Cast your mind back to childhood, a time of bedtime stories and wild imaginations…
A story that most of us vividly remember is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the inspiration behind the latest UK 50p.
An introduction to children’s fantasy literature
First published in 1950, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first novel in The Chronicles of Narnia collection, and is perhaps the best known book by author C. S. Lewis. For many, it was an introduction to the fantasy literature genre, with characters such as Mr Tumnus and Aslan holding a special place in our memories.
A magical design
It’s actually Mr Tumnus who features on this brand new UK 50p, alongside Lucy Pevensie who can be seen walking arm in arm through a snowy Narnia together.
Pauline Baynes’ design, which is based on illustrations from the original publication, is the perfect tribute to this classic tale of fantasy fiction. If you have fond memories of the story, or if you just can’t resist newly issued UK coins, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 50p would make an excellent addition to collection.
Previous UK coins based on literature
Beatrix Potter 50ps
The Beatrix Potter 50ps are perhaps some of the most popular 50p coins amongst collectors. For many collectors, these are the coins that inspired them to start the hobby, especially younger collectors.
The Beatrix Potter 50p series started in 2016 with the Beatrix Potter 50p, issued to mark 150 years since the birth of the legendary author. The series continued over the next 4 years, with 50ps featuring beloved characters from the famous tales, such as Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Mr Jeremy Fisher and Flopsy Bunny. And of course, Peter Rabbit himself made an appearance in the series, not once, but four times!
Winnie the Pooh 50ps
Another literary favourite, Winnie the Pooh, featured on a series of 50p coins issued between 2020 and 2022. Characters from the Hundred Acre Wood such as Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore joined Winnie the Pooh himself in this 9 coin series, which proved incredibly popular with both new and seasoned collectors.
All silver proof versions of the 2020 Winnie the Pooh 50p sold out in less than 12 hours, and the 2022 Eeyore 50p sold out in a matter of hours at The Royal Mint.
And the list goes on, as literary characters such as the Gruffalo, the Snowman, Paddington Bear and even authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens have also featured on our UK coins – amongst some of the favourite releases for many collectors.
Don’t miss out!
So, when you consider the popularity of other UK coins that have been based on children’s literature, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 50p is set to be highly sought after.
Excitingly, a brand new UK 50p coin will be issued to celebrate the beloved story, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first novel in the Chronicles of Narnia collection by fantasy author, C. S. Lewis. The story, first published in 1950, is beloved by many and considered an introduction to the fantasy literature genre.
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Have you ever noticed something particularly unusual about one of your coins? Perhaps a missing date, denomination or an error in the design?
Well, that’s what happened to one collector who noticed something unique about their 20p coin…
A ‘spectacular error’
The 20p in question was minted in 1990 for a British overseas territory, and was sold as part of a set. However, instead of having the usual cupro-nickel finish, it was struck on a copper-plated blank intended for a different country.
Collector, Alun Barker saw this unusual coin listed on eBay in December 2017 and bought it for just £50. But he was pleasantly surprised when, just a month later in January 2018, the coin was confirmed as a genuine error by The Royal Mint, who issued a certificate of accreditation. They also confirmed it was the only known 20p in existence with with error, making it one of a kind!
Exceeding expectations at auction
Alun decided to have the coin valued by specialists, Tennants Auctioneers, who initially estimated it could fetch as much as £1,200 at auction. However, when he decided to part with the coin in August 2023, Alun was astonished to find out it had sold for a whopping £1,400!
Not the first rare 20p error…
The ‘Bronze 20p’
In 2017, collector David Crosier found a 20p coin with an unusual finish, which he assumed to be bronze plated. He sent the coin to The Royal Mint to check, and after x-ray fluorescence spectrometry, they confirmed it was a genuine minting error.
Somehow, a 1p blank had made its way into the presses and a 20p was mistakenly struck onto it.
The undated 20p
Considered by many as the ‘Holy Grail of change collecting’, the undated 20p is undoubtedly at the top of most serious collectors’ wish lists. In 2008, an unknown number of 20p coins were released into circulation without a date on either the obverse or reverse. This followed a die mix up after the new Royal Shield design was introduced.
The Royal Mint confirmed this was the first time in over 300 years that a coin had entered circulation without a date, making it extremely sought-after by collectors. They also confirmed that, whilst exact quantities are unknown, no more than 250,000 of these undated coins made it into circulation.
These coins have been listed on the secondary market with a value as high as £10m, however you should always check the sold listings on secondary market sites to see how much collectors are actually willing to pay for a coin.
Our latest eBay Tracker shows that the undated 20p is currently selling for around £52.