The Jeremy Fisher 50p caused quite the stir when it was first released in 2017, but how much is the Mr Jeremy Fisher 50p worth today?
According to eBay, the 2017 Jeremy Fisher 50p sells for an average of £1.05 in circulated condition without packaging according to the most recent values in 2021.
So, definitely not one of the most valuable 50p coins out there, but still worth adding to any collection. Let’s learn more about the coin and why it has an estimated value of around one pound.
How many 2017 Jeremy Fisher coins were made?
The 2017 Jeremy Fisher 50p coin is part of a series of Beatrix Potter coins released that year, following on from the success of the 2016 series that celebrated 150 years since the author’s birth.
The 2017 Jeremy Fisher 50p is the second rarest coin of the 2017 set, with a mintage figure of 9.9 million. Of the 2017 Potter coins, The Tom Kitten 50p coin is the rarest, with 9.5 million produced.
Both coins are far rarer than the 2017 Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny 50p’s released that year, with a mintage of 19.9 million and 25 million respectively.
The 2017 Potter series that the Jeremy Fisher coin is part of proved to be a resounding success.
For the next year’s Potter series, the Royal Mint decided on minting far less of each design, upping the exclusivity of each coin. All other Potter coins produced that year came in under 1.7 million in mintage.
The 2017 Jeremy Fisher is still markedly less rare than all the Potter coins produced in 2016’s set.
A coloured silver proof version of the 2017 Jeremy Fisher 50p coin was also minted alongside the standard cupronickel version. Only 30,000 of these coloured coins were ever made.
Unlike some other Potter coins, the Royal Mint didn’t produce a gold proof version to accompany it.
The design of the 2017 Jeremy Fisher 50p coin
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. Along with all other Potter coins produced that year, the 2017 Jeremy Fisher 50p features the words ‘FIFTY PENCE’ on the obverse, instead of their standard inclusion on the reverse.
The reverse design, crafted by Royal Mint designer Emma Noble, features a head and shoulders, side on portrait of Jeremy Fisher, wearing his trademark jacket and shirt, with the designer’s initials ‘en’ on the bottom. The coloured silver proof version features a red jacket and accents Fisher’s face in yellow and light green.
Noble was chosen by the Royal Mint to design all of the various Beatrix Potter coins, and took great care to stay faithful to the author’s original illustrations that adorned her novels and sketchbooks.
Noble first had to select a suitable watercolour for inclusion on the reverse, then ensure that the quality was not affected as the dimensions were reduced down to that of a 50p coin.
Speaking to PeterRabbit.com in 2016, Noble said ‘I have tried to make sure that Beatrix’s characters are instantly recognisable on the coins, with every whisker, spine or feather captured in fine detail. I have also tried to achieve a delicate balance between each character and the inscription – the famous names clear for all to see.’
The addition of the coloured silver proof coin to the collection brought with it its own set of challenges for the artist: ‘Designing a coin for colour printing is particularly challenging, but the technique can help to bring a design to life, highlighting elements and adding a new perspective.
For the Beatrix Potter series, I tried to carefully reflect the delicate watercolour style of the original, much-loved illustrations, created with such care and attention to detail by Beatrix herself.’
Why was it made and what does it commemorate?
The coin celebrates the release of Beatrix Potter’s ninth book, The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher, published by Frederick Warne and Co., Potter’s long time publishers, in July 1906.
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.
From the age of eight, Potter immersed herself in the world of fairytales such as Aesop’s Fables and Edward Lear’s Book of Nonsense.
This led to a love of literature that would eventually culminate in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Potter’s tales were initially rejected by publishing house Frederik Warne and Co., but upon the recommendation of renowned children’s author L. Leslie Brooke, the firm agreed to publish her work.
The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher recounts the journey of the eponymous anthropomorphic frog, as he makes his way across a pond in search of fish to catch for his dinner.
Along the way, Jeremy gets waylaid by all manner of obstacles and challenges – as well as nearly getting eaten by a fish – and the book ends with him returning home to the safety of his ‘slippy-sloppy’ house on the side of the pond.
After moving to Hill Top, her home in Cumbria, Potter’s critique of the upper classes softened somewhat and she became noticeably more accepting of their eccentricities and dress, reflected in Mr Fisher’s actions and dress featured on the coin.
The plot was inspired by her Father’s numerous fishing trips with his friends on the River Tay that flows through south East Scotland, where the Potter family regularly visited on holiday.
Potter first conceived of the Mr Jeremy Fisher character in a letter to a child fan-written in 1893, and developed it further in the coming years, culminating in The Tale of Jeremy Fisher.
Where can you buy the coin?
If you want to buy a Mr Jeremy Fisher 50p there are a few places you can go depending on what type you want to buy.
For circulated versions, you’re probably best going to eBay. Just be careful that you don’t get scammed and do your due diligence before you make a purchase.
The Royal Mint is the best option for uncirculated versions, including a brilliant uncirculated version and also a silver proof version – you can browse their shop here.