[An Original Piece by Jennifer Day - Used With Kind Permission]
Beatrix Potter is a superb theme for fifty pence pieces. Even after the release of fourteen coins in total, it still hasn’t lost its appeal. The general public just love it. It was a bit mean not putting the fourteenth of these into circulation though….. and I think it is fair to say that this is very much the general consensus.
However, looking on the bright side of things, if the 2019 Peter Rabbit hadn’t been held back as a ten pound ‘Royal Mint Exclusive’ then the whole #WatchOut4TheWabbit thing may never have happened at all. So, the bottom line is that now, thanks to The Great British Coin Hunt, we do have a chance of coming across one of these in our change. Granted, with only four hundred of these out there, the chances of stumbling upon one are pretty remote. Yet a slim chance is a whole lot better than no chance at all. So big shouts to you Mr Lambert! And to all of the guys and girls who helped distribute these Rabbits – you know who you are :)
After all of the buzz that came with this audacious publicity stunt we do have to ask ourselves where it leaves us. What exactly has it achieved? Has it caused enough of a fuss for ‘the powers that be’ to sit up and take notice? And what is likely to happen next?
If nothing else, I would say that the Grand Rabbit Distribution Plan has made us all very aware of just how many people are brassed off with The Royal Mint for holding coins back as retail items rather than giving ordinary folk the fun of hunting them down in everyday life - which is a very important part of it all for the majority of collectors. This is also, in all honesty, something that The Mint should be fully aware of.
Whether this has caused enough of a furore for our lofty coin creators to take any notice will only become clear over time. But, considering that Ian Lambert has promised to circulate a number of all non-realised coins, The Royal Mint might do well to take heed sooner rather than later. After all, having coins in general circulation that were never intended to leave their crispy packets could cost them money in the long term….. and, going on the evidence at hand, that is probably going to sting.
Next? Well that one is easy to answer because Ian Lambert and his lowly little company have been very open about their plans. The next coin they will be putting into circulation will be the Gruffalo. I wonder, could it be that this will coincide with The Royal Mint’s imminent release of their second Gruffalo coin? Hmmmm, now that would be smart!
And I would also hasten a guess that when the second in the series (of how many we wonder?) does come out, that will only be available in the old familiar way – as a packaged brilliant uncirculated coin with a ten pound price tag.
All in all, a tad predictable really.
© Article and images (except where stated) copyright Mik Smith 2019