I’ve been collecting Literary and Science themed coins for the last several years. I collect circulated and uncirculated 10p, 50p, and £2 coins from the U.K., Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Guernsey, and Bailiwick of Jersey. I decided on sticking to themes for my coin collections but unfortunately for my bank account, more and more coins are being released with literary connections every year. Here are all the 50p Literary coins I have collected so far…
Beatrix Potter was an English writer, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist, best known for her children’s books featuring animals.
The first Beatrix Potter 50p Coin was issued in 2016 to honour the anniversary of Beatrix Potters birth, along with a Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-duck, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Squirrel Nutkin coins. In 2017 there was a second Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, Jeremy Fisher and Tom Kitten coins. In 2018 a third Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tittlemouse, Flopsy Bunny and The Tailor of Gloucester were released. In 2019 a forth Peter Rabbit 50p was released followed by a fifth Peter Rabbit in 2020 (the one I don’t have yet). The Jemima Puddle-Duck 50p is the rarest of all the Beatrix Potter coins so far. Also, a £5 coin to mark 120 years since the Tale of Peter Rabbit was first published has just been recently released in 2022.
J. M. Barrie was a Scottish novelist and playwright, best known for creating Peter Pan.
In 2019, The Isle Of Man released six Peter Pan 50p coins which included; Flying, Peter Pan, Hook, Wendy & Nana, Tinkerbell, and Crocodile. In 2020 a further six coins were released; Peter Pan and Tinker Bell, The Mermaid, Smee, The Jolly Roger, Peter Pan at the window, and a second Tinkerbell.
Michael Bond was a British author, best known for his series of fictional stories for children featuring Paddington Bear.
In 2018, Paddington at the Station and Paddington at the Palace 50p coins were released. Followed by two more in 2019, Paddington at the Tower and Paddington at St Paul’s. Paddington at the Station is currently the rarest Paddington 50p coin.
A. A. Milne was an English author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-pooh.
In 2020, three Winnie-the-pooh 50p coins were released; Winnie-the-pooh, Christopher Robin, and Piglet. In 2021 a further three coins were released; Winnie-the-pooh & friends, Owl, and Tigger. Eeyore 50p has just recently been released in 2022 (one I don’t have yet).
David Walliams is an English Comedian, actor, writer and television personality.
In 2021 Gibraltar produced two 50p coins from The World of David Walliams; The Boy in the Dress, and Mr Stink. Billionaire Boy and Gangsta Granny were just recently released in 2022 (currently have them on order).
Sam McBratney was a writer from Northern Ireland, best known for his best-selling children’s book Guess How Much I Love You.
Gibraltar released the first ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ 50p in 2020, the second 50p which features the moon was released in 2021.
Raymond Briggs is an English illustrator, cartoonist, graphic novelist and author, best known for his story The Snowman.
The Snowman has featured on many 50p coins, including some rare and expensive ones from The Isle Of Man. I currently have the 2019 and 2021 50p coins from the U.K. The first snowman to appear on a U.K. 50p was in 2018, celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Christmas Classic and features The Snowman and James (one I don’t have yet). There have been four coins in total from the U.K., one released every year; 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. There may well be a 2022 U.K. Snowman coin but it has yet to be announced.
Julia Donaldson is an English writer and playwright, best known for her popular stories illustrated by Axel Scheffler; The Gruffalo, Room on the Room and Stick Man.
Two Gruffalo 50p coins were released in the U.K. in 2019, one featuring a close up of the Gruffalo (one I don’t have yet) and the other featuring The Gruffalo and the mouse.
Arthur Conan Doyle was a British writer and physician who is best known for creating the character Sherlock Holmes in 1887.
To celebrate the 160th anniversary of Arthur Conan Doyle’s birth, a Sherlock Holmes 50p was released in 2019.
In 2019, Guernsey released a Pantomime themed 50p set including; Snow White, Cinderella, Dick Whittington, Aladdin, and Jack and The Beanstalk.
Snow White and Cinderella are both tales from the Brother’s Grimm. Dick Whittington was originally Dick Whittington and His Cat based on the real life Richard Whittington, written forms of the tale date back to the 1600’s and a chapbook called ‘The Famous and Remarkable History of Sir Richard Whittington’ was published in 1656. Aladdin is a Middle-Eastern folk tale associated with ‘The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (The Arabian Nights)’, despite not being part of the original text. There have been many retellings of the tale since the 1700’s. Jack and the Beanstalk is an English fairy tale which first appeared as ‘The Story of Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean’ in 1734.
Johnson’s Dictionary or ‘A Dictionary of the English Language’ was first published on the 15th April 1755. It is considered one of the most important dictionaries of the English Language.
To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Dictionary’s publication, the U.K. released this coin in 2005.
The Public Libraries Act 1850 was an Act of the U.K. Parliament which first gave local boroughs the power to establish free public libraries.
Public Libraries 50p was released in 2000 in the U.K. to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the 1850 Public Libraries Act.