There’s a new coin on the block and Paddington Bear lovers will be pleased
Coin collectors rejoice – a new face is on 50p coins, and he loves marmalade sandwiches.
After the success of the Beatrix Potter coins, collectors will be pleased to know that a new design has been launched – bearing the face of none other than Paddington Bear.
Keep your eyes peeled, because the Royal Mint have confirmed that two different designs displaying the marmalade-loving furry friend will enter circulation in the UK this month.
The coin’s release marks the 60th anniversary of Paddington, who first took his place in our hearts in 1958 with Michael Bond's book A Bear Called Paddington.
What do the Paddington Bear coins look like?
If the thought of the cute bear brings a smile to your face, you’ll be glad to know the new coins have two different designs.
The first shows the bear sitting on his suitcase at Paddington Station in London, with a train behind him in the background.
Or, you might prefer the one where Paddington is waving a flag in front of Buckingham Palace on his day out.
— William Mansell (@williammansell) October 11, 2018
Both coins come in silver proof or plain metal versions.
And if don't mind parting with extra cash, you can also buy a coloured version directly from the Royal Mint.
How much are the Paddington Bear coins worth?
Now, obviously, we're not asking how much a 50p coin is worth. Instead, we're talking about the value of the coin to those who collect them.
The Royal Mint has, in fact, released collectors’ editions of coins depicting Paddington in the past. These coins never entered circulation as actual currency, and cost between £10 and £60 to buy.
Circulated coins can often have a higher value, though, as they're harder to track down – especially if there are fewer of them in circulation.
The Royal Mint has said it can't yet reveal how many are entering circulation, but one thing we do know is that the fewer there are, the more valuable each one will be to collectors.
And earlier this month, a week before the collectors' editions were released, a lady in Caerphilly, South Wales, found one in her change. She then sold it on eBay for £16,000 – though that's probably more to do with the fact that it was the first to hit the market.
How can you get a Paddington Bear coin?
There are several ways to go about getting your paws on a Paddington coin.
If you're keen to get one right now, perhaps as a present, silver proof coins depicting the little bear are available on the Royal Mint’s website.
Here, you can buy a plain silver coin for £10. Buying one also enters you into a prize draw with the chance of winning a "Paddington Inspired London Adventure", whatever that may entail.
Or, if you’re feeling fancier, you could opt for the Silver Series. But be warned: it costs £120. That said, you do get two coins – both in colour, displaying the two different Paddington Bear designs. And at least you’ll get free delivery on this order, because it’s over £45 (every little helps, and all that).
For the real big-spenders among you, we have some bad news – the Paddington Gold Proof 2-Coin Series, which cost £1,560, have sold out.
Whichever coin you go for, you can also buy a Paddington 2018 Collector Album to keep your coin in for £5.
However, don’t part with your money just yet. If you don’t mind hedging your bets, you could get a coin for free by crossing your fingers and waiting. The Royal Mint have released plain metal versions of the Paddington coin into circulation, and with any luck, one will turn up in your purse sometime soon.
Nicola Howell, from the Royal Mint, said:
If you enjoy collecting coins, then keep your eyes peeled for Paddington Bear in your change.
Paddington Bear is well-loved and a part of British popular culture, and we're incredibly proud to be playing a part in the 60th anniversary celebrations.
Why should you collect coins?
Coin collection is, for most people, just a hobby. They enjoy the challenge of finding rare coins and building a collection to display and show other people.
Sometimes people collect coins as an investment, like others do with stamps. They buy or accumulate rare coins with the expectation that their value will rise, and that in the future they'll be able to sells single coins or collections for a profit. This could be quite lucrative, given how popular some of these coins are.
When we tried to buy a Tom Kitten coin on its release in 2017, we entered an online queue in 47,572nd place. Unsurprisingly, we didn't end up getting one. In fact, people were thought to have spent around four hours in a virtual queue before being able to finalise a payment!
The Royal Mint has released a lot of interesting coins over the years to celebrate anniversaries and other national events. You can still get your hands on some of these via their website, whether you’re interested in Frankenstein, Jane Austen, or the Royal Family.
Some of the more valuable coins to look out for include (resale value in brackets):
- Commonwealth £2 (£15 – £25)
- 'Typo' Guy Fawkes £2 (£5 – £7)
- Olympic Swimmer 50p (£800+)
- Kew Gardens 50p (£30 – £50)
- The Euro 50p (£50 – £55)
- Silver 2p (£1,200)
- 5p coins from 1993 (£13.50).
And it's not just coins that can be worth more than the value written on them. Earlier this year we reported on the rare Harry Kane fivers, released to celebrate the England captain winning the Golden Boot at the World Cup. These coveted £5 notes are rumoured to be worth a whopping £50,000!
Know someone who'd love a Paddington Bear coin? Tag them in the comments!