‘As if by magic the shopkeeper appeared…’
For the generation of children who watched Mr Benn, those words heralded the beginning of yet another magical adventure for Mr Benn.
Incredibly it’s been 50 years since the postman first arrived at No 52 Festive Road with Mr Benn’s invitation to a fancy dress party… and so started his first adventure. Since then Mr Benn has fascinated millions of children with his adventures as he walked through that magical changing room doorway.
And so, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary year, a special set of British Isles 50p coins have been released by Guernsey Treasury and fully approved by Her Majesty the Queen.
Check out the coins below and all the information you will need to order. They are certainly something that Mr Benn would have been sure to “keep carefully just to remind me”.
The Complete Brilliant Uncirculated 50p Set
This stunning collection features all five new 50p coins, each struck to a Brilliant Uncirculated quality and featuring Mr Benn on four of his most popular adventures – the Red Night, Clown, Cook and Spaceman. These go perfectly with the official Mr Benn centrepiece coin.
What’s more, the coins will come protectively housed in bespoke presentation pack that has also been designed specifically for your coins.
This complete set is a must-have for anyone who grew up watching Mr Benn, so if you’d like to secure one for your collection for JUST £31.25 (+p&p) then click here >>
The STRICTLY LIMITED Mr Benn Silver 50p Coin
The Silver Proof version of the 50p coin features a nostalgic design of Mr Benn, alongside a stylised ’50’ with colours inspired by Festive Road. The obverse features the Queen’s effigy by Jody Clark.
The coin has been struck to a flawless Proof finish from .925 Sterling Silver with selective vivid colour printing to bring the design to life – this really is a must-have for any Mr Benn fans.
The Silver Proof editions are without a doubt the collector’s favourite and almost always acquire fast sell-outs and with an edition limit of JUST 4,995 coins, time is short to secure one for your collection…
The ULTIMATE Mr Benn Silver Proof 50p Collection
One of the most limited way to own these brand new coins is the Silver Proof Collection. With only 1,995 available to collectors worldwide, a sell-out in inevitable. In fact, it’s the same edition as the first Peter Pan Silver Proof 50p Set which completely SOLD OUT.
Each coin is struck from .925 Silver, to a Proof finish, with the addition of colour and comes ready to present in case with numbered Certificate of Authenticity.
The Complete Brilliant Uncirculated 50p Cover Collection – JUST 495 available
If you are looking for something truly special and unique, look no further than the Complete Mr Benn Cover Collection. Limited strictly to just 495, each collection features all five Mr Benn Brilliant Uncirculated 50p coins alongside specially licensed philatelic label from Royal Mail on individual covers.
Almost certainly, this is the smallest edition presentation of the new 50p coins that you’re likely to see and they are exclusively available from The Westminster Collection.
From a collector’s point of view, the decision is obvious. Click here to secure yours >>
Over the coming days and weeks much will be written about Prince Philip. The dashing naval officer who married a Princess and has since provided steadfast support to the Queen as Britain’s longest serving Consort. But few of the many obituaries will dwell deeply on his key involvement in Britain’s coinage.
First Job – new coin designs
A new monarch means many things – one is a new coinage. On 21 March 1952, just weeks after the Queen’s accession to the throne, Prince Philip attended his first meeting as President of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee on the design of coins, medals, seals and decorations (RMAC); a role that he would hold for the next 47 years, until his retirement in 1999.
A keen artist himself, the Prince’s first job was to oversee the selection of the Queen’s portrait to ordain her new coins. An uncrowned Queen was chosen from a field of seventeen designs, giving Nottingham born sculptor, Mary Gillick, the honour of creating the most seen portrait of the new Queen. Equally importantly, the young Prince oversaw the design of the most important coin of the moment – the Coronation Crown, featuring Gilbert Ledward’s Queen on horseback on the obverse and Edgar Fuller’s reverse design containing the Coats of Arms of the constituent nations of the United Kingdom.
The UK’s biggest ever currency change
Gillick’s design remained on pre-decimal coinage until 1970, when Prince Philip was involved in another huge coinage milestone – the introduction of decimalisation. The process required a complete redesign of Britain’s coinage as well as an updated effigy of Her Majesty, designed to help the new denominations stand out. The RMAC selected Royal Academician Arnold Machin to sculpt the Queen, this time wearing a tiara. However, it was the reverse coin designs that were perhaps more significant.
A “monstrous piece of metal”
Under Prince Philip’s presidency, the RMAC started to work in top secret on designs as early as 1962, before there was any official government announcement confirming decimalisation. The final designs were created by Christopher Ironside and featured heraldic elements of the United Kingdom. But it was the new 50p coin – introduced to replace the 10/- note – that caused the greatest stir, with its unique heptagonal (7-sided) shape. Now Britain’s most popular coin with collectors, that was certainly not the case on its launch with one newspaper calling it a “monstrous piece of metal” and a retired colonel even starting Anti-Heptagonist movement.
In the 28 years that followed Decimalisation, Prince Philip guided the RMAC through two more effigies, Raphael Maklouf (1985 – 1997) and Ian Rank-Broadly (1998 – 2015), as well as the launch of 20p, £1 and £2 coins into circulation and numerous commemorative issues.
The five UK Coins that feature Prince Philip
Of course, Prince Philip has also featured on UK coins himself. The 1972 Crown issued to mark his Silver Wedding Anniversary was an understated affair. However, in 1997, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary, and Prince Philip featured on a UK coin for the very first time as part of a conjoined effigy on the obverse of the commemorative £5 coin. 2007 saw a similar conjoined portrait before the recent 2017 Platinum Wedding Anniversary design, which featured the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on horseback in what can only been seen as a nod to the original 1953 Coronation Crown as well as a third conjoined portrait.
Yet it was in 2011 that Prince Philip was finally granted the greatest privilege – his own £5 Coin to celebrate his 90th Birthday – a splendid close up portrait of the Duke by Mark Richards FRBS. This was followed in 2017, with a design of the young Prince Philip by Humphrey Paget to mark Prince Philip stepping down from public duties after 70 years of service. We will remember Prince Philip for many things – but among them, spare some room for the man who has had more influence over the nation’s coins than any other. Surely the nation will do just that with a final memorial £5 Coin, in the same way we paid tribute to Princess Diana and HM Queen Mother.
Click here to view a number of new and previously issued numismatic and philatelic tributes to HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
From an Astronaut, Pirate or Knight we’re sure nobody will want to miss this upcoming release!
That’s because we’re delighted to confirm that a brand new collection of British Isles 50p coins are set to feature the bowler hatted everyman – Mr Benn!
Here’s what we know so far…
To celebrate Mr Benn’s 50th birthday this year, a number of official 50p coins will be released, authorised by Guernsey Treasury.
We can’t confirm any other details at the moment except there will be a single Mr Benn Anniversary coin with a design inspired by the logo. There will also be a collection of FIVE Silver Proof coins, featuring stunning colour print!
The coins are due for release in April so it isn’t long until we can see them for ourselves.