The Squirrel Nutkin 50p coin is part of a beloved series featuring characters from Beatrix Potter’s children’s books.
This particular coin features Squirrel Nutkin and is worth about £1.20 for the circulated version or just slightly more at £1.25 for an uncirculated coin, according to average sold values on eBay.
Why Is The Squirrel Nutkin 50p So Popular?
The Squirrel Nutkin 50p coin was released in 2016 as part of the first instalment of the Beatrix Potter series. Starting the series of the Royal Mint coins to celebrate Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday, the Squirrel Nutkin 50p was part of the inaugural group.
Is the Squirrel Nutkin 50p Coin Rare?
The coin is not considered to be rare based on mintage figures alone, but it does have some other characteristics that make it highly desirable to collectors.
There were 5,000,000 minted. However, just being part of the first year minting of the Beatrix Potter collection is enough for many to turn the Squirrel Nutkin 50p into a collectable coin that stirs up memories from childhood.
The coin was also minted in a few other versions, which are listed below:
- Brilliant Uncirculated individual coins with 53,660 issued and sold by the Royal Mint in coin tubes.
- A Brilliant Uncirculated in presentation folder variety with 45,884 issued as well as 14,777 in mint sets were also issued. The set was called The Beatrix Potter 2016 50p Coin Collection that consisted of 5 coins. Included were the 50p Beatrix Potter, 50p Peter Rabbit, 50p Jemima Puddle-Duck, 50p Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, and the 50p Squirrel Nutkin coin.
- A Silver Proof FDC was also issued in 0.925 Silver featuring the Squirrel Nutkin in the animal’s natural brown color. There were 14,893 issued with a limit of 15,000.
- Additionally, a Silver Proof in a black case with 250 issued and a Silver Proof in Royal Mail case with 750 issued, both in 0.925 Silver.
Design and Meaning Behind the Squirrel Nutkin 50p
Based on yet another of Beatrix Potter’s children’s tales, the Squirrel Nutkin 50p issued in 2016 shows the character of Squirrel Nutkin.
The coin is part of the 50 pence design shaped like a heptagon. As the name implies, the face value of the coin is worth 0.50 pounds sterling. In addition to the standard 50p designs, several reverse designs have been minted on the 50p coin to commemorate important events.
The coin is part of the special commemorative issues. It was designed to celebrate the Beatrix Potter character, Squirrel Nutkin from the children’s book entitled The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin. This one was put into circulation and marked 2016. It consists of a Cupronickel alloy with an 8.00g weight, a diameter of 27.3mm, and it is 1.78mm thick.
The Obverse design is that of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Jody Clark who at the young age of 33 was the youngest person to design the monarch’s profile on this currency. The new design would be the first time her portrait had been changed in 17 years.
In this version, her mature head is crowned and facing right with her coronation crown. Surrounding her head are the words 50 PENCE * 2018 * ELIZABETH II * D * G * REG * F * D * which means, “Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith”. The designer’s initials, JC, are seen just below the Queen’s neckline.
The edge is plain with no inscription.
The Reverse side of the coin features an image of Squirrel Nutkin who is an impertinent red squirrel named Nutkin. In the story written about him by Beatrix Potter, he narrowly escapes from an owl called Old Brown.
The reverse side of the coin features the squirrel standing with front feet up and looking at you, the viewer. The words SQUIRREL NUTKIN are included and curved around toward the edge of the coin above the squirrel’s head. The initials, “en” in lower case are seen in the lower right, just below the squirrel’s belly. These ar the initials of the designer, Emma Noble.
The Reverse image is designed by Emma Noble. Emma Noble had designed the 2015 coins to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter. When the Royal Mint issued additional Beatrix Potter coins in 2016, the artist was again chosen to design them, including the 2016 Squirrel Nutkin 50p. Her designs were once again seen on 2017 and 2018 coins. Her designs were also featured on the 2019 collector edition Peter Rabbit coin.
Emma Noble had worked at the Royal Mint for 20 years before she was chosen to design the Beatrix Potter series of coins. She had previously worked on pieces commemorating the Diamond Jubilee and Remembrance Sunday.
Beatrix Potter Honoured With 50p Coin Series
Though she had no children of her own, Beatrix Potter brought animal characters to life and became well known as a famous writer of children’s books. Her books included an endearing character named Peter Rabbit and his friends and relatives from the animal world.
Beatrix also had a love for science, land preservation, and watercolour painting, all of which she incorporated in her works. Her full name was Helen Beatrix Potter.
In the 1890s, she and her brother started printing Christmas cards using their own designs. Many of the cards featured mice and rabbits. In 1890, a printing firm bought several of her drawings of a rabbit she had dubbed Benjamin Bunny to illustrate verses in A Happy Pair.
When she saw how successful her drawings were, she decided to publish her own illustrations and stories. She had written letters to her governess’ child and came up with a story about four rabbits named Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and of course, Peter. In 1900 she revised this story to the tales that made her famous.
Before she married later in life at the age of 47, this author self-published her first of thirty books in 1902.
Squirrel Nutkin was introduced later. The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin was published in 1903. Some have compared the squirrel’s behaviour to that of the rebellious working-class of Beatrix Potter’s day. The squirrel’s tale is about rebellion and its consequences. But, the tale differs quite a bit from Peter Rabbit’s tale in that the characters all live in their accurately drawn natural habitats.
Where Can You Buy The Coin?
One of the fastest and easiest ways to shop for coins is online. The average selling price on eBay is £1.20 for circulated versions or £1.25 for uncirculated versions of the 2018 Squirrel Nutkin 50p.