As an icon across all generations, Paddington Bear has secured his place as one of Britain’s most beloved fictional characters. His charming personality has seen him appear in numerous books, films, and tv shows and so it seemed fitting that he would be recognised on the latest commemorative 50p coins in 2018.
Unsurprisingly, the coin collection was so popular with the general public and coin collectors alike that a second series featuring Paddington was released in 2019, for which the mintage figures have recently been released.
With several versions of each coin being released by the Royal Mint; just how many Paddington Bear 50p coin designs are there and are they worth anything?
How many Paddington Bear 50p coins are there to collect?
The first collection of Paddington Bear 50p coins were released in 2018 to mark the 60th anniversary of the book ‘A Bear Called Paddington’. The collection included two designs that were released into circulation, both of which could also be bought directly from the Royal Mint in brilliant uncirculated quality.
The two designs released in 2018 were the Paddington at the Station and Paddington at the Palace designs.
The coins were also released in a unique colour-printed silver proof design along with a standard non-printed gold proof version for avid coin collectors wanting to include the beloved bear as part of their collection.
In 2019, due to the increasing popularity of the coins, there were two more designs issued. These are the Paddington at the Tower and Paddington at St. Pauls Cathedral designs.
So in total, there are 4 Paddington Bear 50p designs to collect. If you’re interested in what each design looks like then take a look below to see each design as well as estimated values for the coins based on the most recent sold prices on eBay.
What are the different Paddington Bear 50p coin designs?
The Paddington 50p coins all feature the iconic bear in front of various London landmarks. The reverse designer for all of the coins was David Knapton, a lifelong fan of Paddington and regular designer for the Royal Mint. The design of Paddington featured on each of the coins is modelled after the 3D animation used within the 2014 film series.
Paddington at the Station 2018 50p Coin
The Paddington at the Station 50p coin was the first of the 2018 collection to be released. The reverse design features the bear at Paddington Station in London where he can be seen sitting on his suitcase by the platform edge.
Paddington is wearing his famous duffle coat and hat with a label around his neck that reads ‘Please look after this Bear. Thank You’. The design is a reference to the bear’s origin story in which he was found at Paddington station after arriving from Darkest Peru, hence giving him his name.
The high mintage figure for this coin means it isn’t the most valuable 50p out there, but listings still appear regularly and a good quality coin fetches around £2. If you have one of the brilliant uncirculated versions, these are yet to increase in value and you would be lucky to get around £10 for it.
Paddington at the Palace 2018 50p Coin
The second coin in the series features Paddington in front of Buckingham Palace, a landmark that appears in many of his adventures. Buckingham Palace is of course home to the Queen, making the coin even more special as it features Her Majesty herself on the obverse as standard.
Paddington can be seen facing out of the coin, wearing his usual duffle coat and hat, and waving a small Union Jack flag. The coin was minted in a higher quantity than the first and was well received by the public for the patriotic spirit within the design.
As with the Paddington Station coin, you can expect to sell this coin for around £2 if it’s in good condition. The high mintage figures haven’t stopped collectors from searching for the coin so it’s worth holding onto if you find one for the future.
Paddington at the Tower 2019 50p Coin
The Paddington at the Tower 50p coin was the first coin of the second collection to be released. The design shows him continuing his adventures around London, this time posing in front of the Tower of London.
He can be seen tucking into a classic marmalade sandwich, his favourite treat that he is said to always have tucked under his hat ‘in case of emergencies’. The Tower of London is home to the crown jewels and is open to the public for tours.
At the time of first writing this article the mintage figure for this coin was unknown, however, it has now been released which has caused the average selling price to lower significantly. Clearer there were quite a few collectors hoping for a smaller mintage amount…
The Paddington at the Tower 50p used to sell for an average of £3 before the mintage figures were released, but as of the latest values in 2022, the average selling price is now £1.34.
Paddington at St Paul’s 2019 50p Coin
The final coin of the Paddington 50p collection features the bear in front of St Paul’s Cathedral. Paddington can be seen wearing a tag that says ‘Please look after this Bear. Thank You’ and is tipping his infamous hat (although no marmalade sandwich can be seen beneath!).
St Paul’s Cathedral sits at the highest point of the City of London on Ludgate Hill and has one of the biggest domes of any cathedral in the world.
The final of the Paddington 50p collection, Paddington at St Paul’s, also had an unknown mintage figure at the time of first writing this article and was currently fetching around £2.50 when sold on eBay.
The mintage has since been released and the average value has dropped from £2.50 to £1.36!
As with the Paddington at the Tower 50p coin, the brilliant uncirculated version is still available to buy from the Royal Mint and therefore doesn’t sell for much currently.
What Is The Rarest Paddington Bear 50p?
In terms of rarity, we like to assume that the lowest mintage figure coin is the rarest as it is extremely difficult to estimate how many have been collected or taken out of circulation.
For this reason, the rarest Paddington Bear 50p is the Paddington Bear at the Station 50p with a mintage of 5,001,000.
The Paddington Bear at the Palace is not far behind however with a mintage of 5,901,000 and a very similar selling price on eBay.
Why were the Paddington Bear 50p coins made?
Paddington Bear made his first appearance in 1958 in the children’s book ‘A Bear Called Paddington’ written by Michael Bond.
His polite personality and love for marmalade quickly gained him popularity, not only with children but also with the parents who read his stories. Since then, he has gone on to star in over 20 books that have sold a collective 35 million copies around the world.
Unique to other characters, Paddington has remained a staple of childhood entertainment for over 60 years and has adapted to the changing world around him. Families can enjoy his many adventures together as he has remained an icon over several generations.
After being represented in various tv adaptations and even his own film franchise in 2014, Paddington firmly secured himself as one of Britain’s most loved fictional characters.
Both Paddington Bear and author Michael Bond have been celebrated for their achievements throughout the years. Ranging from Paddington’s appearance on Google’s logo to the many statues erected in their honour around the UK, there is little they haven’t accomplished. To commemorate the 60th anniversary of ‘A Bear Called Paddington’ in 2018, nothing could have been more perfect than for the Royal Mint to release a collection of 50p coins featuring Paddington himself.
Paddington Bear has become one of the most iconic British fictional characters over the past 60 years and the coins created to celebrate him are understandably well sought after. With four different designs to collect, the Paddington 50p coins are a worthy addition to any collection and the perfect starting point for any young collectors.
If you have any questions about the Paddington collection or anything mentioned in this article, don’t hesitate to contact us here.