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Colour-printed Fifty Pence Coin: IOM The Snowman and Billy (2014) vs. UK Peter Rabbit (2016)


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UK Colour-printed 50p coins in silver and in base metal by the Pobjoy Mint* and only in silver by the Royal Mint*

First of all, it is background of two Fifty pence coins we will talk about one of the Snowman series and Peter Rabbit. The Snowman and Billy was produced by the Pobjoy Mint in 2014, and Peter Rabbit was produced by the Royal Mint in 2016. It is very very interesting to talk about this topic. Because there is NO a 2015 IOM Xmas 50p existed. This is the gap the PM left it open to the RM. Moreover, it is 13(=2016-2003) years ago, the PM implied colour-printed technique on 50p coins, but the RM took the colour-printed path on 50p coins only in 2016. Note the RM first implication of colour-printed version was noted on £2 coins in silver, precisely silver piedfort, in 2002. We will compare Fifty pence coins in silver first and then in base metal next. In terms of UK, it refers to the producers whom are based in the United Kingdom.

First round, it is about time. The Snowman first appearance, the Snowman and James, was on IOM Xmas 50p coins in 2003 to celebrate the Snowman animation alive for 25 years since 1978. Peter Rabbit first appearance was in 1993 on Gibraltar Crown coins to celebrate the 100 years of Peter Rabbit. Interestingly, either Gibraltar coins or Gibraltar Crown coins all are produced by the PM at the time. Then Peter Rabbit was introduced to collectors on 50p coins in 2016 in order for celebrating the 150 anniversary of Beatrix Potter under the subject of “the Tale of Peter Rabbit” derived from Beatrix Potter’s 23 little tales. Right now, a bit confusion gets my attention, which is between 1893(=1993-100) and 1866(=2016-150). From the numbers 1893 and 1866, you can clearly see how the Mints’ thoughts for avoiding overlapped things, and how to get into this market firmly by any chance. The 2014 Snowman is sort of the 2nd one in the Xmas series and the 2016 Peter Rabbit is sort of the first one in series.

  • 2014 The Snowman and Billy 50p coin in silver, struck at the Pobjoy Mint.
  • 2016 The Peter Rabbit 50p coin in silver, struck at the Royal Mint.

But this round, we look at the two coins from package outside. The Snowman one reminds me PM made certs for this kind just like infinite back to square 1. The Peter Rabbit one looks like a gift. The RM have changed their concept in this industry towards to a luxury gifting industry since 2008 probably.

  • Outside package for the two coins.
Coin Specification
The Snowman 2014 Peter Rabbit 2016
Basic data: 50p in denomination & 8.00g in weight & 27.30mm in diameter
Alloy: Sterling Silver (.9250, PM) Alloy: Sterling Silver (.9250, RM)
Quality: Proof (by the PM) Quality: Proof (by the RM)
Mintage: limited @ 5,000 Mintage: Limited @ 15,000
Note: Copper-Nickel plain & colour-printed Note: Copper-Nickel plain
None Initials for the reverse and obverse designers

One more round, we look further at ones in base metal. This is a key part to see how the two mints compete in this market. The PM know very clearly what target customs are, so they issue limited colour-printed version along with plain ones. However, the RM only focus on precious metals and only do colour-printed version in silver. A interesting finding is the issue limit of 7,500. The Beatrix Potter 50p plain coins are limited @ 7,500 and the rest of colour-printed version is limited @ 15,000 in 2016 and but the 2017 ones is lift to 30,000 coins. 7500 x 20 = 7500, 7500 x 22-1, 30000 = 7500 x 23-1 (7500 x 2n-1, n=1,2,3,…; 7500 = 150 x 50). The Falkland Islands Penguin 50p ones is limited at @ 7,500 in base metal only. The two echoes each other but in different metals in 2017.

  • The Snowman and Billy 2014 50p coin from carded version, limited @ 30K for this kind.
  • The Snowman and Billy 2014 50p colour-printed, including issue limit above.
  • Peter Rabbit 2016 50p coin from carded version, limited @ 9.6M for this kind.

From pictures shown above, the Snowman is minted with a prooflike (PL) finish, but the Peter Rabbit is only an Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) finish.

Business is Business, you have to work harder to get your shares in this red blood market. The “alternations or arguments” in 2015 created a big gap for a strong rival competitor to get in this market. Once you get into the gap, it is your success. But you can not forget one thing the two mints know each other well. In other words, inside information somehow appears. I still remember how hard did I get one Peter Rabbit in Feb 2016. My order was placed in afternoon when I started to login my account on the royal mint website in the morning. I could not stop refreshing my website like a robot. This simply reminds me how did I play video games. The RM somehow need update their bandwidth at peak time. Are collectors going to wait all 23 tales? If this is a Yes, probably the RM will handle the opportunity to others.

Last round, it is an extra part to show the Peter Rabbit Crown coins issued on behalf of the government of Gibraltar in 1993.

  • 100 Years of Peter Rabbit Crown Coins issued for Gibraltar.

*Mint Names Follow in Alphabetic Order.

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