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!
The BRAND NEW and last-ever Peter Rabbit 50p has now been officially released!
It would be hard to find someone who hadn’t heard of this naughty little rabbit. The central character of Beatrix Potter’s beloved children’s stories, Peter Rabbit has featured on many staple collectables.
Emma Noble’s design of this coin, which features an original illustration of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter herself, perfectly captures Peter Rabbit’s cheeky personality, as he can be seen crawling under Mr. McGregor’s fence!
This coin won’t be entering circulation but is available to purchase in Brilliant Uncirculated quality for just £4.50 (+p&p) here.
Where it all started
It was in 2016 that Peter Rabbit escaped from Mr. McGregor’s garden and made his first debut on United Kingdom coinage.
Issued to celebrate 150 years since the birth of renowned Children’s author, Beatrix Potter, this 50p changed coin collecting forever.
There were five Beatrix Potter 50ps issued in 2016, including the incredibly popular Jemima Puddle-Duck, which, for a long time, was considered the rarest Beatrix Potter coin in circulation. She was also joined by fellow characters Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Squirrel Nutkin.
A very special 50p was issued the same year, celebrating Beatrix Potter herself and features her silhouette and her emblem.
This series of coins continued into 2017, 2018 and 2019. Fifteen Beatrix Potter coins have now been issued since 2016, each featuring one of Potter’s delightful characters, from Flopsy Bunny to Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle.
Peter Rabbit is the only character to feature more than once in the Beatrix Potter 50p series, with no less than 5 coins issued to celebrated the nation’s favourite little rabbit.
Sadly, Peter Rabbit’s 50p tale has now come to an end. It has been confirmed that the 2020 50p will be the very last UK Peter Rabbit 50p to be issued!
Which Beatrix Potter coins are the rarest?
To celebrate the release of this brand-new Peter Rabbit 50p, we’ve taken a look back at the mintage figures for the different Beatrix Potter 50ps to find out which ones are the rarest in circulation…
Following the release of the 2018 mintage figures, we’ve seen the 2018 Peter Rabbit and Flopsy Bunny 50ps take joint top spot on the Beatrix Potter Mintage Chart. With mintages of just 1,400,000, these coins are the rarest Beatrix Potter coins in circulation and have already proved incredibly popular with collectors!
We also saw the 2018 Mrs. Tittlemouse claim its spot on the podium, pushing Jemima Puddle-Duck – previously thought of as the rarest Beatrix Potter 50p in circulation – further down the chart, with a circulating mintage of 1,700,000.
So collectors that have held onto their 2018 Beatrix Potter 50ps will be delighted to see this! If you don’t have these coins in your collection yet, now’s the time to keep your eyes out to hunt down these sought-after 50ps.
4 years on from his initial release, it’s safe to say that Peter Rabbit inspired a whole new generation of collectors to start checking their change.
I have no doubt that the 2020 Peter Rabbit 50p will prove as popular as the previous years, and I’m sure collectors and Peter Rabbit fans alike will be chasing this rascally rabbit right into their collections.
Secure this brand new 2020 UK Peter Rabbit 50p in Brilliant Uncirculated Quality
This is your chance to be ahead of the crowd and secure the very last Peter Rabbit 50p in superior Brilliant Uncirculated condition for just £4.50 (+p&p).
Exciting news! The Royal Mint have revealed the latest mintage figures for 2018 coins!
Seven 50p coins entered circulation in 2018 and collectors across the nation have been debating how rare each one might be.
But now the official figures have been revealed and it looks like there are some particularly rare ones we should be looking out for…
The rarest Beatrix Potter 50ps
Collectors who have held on to their 2018 Beatrix Potter 50ps will be delighted to see that these coins have lower mintages than any of the previous Beatrix Potter coins issued in 2016 and 2017.
In fact, three out of the four Beatrix Potter 50ps released in 2018 are even rarer than the 2016 Jemima Puddle-Duck 50p – previously thought of as the rarest Beatrix Potter 50p in circulation!
With a mintage of just 1,400,000 the 2018 Peter Rabbit and 2018 Flopsy Bunny 50ps are sure to become incredibly sought-after amongst collectors, as they take joint second spot on our mintage figure chart (which excludes Olympic 50ps).
These two coins, alongside the 2018 Mrs Tittlemouse (mintage: 1,700,000) have pushed the 2017 Sir Isaac Newton (mintage: 1,801,500) off the podium.
Whilst the 2018 Tailor of Gloucester has a slightly higher mintage at 3,900,000 the other three coins in the 2018 series have only been pipped to the post by the UK’s rarest 50p in circulation, the Kew Gardens.
With a mintage of 210,000 this 50p is considered the holy grail of change collecting and dominates the Change Checker mintage figure charts and Scarcity Index.
What about the Olympic 50ps?
In 2012, the release of the Olympic 50p series kick started a collecting frenzy across the nation.
It’s estimated that around 75% of these coins have been removed from circulation by collectors which means they are incredibly sought-after, especially considering these 50ps have some of the lowest mintage figures in circulation…
Many of the Olympic 50ps have a mintage less than 2,000,000 with the rarest (the Olympic Football 50p) having a mintage of just 1,125,500.
Taking these rare 50ps into consideration, the 2018 Peter Rabbit and Flopsy Bunny coins would sit in joint sixth position, below the Kew Gardens, Football, Wrestling, Judo and Triathlon 50ps.
£2 Coin Update
As well as updating the 50p mintage figures, The Royal Mint also revealed that no £2 coins were issued into circulation last year.
There have been no new £2 coins issued into circulation since 2016, which may in part be due to the introduction of the new 12-sided £1 coin in 2017.
The new definitive £2 was released in 2015, replacing the Technology £2 with a Britannia design, but for the past two years it seems there has not been enough demand to issue this coin for circulation.
In fact, aside from the £1 coin, no new definitive coins were released at all last year, from the 1p to the £2 coin.
A-Z 10p update
Despite no definitive 10p coins entering circulation in 2018, The Royal Mint have confirmed mintage figures for the highly popular A-Z of Great Britain 10p coins.
From Angel of the North to Zebra Crossing, 26 new 10p designs were released in 2018 to celebrate what makes Britain British.
Initially, 2.6 million of these coins were released, followed by another 2.6 million later in the year.
However, up until now the individual mintages for each design had not been confirmed.
The mintage figure update now reveals that 220,000 of each design entered circulation in 2018, which makes the individual 2018 10p coins almost as rare as the Kew Gardens 50p…
Have you been lucky enough to find any of these coins in your change? It’s always exciting when new mintage figures are revealed and your realise just how rare the change in your pocket really is!
We’ll be updating the Change Checker Scarcity Index next month and it will be exciting to see how these new figures impact the index.
If you’re interested in coin collecting, our Change Checker web app is completely free to use and allows users to:
– Find and identify the coins in their pocket
– Collect and track the coins they have
– Swap their spare coins with other Change Checkers
Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app