Winnie the Pooh has become the latest children’s book character to appear on a 50p piece. The Royal Mint revealed the design along with two other 50p coins featuring Pooh’s friends Christopher Robin and Piglet. These are the first three coins of a series of nine to celebrate the creatures of Hundred Acre Wood.
The coins have been inspired by the classic tales written by AA Milne and will feature the original illustrations of EH Shephard. The coins have all been officially approved by Buckingham Palace.
While it is the first time that Pooh and his loveable friends have been commemorated on a coin, it’s not the only time a children’s storybook bear has featured on the face of a 50p piece—Paddington Bear and other much-loved characters including The Gruffalo and Peter Rabbit have all had the honour previously.
However, unlike the previous characters, the Winnie the Pooh coin will not be released into general circulation and will only be available to buy from the Royal Mint.
Four versions of the Pooh design are being created: brilliant uncirculated, coloured, silver proof and gold proof.
There will be an unlimited number of the brilliant uncirculated coins on sale, 45,000 coloured coins, 18,000 silver and only 525 golds coins pressed, making the rarer coins a valuable collector’s item.
The gold coin will set collectors back £1,125 – enough to buy over 800 jars of honey, which is Pooh’s favourite snack. The brilliant uncirculated version will be on sale for £10.
In recent years, coins featuring characters from children’s books have proved incredibly popular. The Royal Mint sales figures show that the Beatrix Potter range of coins have sold in the hundreds of thousands. 221,866 brilliant uncirculated Peter Rabbit 50p coins, 165,668 Jeremy Fisher 50p coins, and 159,302 Tom Kitten 50p coins have been sold to date.
In February 2019, the release of three 50p coin designs featuring the Gruffalo caused such a frenzy amongst coin collectors that the Royal Mint’s website crashed just after the coins went on sale at midnight, with buyers facing a wait on over an hour to access the website the following morning.