If you’re into 50p coins, there’s no doubt you will have heard of the Benjamin Bunny 50p. It’s a coin with a great design that is sought after by many people, but how much is it worth?
According to the most recent completed listings on eBay in 2022, a Benjamin Bunny 50p is worth £1.16 in circulated condition without postage and packaging.
There’s no doubt it’s a great coin to add to your collection and for a reasonable price as well. In this article, we will explore more about the coin, including how many were made and the significance of the coin.
Benjamin Bunny 50p Mintage
The 2017 Benjamin Bunny coin is one of four 50p coins released in 2017 to celebrate the life and times of Beatrix Potter, following on from the 2016 set of five that proved to be an astounding success for the Royal Mint.
25 million of the 2017 Benjamin Bunny coins were minted, by far the most of any commemorative 50p coin created in 2017, either as part of the Beatrix Potter collection or otherwise.
The second edition Peter Rabbit coin is closest with a mintage of 19.9 million, but after that, there is a significant drop off in the mintage of the Potter coins.
Next comes the Jeremy Fisher 50p with 9.9 million and lastly Tom Kitten at 9.5 million. The other commemorative 50p coins minted that year are even rarer – the Sir Isaac Newton 50p and the reissue of the Royal Shield 50p come in at 1.8 million each.
Is It Rare?
Aside from the standard Brittania and Royal Shield 50p’s (first put into circulation in 2008, to replace the Britannia design), the 2017 Benjamin Bunny 50p is the most common commemorative 50p coin in circulation in Britain today, with a mintage of over double that of the next rarest coin – the 2006 VC award, of which 12 million were produced.
In other words, the Benjamin Bunny 50p is not considered to be rare at all.
Why Are Some Benjamin Bunny 50p Coins Worth More Than Others?
A common misconception is that there is more than one commemorative coin portraying Benjamin Bunny, but this is simply not the case. This is likely due to other Beatrix Potter 50p coins that feature very similar characters, like the 2018 Peter Rabbit 50p or the 2018 Flopsy Bunny 50p coins.
In terms of the Benjamin Bunny 50p coin itself, there are both circulated and uncirculated versions available which obviously differ in price. It also depends on the condition of the coin when circulated versions are concerned – nobody wants to pay over the odds for a damaged coin.
Benjamin Bunny 50p Error
Despite various news outlets covering a supposed ‘error’ Benjamin Bunny 50p coin, the Royal Mint has yet to confirm any error versions of the coin.
We highly recommend avoiding listings that claim to have such error coins until they have been officially confirmed.
Benjamin Bunny 50p Coin Design
The coin is 27.3mm in diameter and weighs 8g.
The obverse of the coin features the 2015 coinage portrait of the Queen by Jody Clark, the first Royal Mint employee to create a portrait in 100 years – the practice is usually completed by artists working outside of the Mint. The inscription ‘ELIZABETH II.D.REG.F.D.50 PENCE.2017’ appears around the portrait.
The reverse of the coin features a full torso portrait of Benjamin Bunny, in his trademark jacket and comedic, oversized tam-o-shanter – a traditional Scottish cap made famous by Robert Burns in the poem of the same name.
Benjamin’s right hand is clutching an item of clothing – representing his mission to get back his cousin Peter Rabbit’s clothing that Peter lost in the first book – and an onion in his left. The two cousins were perennially stealing food from the McGregor farm.
The coin was designed by Royal Mint employee Emma Noble. For the entire Beatrix Potter series, Noble worked from the author’s original watercolour illustrations of her characters. Potter herself was a skilled painter and the Royal Mint took great care to replicate the character and subtle complexity of the original work.
Noble took time to first pick out an illustration that was suitable for inclusion on the reverse of the coin and then ensured that when the work was reduced to the requisite size on the back of a standard 50p coin, it didn’t lose its artistic quality.
Following on from the 2016 series, the 2017 series of Potter coins were also cast in coloured silver proof, alongside a standard BU (brilliant uncirculated) version.
Slightly more of these coloured Benjamin Bunny coins were made compared to the rest of the Potter set in 2017 – 30,000. In this version, Benjamin’s coat is brown and his tam-o-shanter is accented in green on the felt with a red bobble on top.
Commemoration of the Benjamin Bunny 50p
The coin celebrates Beatrix Potter’s children’s book The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, the fifth of Potter’s books to be published. The 2016 Potter series was minted to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the author’s birth, but later series simply focused on characters in her novels.
Potter was born into an upper-middle-class family in Brompton, London. Both of her parents, Rupert and Helen, were keen artists and encouraged her to pursue her talents.
As a child, her parents took Beatrix and her brother, William, to an estate on the River Tay where the Potter children were free to roam the Scottish countryside.
This experience sparked Potter’s lifelong interest in the natural world and formed the basis for her love of animals and the countryside that shone through her novels.
Where can you buy the coin?
At the time of writing this article in 2022, there are no Benjamin Bunny 50p coins available to buy directly from the Royal Mint, where you can typically find uncirculated versions of popular coins.
eBay is probably the best option to buy a circulated version of the Benjamin Bunny 50p