In this article we'll learn all about the 2018 Tailor of Gloucester 50p coin issued by the Royal Mint to commemorate the amazing works of Beatrix Potter – but is this coin rare and how much is this coin worth today?
Let's explore the incredible story of this unique 2018 special edition 50p coin and learn about its value and rarity
Back in 2018, the Tailor of Gloucester 50p coin was released by the Royal Mint to celebrate the fourth of Beatrix Potter's most loved children's tales, 'The Tailor of Gloucester’.
This is part of the third series of Beatrix Potter 50ps, following the highly popular 2016 and 2017 releases that coin collectors loved. Beatrix Potter wrote, illustrated, and privately printed The Tailor of Gloucester in 1902, which was later published in 1903 by Frederick Warne & Co.
A poor tailor struggles to survive in his workshop during a harsh, icy winter. He has an important commission to complete for the Mayor Gloucester’s wedding on Christmas.
However, the tailor is ill, tired, running out of food, thread, and time. In the end, luckily for him, living in his dresser are some kind, resourceful mice who help him with his work. The waistcoat is completed by the grateful mice, whom he saves from his cat.
It is inspired by a true incident involving the tailor and his assistants. Potter herself proclaimed it to be her favourite book among all her works.
History of the coin
The 2018 Tailor of Gloucester 50p coin is a highly sought-after collectible item among coin enthusiasts and collectors. Released as part of the Beatrix Potter series by the Royal Mint, this coin pays tribute to one of Beatrix Potter's beloved characters, the Tailor of Gloucester.
The coin celebrates the publication of The Tailor of Gloucester (1903),
The book is based on a true story, involving a tailor (of the humankind!) and his assistants. Beatrix's cousin, Caroline Hutton, lived in Gloucester and told her of the story whilst she was working on her third book, The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin.
Have you found this coin in your change?
The Beatrix Potter 50p collection
Due to the coins' enormous popularity, the Royal Mint decided to continue the series in 2017 with a new coin set that included Benjamin Bunny, Tom Kitten, Mr. Jeremy Fisher, and Peter Rabbit once more.
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.
According to the most recent eBay and Amazon sales, the value of the 2018 Tailor of Gloucester 50p coin, in good circulated condition and excluding any postage or selling costs, is around £3.75. So, at over seven times its face value, it's a good addition to your collection if you find it in your change.
History of the coin
The story takes place in Gloucester during the 18th century. Its main character is a diligent yet impoverished tailor. The Mayor of Gloucester, who has scheduled his wedding for Christmas Day, has requested the tailor to create a jacket and vest for the occasion.
The tailor is out of twisted silk (or 'twist') to sew the vest, so he sends his cat Simpkin to get more. However, Simpkin discovers that the tailor has let some mice loose and spitefully hides the twist.
The tailor does not have any money with which to buy more twist. He thinks that he will be unable to finish making the mayor's clothes and will be financially ruined as a result. Fortunately for him, the mice come to his aid.
This special edition 50p coin was issued in 2018 to celebrate this much-loved character.
Design of the 2018 Tailor of Gloucester 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 feature the image of the famous Tailor of Gloucester.
On the reverse of the fifty pence coin, is the unmistakable image of the Tailor of Gloucester. It features shows a mouse wearing spectacles and reading, whilst sitting on a cotton reel. This image could be found in the original first edition of The Tailor of Gloucester.
The words in capital letters - THE TAILOR OF GLOUCESTER - are embossed around the edge of the coin's reverse.
The initials, “en” in lower case are embossed at the base of the coin, at the foot of the cotton reel. These are the initials of the designer, Emma Noble. Emma Noble had worked at the Royal Mint for 20 years before she was chosen to design the Beatrix Potter series of coins.
The obverse of the coin features the 2015 coinage portrait of the Queen by Jody Clark, the first Royal Mint employee to create a portrait in 100 years – the practice is usually completed by artists working outside of the Mint. The inscription ‘ELIZABETH II.D.REG.F.D.50 PENCE.2018’ appears around the portrait.
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 ·2018.
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 2018 Tailor of Gloucester 50p Coin
The Tailor of Gloucester 50p coin was released in 2018 and is one of the fifteen coins minted in the Beatrix Potter 50p series between 2016 and 2020.
Official figures from the Royal Mint's website show that the 2018 Tailor of Gloucester 50p coin had the highest mintage of the 4 coins released that year, with a mintage of 3.9 million.
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.
All the 2018 Beatrix Potter 50p coins had a relatively low mintage with the rarest 50p coins in the Beatrix Potter series being the 2018 Peter Rabbit and the 2018 Flopsy Bunny 50p coin, which both have a mintage of 1.4 million. To complete the series that year, the 2018 Mrs. Tittlemouse 50p had a mintage of just 1.7 million,
For reference, the 2016 Jemima 50p coin had a mintage of 2.1 million, the Mrs Tiggy-Winkle 50p coin had a mintage of 8.8 million, the 2016 Peter Rabbit 50p coin had a mintage of 9.7 million and the 2016 Beatrix Potter 50p coin had a mintage of 6.9 million.
Is the 2018 Tailor of Gloucester 50p Coin Rare?
The 2018 Tailor of Gloucester 50p is one of the rarer Beatrix Potter commemorative 50p coins in circulation in Britain today with just 3.9 million released in 2018.
So with a mintage of just under 4 million, the 2018 Tailor of Gloucester 50p is considered a rare coin and they are getting harder and harder to find as collectors want them for their collections.
Also, given the popularity of the Beatrix Potter coins, the coin is still highly sought after. The 2018 Tailor of Gloucester 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 2018 Tailor of Gloucester 50p worth today?
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 2018 Tailor of Gloucester 50p, in good condition to be worth around £3.75 in today's market excluding any postage costs.
Where Can I Buy the 2018 Tailor of Gloucester 50p Coin?
You can buy the 2018 Tailor of Gloucester 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 us by clicking here.
Unfortunately, as this coin is now 5 years old, the Royal Mint no longer stocks 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 2018 Tailor of Gloucester 50p coin.
Bit of Trivia...
The Tailor of Gloucester is inspired by real events, which Beatrix Potter probably first heard about while visiting her cousin Caroline Hutton in Gloucestershire in 1897.
A Gloucester tailor named John Pritchard (1877-1934) had been asked to make a suit for the mayor. He arrived at work one Monday morning to find the suit completed, except for one buttonhole.
Pinned to the buttonhole was a piece of paper on which was written, "No more twist." Although John Pritchard found out that some of his assistants had stayed in his shop overnight and had finished making the clothes, he was happy to encourage the local belief that fairies had done the work for him.