[Liberty Leading the People -Eugène_Delacroix (1830) - image reblogged from Wikipedia]
Certain things have become very apparent in the wake of Ian Lambert’s 2019 Peter Rabbit publicity stunt. We have seen a lot of media interest and a wealth of support from the general public. It has also reminded us just how many people are willing to stand up and fight for justice and equality. It’s all a bit like The French Revolution…. apart from the fact that it maybe isn’t quite so big a thing, no incidents of violence have been recorded to date and it is happening in England instead. Actually, perhaps it isn’t really that similar…..
Er, well anyway, one of the main things this has taught us is that most coin buffs appear to feel much the same way when it comes to how The Royal Mint ‘go about their business’.
Here are some fundamental feelings from within this numistmatical uprising….
Lower Prices and ‘Non-Release’ Releases
Ten quid a time for a new release is a bit steep, especially if you have a couple of kids. If they both want all of the new coins that come out it is soon going to get jolly expensive (and most new releases appear to have been purposely designed so as to appeal to children. Sly, very sly…..).
It’s a hard fact that not all coin collectors are (Royal) minted. In fact, most are ordinary hard working people. There is a country-wide desire for fairness with coin sales. Sure, people want the latest additions, but for a realistic price instead of an extortionate one which is ‘justified’ with pretty packaging.
Once you realise just how many coins have been released as ‘purchase only’ since 2016 (34 to date! 17 fifty pences and 17 £2 coins) you will soon grasp just how much money is involved with this. But fear not; trying to contact Albert Einstein via Ouija board really isn’t necessary as it doesn’t take a genius to work it out - it is an eye-watering £340 per collector! Oh, and you will also need to pay additional postage every time you order if you are spending less than £45. Ouch!
Surely there was enough profit in coin sales already? After all, there will always be collectors who opt for brilliant uncirculated or proof editions. But to give people no actual choice by simply not putting coins into circulation is a bit mean. And that is putting it lightly.
Better Designs and More Variation
We all love Paddington Bear but come on, let’s face it, unless you forked out for the coloured silver proofs, then the bog standard coins really don’t look so great (or perhaps that was why the bog standard coins don’t look great…… I mean, there is far more profit on a silver proof!).
Perhaps the biggest mistake The Mint made with these was to base them on the film version of the character, rather than the TV programme (actually produced by his creator Michael Bond) that we all hold so dear to our hearts.
However, Paddy’s distorted countenance aside, many of The Royal Mints more recent designs have been a little….. lacking. It’s kinda like they are just banging new coins out as quickly as possible. And quite a few folk are starting to notice this……
The other question is, of course, just how many cutesy designs are they actually intending to create???? A few were nice but most numismatists don’t want an entire album full of children’s characters. Guys, people are starting to get bored here…….
A case of ‘Peter Rabbit made us millions so let’s do it to death’ maybe. Might we suggest a little more imagination from your designers, Royal Mint? The fact, that there are now groups online who specialise in improvements on RM coins says quite a lot in itself.
© Article and images (except where stated) copyright Mik Smith 2019