Last month we heard through the whispers of the forest that the UK’s favourite orange-eyed and purple-prickled creature is returning!
And now the critters have informed us that he will be emerging from the deep dark wood on 17th October!
Our woodland sources also confirm he will be proudly featuring on a BRAND NEW 50p coin.
So if you want to be kept up to date, and be the first to know when the new Gruffalo 50p is available on 17th October, and what coins are available, just register your interest below.
Whilst we’re counting down til’ launch, let’s have a look at what happened the last time The Gruffalo was spotted in the wild…
On the 23rd March The Gruffalo celebrated its 20th birthday, and to mark this landmark publication anniversary a brand new UK 50p was released. This was the first time ever the popular children’s book character had appeared on UK coinage.
Since its first publication in 1999 Julia Donaldson’s famous monster has become a firm family favourite. Alongside the charming illustrations by Axel Scheffler, the now iconic story has been translated into 76 languages, sold over 13 million copies and graced TV screens in 2009 as an animation, the same year it was voted the UK’s favourite bedtime story.
To say the release was popular is an understatement, as fans and collectors alike were quick to snap up the coin. Collectors were so quick in fact that the silver and gold proof versions – with edition limits of 25,000 and 600 respectively – completely sold out at The Royal Mint within 12 hours of release.
This made it the fastest selling 50p to date!
No doubt the question on everyone’s lips now is what will happen when The Gruffalo returns? Will we see history repeat itself?
There’s only one way to find out – register your interest below!
While I was watching “Civilisations” on the Beeb last week they mentioned how the introduction of the Trade Dollar was the first step in globalisation – this got me thinking, so I made a cup of tea and looked into the history of the Trade Dollar and it truly is a fascinating tale.
Way back in the 16th Century, the first trading currency came to be because of the popularity of the silver Spanish dollar (better known as pieces of eight – yes those!) in China and they created the “Dragon Dollar” or “Silver Dragon” which were not only used in China, but also became the preferred currency for trade with their neighbours.
In the 19th Century, the Chinese were defeated in the First Opium War and forced to open their ports to foreign trade. The British merchants from The East India Company were now able to take advantage of the silk, porcelain spice and tea trade in the Orient.
The Rise of the British Trade Dollar
Now, with so many routes to trade it made sense for each country’s traders to mint their own coins, from their own supplies of silver. BUT these new silver trade coins all had to be minted to the same specification as the famous Spanish Dollar weighing in at approximately 27g and minted in 0.900 silver. The trade dollar was truly born and trading was made easier for the world – hence the movement of goods (and people) became more prevalent and “globalisation” started.
Our British Trade Dollar was first minted from 1895 and designed by George William De Saulles – a British coin with an eastern feel, it was exclusively for use in the Far East. For the first time on a coin, it showed a helmet-wearing Britannia holding a trident and the British shield with a merchant ship in the background.
Although The East India Company had been trading since the early 1600s, the introduction of the British Trade Dollar secured them as the single most powerful economic force of its time – tea, silks, spices and so much more travelling across the world on their ships not only for Britain, but also the rest of the Empire and Commonwealth. Without the original version of this coin we would be waiting for a cup of tea for a very long time!
A 21st Century spin on a 19th Century coin
This year, The East India Company is launching a coin that has been faithfully inspired by the original British Trade Dollar – The East India Company 2018 Trade Dollar 1oz Silver Proof Coin features Britannia surrounded by an oriental pattern. The obverse for the first time, displays the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by an arabesque cartouche.
A Faithful nod in these modern times to the coin that started it all.
If you’re interested:
You can own the 2018 East India Company 1oz Silver Proof Trade Dollar, but you’ll have to be quick as just 2,500 have been issued worldwide! Click here to secure yours now >>
Britain showed itself as a nation of nostalgic coin lovers as the release of the new Peter Rabbit Silver Proof 50p brought the numismatic net to a standstill.
At one point The Royal Mint had over 50,000 people in a queue to access its website and The Westminster Collection also saw record traffic – with all hands on deck to keep the servers running.
All available Peter Rabbit coins were sold out before the newspapers even ran a story – and collectors who got in early were left feeling like they won the lottery.
30,000 coins gone in just a few hours
The pandemonium echoed the release of the 2016 Peter Rabbit 50p, which also caused a collecting frenzy but was limited to 15,000 coins. This year’s issue has an edition limit of 30,000 but the demand was also amplified.
The coin was fully allocated across the board by 4pm, but the queues were still long as collectors changed their focus to the Brilliant Uncirculated editions of the coin. Savvy buyers were desperate to bag what will go down in history as one of the UK’s most sought-after coins.
Beatrix Potter coins are big news
The lucky few that secured the 2016 coin for £55 now own a coin that changes hands for up to £400 on Ebay. This year’s coin has already started appearing in auctions, and whatever happens it looks like the £60 retail price will turn out to be a bargain.
Undoubtedly a few speculators got in there but with demand so high it was literally first come, first served – leveling the playing field and making getting a coin a real achievement for anyone.
Did you manage to secure a 2017 Peter Rabbit Silver Proof 50p? If you were one of the lucky ones, let us know in the comments!
We still have stock of the collector edition Certified Brilliant Uncirculated 2017 Peter Rabbit 50p available. Click here now to secure yours – you will also have the chance to pre-order the other three coins in the series.