.”

Nick Park, Creator of Wallace & Gromit and Director at Aardman, added: “When A Grand Day Out was first screened thirty years ago, we never expected for Wallace & Gromit to become such a long-standing, well-loved series around the world. It’s been an honour to work with The Royal Mint to bring the pair to life in a new way and everyone at Aardman is so excited to see the pair on a coin.”

Bold Precious Metals
SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION £0.50 UKP £0.50 UKP
COMPOSITION 0.925 silver 0.9167 red gold
WEIGHT 8.0 grams 15.50 grams
DIMENSIONS 27.3 mm 27.3 mm
FINISH Proof Proof
MODIFICATIONS Colour None
MINTAGE 25,000 630 (of )
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Yes / Yes