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Could this become the most valuable 50p coin?

Beatrix Potter coins are selling for more than £500 - and Japan might be the reason why

The Royal Mint will launch a coloured 50p coin depicting Tom Kitten from the beloved Beatrix Potter books on 7 August – and if it’s anything like the other coins in the series, it could be worth hundreds of pounds. 

This commemorative coin won’t turn up in your change – it can only be bought online, and will cost £60. It will join Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck, Squirrel Nutkin and Mrs Tiggywinkle, which were launched in 2016 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth.

Two more have been launched by the Royal Mint this year – another Peter Rabbit and Jeremy Fisher.

The Tom Kitten coin is the latest in the Beatrix Potter series issued by the Royal Mint

We’ve seen a set of five of these coins – which would have initially set you back £300 to buy – selling for more than £800 on eBay. But the jewel in the crown is the 2016 Peter Rabbit 50p. With a mintage of just 15,000, it has been selling on eBay for more than £500.

And according to price comparison site Go Compare, the Peter Rabbit coin is worth £600.

The Royal Mint is currently still selling Jeremy Fisher coins, minted 30,000 times, for £60 on its website. One final edition, Benjamin Bunny, is expected to be released in the autumn.

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What makes a 50p coin valuable?

Low mintage figures tend to make a coin more valuable, as holders of the Kew Gardens 50p found out. The coin, which was issued in 2009, had a mintage of 210,000 and now fetches prices of around £75 on auction sites.

Commemorative coins are produced by the Royal Mint to celebrate key events, such as anniversaries and royal occasions, and are struck to a higher standard than ‘street’ coins.

However, if you don’t want to stump up £60 for a single coin, struck in sterling silver, you could buy the Jeremy Fisher or the Peter Rabbit 50p in brilliant uncirculated finish for £10.

What is driving the popularity in Beatrix Potter coins?

Beatrix Potter is one of the best-known children’s authors in the world, but the popularity of these coins may lie in far-east Asia.

In Japan, the stories of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck are extremely popular with consumers and businesses. The stories were used to teach English in Japanese schools in the 1970s and, remarkably, Tokyo-based finance company Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking uses the Peter Rabbit character as an official mascot.

Potter’s Lake District home Hill Top, now a visitor attraction, welcomes some 15,000 Japanese tourists every year eager to buy memorabilia from its gift shop.

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