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 first of the coins to be released in the series, and probably the most recognised, is the 2016 Peter Rabbit 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. So, at six 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
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.
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 Peter Rabbit 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, created the large head, shoulders, and chest image of Peter Rabbit on the reverse, with his paws clutching onto his lapels and the words 'PETER RABBIT' printed on either side of the ears. 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.
Noble took the effort to choose an image that would look well on the coin's reverse and then made sure that it would retain its artistic integrity when scaled down to fit on the reverse of a conventional 50p.
The 2016 Peter Rabbit engraving, the first in the Potter series to be published, has been hailed by Emma Noble as her favorite of all her Potter engravings. She calls it the most instantly recognizable illustration in her entire body of work.
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 Peter Rabbit coin was the most common of the five coins released that year, with a mintage of just 9,700,000.
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, Squirrel Nutkin had a mintage of 5 million and the Beatrix Potter 50p coin had a mintage of 6.9 million.
Is the 2016 Peter Rabbit 50p Coin Rare?
With a mintage of 9.7 million the Peter Rabbit 50p is not considered a rare coin. However, given the popularity of the Beatrix Potter coins, the coin is still highly sought after. The Peter Rabbit 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 Peter Rabbit 50p Coin 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 2016 Peter Rabbit 50p to be worth around £2.50-£3 in today's market excluding any postage costs.
Where Can I Buy the 2016 Peter Rabbit 50p Coin?
You can buy the Peter Rabbit 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 Peter Rabbit 50p, but there are listings on eBay or Amazon that are saying Peter Rabbit's whiskers may be shorter or longer on some coins. As we say, none of the errors have been confirmed.
Bit of Trivia...
Beatrix Potter's first name was actually Helen. She was born in London on July 28, 1866 and was actually christened Helen after her mother, but was known by her more unusual middle name, Beatrix.
Peter was modeled on Potter’s own pet rabbit, Peter Piper—her beloved bunny who she frequently sketched and took for walks on a leash.
The silver proof version of this coin is very sought after indeed and will fetch over £500 in excellent condition.