A series of commemorative 50p coins honouring Beatrix Potter, were released in 2016 by the Royal Mint, to mark the 150th anniversary of the famed children's book author's birth.
The fifth of the coins to be released in the series is the 2016 Squirrel Nutkin 50p coin. But how much is it worth and how rare is it?
According to the most recent eBay and Amazon sales, the value of the coin, in good circulated condition and excluding any postage or selling costs, is around £3.50. So, at seven times it's face value, it's a good addition to your collection if you find it in your change.
The Beatrix Potter 2016 50p collection
‘The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin’ 50p coin features the impertinent, yet loveable, red squirrel named Nutkin and his daring escape from an owl called Old Brown. The coin is designed by Emma Noble, and the loveable rogue squirrel features at the very heart of the coin – with his whiskers and once bushy tail captured in great detail, with two front legs prominent.
Another Peter Rabbit coin, Mrs. Tittlemouse, The Tailor of Gloucester, and Flopsy Bunny were the ones that came after them in 2018. 2019 and 2020 saw the release of a collector's edition Peter Rabbit coin, continuing the series.
It is clear that this series of 50p coins is by far the most loved and sought after.
History of the coin
The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a children's book written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter. It follows a mischievous and disobedient young Peter Rabbit as he gets into, and is chased around, the garden of Mr. McGregor. He escapes and returns home to his mother, who puts him to bed after offering him chamomile tea.
The tale was written for five-year-old Noel Moore, the son of Potter's former governess, Annie Carter Moore, in 1893. It was revised and privately printed by Potter in 1901 after several publishers' rejections, but was printed in a trade edition by Frederick Warne & Co. in 1902. Squirrel Nutkin is one of many famous characters.
The book was a success, and multiple reprints were issued in the years immediately following its debut. It has been translated into 36 languages, and with 45 million copies sold it is one of the best-selling books in history.
Design of the 2016 Squirrel Nutkin 50p coin
The cupro-nickel form of the coin has a plain edge, is 27.3mm in diameter, weighs 8g, and is 1.78mm thick.
Emma Noble, a Royal Mint engraver, designed the reverse side of the coin to features the image of Squirrel Nutkin who is an impertinent red squirrel named Nutkin. Squirrel Nutkin is a little red squirrel who lives in a Wood at the Edge of a Lake with his brother, Twinkleberry. He is quirky and mischievous and loves to play.
He loves to dance, skip, sing riddles, and goof off. Squirrel Nutkin is different from other squirrels because he lost his tail during a struggle with Old Brown.
On the reverse of the fifty pence coin, Squirrel Nutkin can be seen standing with front feet up and looking out. The words SQUIRREL NUTKIN are written to curve around the top of the coin either side of the squirrel's ears and above the squirrel’s head.
The initials, “en” in lower case are embossed in the lower right, around the squirrel’s stomach, the initials of the designer, Emma Noble.
Noble used the author's own watercolours of her characters for the whole Beatrix Potter series.
Potter was a talented painter herself, and the Royal Mint took considerable effort to accurately capture the personality and subtly intricate details of the original piece.
Emma Noble had worked at the Royal Mint for 20 years before she was chosen to design the Beatrix Potter series of coins.
On the obverse side, running continuously around the effigy, is the monarch's legend and the date: ELIZABETH II · D · G · REG · F · D · 50 PENCE ·2016.
Translated from Latin: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith, followed by the value and denomination in English.
In small letters below the head, the artist's initials J.C for Jody Clark.
Jody Clark was the youngest person to design the monarch’s profile on this currency at the age of just 33. Jody Clark was also the first Royal Mint employee to design a UK definitive coin portrait in more than 100 years.
He had only been working at the Royal Mint for about two years prior. The new design would be the first time her portrait had been changed in 17 years.
Jody Clark’s design was unveiled in 2015 as the fifth definitive coinage portrait of Her Majesty and the fourth portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in circulation.
Mintage of the Coin
Official figures from the Royal Mint's website show that the 2016 Squirrel Nutkin coin was the second rarest of the five coins released that year, with a mintage of just 5,000,000.
Additionally, the coin was also minted as a Brilliant Uncirculated variety in individual presentation folders as well as complete sets, in addition to silver proof versions which had a total mintage of 15,000.
For reference, the 2016 Jemima 50p coin had a mintage of 2.1 million, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle 50p coin had a mintage of 8.8 million, 2016 Peter Rabbit coin had a mintage of 9.7 million and the Beatrix Potter 50p coin had a mintage of 6.9 million.
Is the 2016 Squirrel Nutkin 50p Coin Rare?
With a mintage of 5 million the Squirrel Nutkin 50p is considered a rare coin in that they are getting harder and harder to find as collectors want them for their own collections. Also, given the popularity of the Beatrix Potter coins, the coin is still highly sought after. The Squirrel Nutkin 50p can still be found in your change and as collectors are adding them to their collections, the coin is becoming more scarce.
How much is The Squirrel Nutkin 50p worth? How rare is it?
As we said, it is always it is difficult to put an exact price on a coin as all coins vary in condition, but we would expect the circulated 2016 Squirrel Nutkin 50p to be worth around £3 today's market excluding any postage costs.
Where Can I Buy the 2016 Squirrel Nutkin 50p Coin?
You can buy the 2016 Squirrel Nutkin 50p coin online on auction sites such as eBay or Amazon but please ensure you look at all the information and reputation of the seller.
Alternatively, you can buy it from ourselves by clicking here.
Unfortunately, as this coin is now nearly 7 years old, the Royal Mint no longer stock this coin so it is only available to buy on the secondary market.
Are there any known errors of this coin?
The Royal Mint has not confirmed any error versions of the 2016 Squirrel Nutkin 50p.
Bit of Trivia...
"Riddle me, riddle me, rot-tot-tote!
A little wee man, in a red red coat!
A staff in his hand, and a stone in his throat;
If you'll tell me this riddle, I'll give you a groat."
This is one of the riddles in the book - but what is the answer?
Clue - a fruit with a stone in it that grows on a tree...