Peter Rabbit is arguably Beatrix Potter’s cheekiest character and he’s been one of the most popular and most-loved characters in children’s literature since his first creation.
He’s featured in books, films and even on the UK’s favourite coin, the 50p!
But where did Peter Rabbit’s tale begin and how did he end up on FIVE UK 50p coins? In this blog, we run through the exciting tale of the Peter Rabbit 50p series…
Peter Rabbit first appeared in literature back in 1902, when children’s author Beatrix Potter commercially published what was to become her best-seller, The Tale of Peter Rabbit.
The story is centred around Peter, who is far more adventurous than his siblings: Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail. Going against his mother’s instructions, Peter breaks into Mr. McGregor’s garden after being tempted by some delicious looking vegetables… After a close encounter with McGregor, Peter manages to escape, but sadly loses his shoes and iconic blue jacket.
Since 1902, Peter Rabbit has featured in eight books, over 9 tv/film adaptations. and has been made into numerous commemorative souvenirs – including a series of 50p coins!
He’s become a household a name across generations and is loved by families up and down the country.
United Kingdom Peter Rabbit 50p Coins
In 2016, to celebrate 150 years since the birth of Peter Rabbit author Beatrix Potter, The Royal Mint issued a series of 50p coins.
2016 Peter Rabbit 50p
The 2016 Peter Rabbit 50p was the first coin to be issued in the series and features a close up portrait of the loveable rabbit with his big whiskers taking centre-stage.
The design, by Emma Noble, uses original illustrations from the books to celebrate Potter’s life and works.
9,700,000 of these coins were issued into circulation and proved very popular amongst collectors!
2017 Peter Rabbit 50p
Next up in the series, is the 2017 Peter Rabbit 50p, which is my personal favourite!
Designed by Emma Noble, the coin features Peter Rabbit in his iconic blue jacket in a pose that was to become the emblem of Beatrix Potter’s work.
This 50p has a circulating mintage of 19,900,000. Do you have this coin in your collection? Comment below!
2018 Peter Rabbit 50p
The 2018 Peter Rabbit 50p coin is the third UK coin to feature the much-loved children’s character.
Designed by Emma Noble, the reverse features Peter Rabbit munching on radishes and has the joint lowest circulating mintage of all the Beatrix Potter 50p coins.
2019 Peter Rabbit 50p
The tale continued in 2019 with this 50p coin, which is the fourth coin to feature the much-loved Children’s character.
Struck by The Royal Mint, the reverse of the coin features an original illustration of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter that has been engraved by Royal Mint coin designer, Emma Noble.
This coin was issued in collector quality only and did not enter general circulation.
2020 Peter Rabbit 50p
Issued during a world pandemic, this Peter Rabbit 50p is arguably the forgotten coin of 2020.
It was confirmed to be the very last UK Peter Rabbit 50p, sadly bringing his UK 50p tale to an end. Masked by the events of the pandemic, the significance of this coin’s issue was missed.
It’s reverse features a design of an original Beatrix Potter illustration of Peter Rabbit, scrambling under Mr. McGregor’s fence.
It did not enter general circulation and was issued only in collector quality.
So, now we’ve run through all of the UK Peter Rabbit 50p designs, we want to know which is your favourite!
Secure the 2017 UK Peter Rabbit 50p to your collection today!
With 37 different £2 coin designs in circulation, it’s very tough to choose a favourite, but one of mine is certainly the Great Fire of London £2, issued in 2016 to mark the 350th anniversary of one of the most well-known disasters to hit London.
The reverse of the coin, designed by Aaron West, depicts the city of London burning in flames from a distance and makes for an eye catching design which I’m sure many collectors love just as much as I do.
But are you lucky enough to have one of these coins in your collection?
Whilst this coin was previously considered ‘Less Common’ (as rated on our Scarcity Index), it has now been confirmed that the mintage figure for the Great Fire of London £2 was mistakenly listed and the coin is in fact rarer than we once thought…
To reflect the change to the Great Fire of London £2 coin’s mintage figure, we’ve updated our mintage charts to show you how rare this coin actually is compared to the other £2’s in circulation.
The Great Fire of London has actually jumped up 15 places on the mintage chart now that the correct figure of 1,625,000 has been confirmed.
The previous figure of 5,135,000 placed the coin in the middle of the pack, just slightly rarer than the Gunpowder Plot £2, however it can now be found amongst the London Underground £2 coins, nearer the top of the mintage chart.
These changes are also evident on our latest Scarcity Index update.
Whilst the coin has only moved up the index by 4 coin places, this is the biggest movement on the £2 index and the coin’s Scarcity Index score has actually jumped up from 18 to 34 – almost doubling from the previous index!
Historically, the Great Fire of London £2 has always scored in the mid to high teens, but the updated mintage figures now reflect the fact that the coin is in fact harder than previously believed to find in your change.
Have any other coins been affected?
It wasn’t just the Great Fire of London £2 coin which was affected by the updated mintage figures… There were in fact 4 coins from 2016 with previously incorrect figures.
The changes haven’t made much of an impact to either of these coin’s rankings for the Scarcity Index, with both coins actually moving down 1 place on the index pictured above.
With regards to our mintage figure charts, the two coins have simply swapped positions, as can be seen below.
With regards to 50p coins, the only coin affected was the 2016 Peter Rabbit 50p.
This relatively small increase has had no effect on the coin’s ranking on the Scarcity Index or position on the mintage figure chart, which can be seen below.
Whilst the changes to the mintage figures for the Shakespeare £2s and Peter Rabbit 50p have made minimal impact, it’s fair to say that with almost 4 million less Great Fire of London £2 coins in circulation than previously thought, the scarcity of this coin has definitely increased, making it even more special for those of you lucky enough to have one in your collection.
Add the Great Fire of London circulation £2 to your collection!
Following the updated mintage figures, I’m sure collectors will be keen to make sure this coin is added to their collection.