Collectors could be set to go crazy for two Beatrix Potter coins struck last year after the Royal Mint revealed they are now the rarest non-Olympic or Kew Gardens 50p coins.
The Flopsy Bunny and 2018 Peter Rabbit 50p were minted just 1.4million times, making them rare when it comes to 50p coins and thus hard to come-by to complete collections.
In 2018, the Royal Mint released the third installment in a series of special coins which featured the characters of beloved children’s author Beatrix Potter.
Last year’s four coins featured Mrs Tittlemouse, The Tailor of Gloucester, Flopsy Bunny and Peter Rabbit – who as the most well-known character had already been put on 50p coins in 2016 and 2017 and has been put on another one this year.
In 2018 the Mint released the latest in its long-running set of 50p coins featuring characters from the children’s novels of Beatrix Potter. The 4 coins meant 13 have now been struck
All 13 coins produced by the Mint so far have been released into circulation, which often gets avid and casual collectors alike excited about the prospect of finding an unusual coin in their change.
However, up until now, none of the coins have been especially rare, meaning those looking to make a profit out of their good fortune may have been left disappointed.
The rarest is the 2016 Jemima Puddle-Duck – this has been minted a still substantial 2.1million times.
But now the Royal Mint has released the official mintage figures for all 2018 50p coins struck and it reveals that two of the four Beatrix Potter releases are quite rare.
The third, and so far rarest, design featuring Peter Rabbit. Just 1.4m were circulated
Both Flopsy Bunny and the latest iteration of the Peter Rabbit 50p – this time showing the character munching on carrots and radishes – were minted just 1.4million times.
Mrs Tittlemouse was minted 1.7million times, while The Tailor of Gloucester was struck a far larger 3.9million times.
To put the figures in context, the original 2016 Peter Rabbit 50p was minted 9.6million times, while the one released a year later had a circulation of a massive 19.3million.
Meanwhile, a 50p featuring the feline Tom Kitten, part of the 2017 set, which was supposedly selling for hundreds of pounds online, had a mintage of 9.3million.
This is Money was asked by a reader if it was really worth that much, though unfortunately they were likely disappointed by the fact its value was closer to £4 than £400.
Two coins released in 2018 which featured Britain’s favourite Peruvian import Paddington Bear were circulated over 5million times each, the Mint’s figures also revealed.
The 2018 50p featuring Peter Rabbit’s sister Flopsy Bunny. Change Checker’s latest scarcity index found this is one of the scarcest 50p pieces in circulation, but does that translate online?
In fact, according to the latest scarcity index from website Change Checker – which ranks special 50p and other value coins by how sought after they are – the 2018 Flopsy Bunny and Peter Rabbit coins are the scarcest non-Olympic 50p coins after the 2009 Kew Gardens 50p, minted just 210,000 times.
Many of the coins created to commemorate the London 2012 Olympics are rare themselves, and This is Money previously looked at which ones might fetch a decent sum online.
We discovered the football 50p, depicting the offside rule, sold for the most online out of all 29 designs, with collectors having paid close to £22 for it. It is also the rarest of all the coins, being minted just over 1.1million times.
Change Checker works out which coins are the scarcest based on the demand for a certain coin as well as the ease of getting hold of it, combined with the mintage.
This is why Flopsy Bunny is deemed scarcer than Peter Rabbit, despite them being the struck the same number of times.
The latest Change Checker scarcity index. While the 29 coins created to commemorate the 2012 Olympics dominate the index, some Beatrix Potter coins are present in its top tier
Are these two 50p coins worth more than face value?
Given the Mint’s announcement of the mintage of the four 2018 50p coins, and thus confirmation Flopsy Bunny and Peter Rabbit are pretty rare, is a fairly recent one, it might be a little while before the news filters through and affects the value of either of the coins.
According to Coins News’ magazine Spend It? Save It?, which works with the Royal Mint and attempts to list the real value of many rare or unusual coins, all four 2018 Beatrix Potter 50p pieces are valued at £5, though this predates the Mint’s mintage announcement.
Therefore, next port of call is eBay. Though it’s worth being aware when you search for the Flopsy Bunny 50p or the Peter Rabbit one that the auction site often returns listings for uncirculated versions, which are far more numerous, can be bought from the Mint directly, and are not really worth all that much.
Bearing that in mind, there are a couple of ongoing bids for the Flopsy Bunny 50p, with the coin currently sitting at £4.20 with several days left on the bid, meaning it should go for more than the £5 suggested by Spend It? Save It?.
Additionally, when it comes to a straight purchase, Flopsy Bunny is listed for £15.99 and also in a separate listing for £8.29.
Even the lower price of the latter would be 16 times the coin’s face value, a decent return.
Meanwhile, 16 circulated coins that have actually sold have gone for a range of sums, anywhere from £2 to £4.50, and are now listed at £9 on the same sale.
And what about Flopsy’s sister Peter Rabbit? Given the character is such a well-known children’s character, it seems people are willing to pay more of a premium for this 50p, regardless of Change Checker’s finding that the other one is more scarce.
One listing found by This is Money details 16 sales of the 2018 Peter Rabbit 50p, with it selling for as much as £9, 18 times its face value.
Meanwhile current bids for the coin are at £4.20 and £5.02, with the latter still having over two days left for the price to increase.
In that situation, that looks as if the coin will exceed the value predicted by Spend It? Save It?.
While it may be the case that the two rabbit 50p pieces will see a bounce once news filters through of their rarity, it seems at the moment it has been a buyer’s market, with those lucky enough to get in already perhaps nabbing a bargain, with circulated versions of these pretty rare coins selling for as little as £1.25.
Those sellers will not have known the mintage until now and may have sold a coin for what ultimately is not a particularly big profit.
Well, given the latest mintage figures, they might just be hopping mad at the news.
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