You may want to check your pockets in the coming weeks after a new set of 50p coins celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Gruffalo were released today.
The Royal Mint launched the new commemorative coins depicting the distinctive beast with his orange eyes, poisonous wart and purple prickles and is available in three different finishes, including gold proof, silver proof and brilliant uncirculated.
They will be highly collectable with a limited edition presentation and limited amount of stock, but are not for general circulation, the Royal Mint said.
Beloved child’s story, The Gruffalo, was written by Julia Donaldson and first published 20 years ago, selling 13.5 million copies worldwide, accompanied by colourful illustrations from Axel Scheffler.
How much could it be worth?
According to coin collecting site ChangeChecker.org, the new coin could be part of the next 50p collecting craze, and it seems “likely that the Gruffalo 50p coin will be as popular with the British public as Peter Rabbit and friends have proved over the last three years.”
A rare 2016 Peter Rabbit coin recently sold for £1,000 on eBay after five people bid on it, and another sold for £840.
And last year, a rare silver Kew Gardens 50p coin sold for £400 at auction – an impressive 800 times its face value.
However, the plain silver version of The Gruffalo coin is more likely to have a resell value in the same region as last year’s The Snowman 50p coin, which tends to go for around £30 on auction sites.
How can I get one?
The coins are available from today to purchase from www.royalmint.com – although be warned that there is already a lengthy queue on the website.
Prices start at £10 for the plain silver version.
There is also a limited run of 25,000 of the coloured-in version priced at £65, and the gold proof version will cost you £795.
The popularity of the new coins meant that the Royal Mint website crashed earlier today, but it appears to be live again at the time of writing.
*Gruffalo Update* Our Gruffalo tech team is still working hard to improve the checkout accuracy and speed, which is taking a little longer than we anticipated given the popularity of The Gruffalo. We hope to have some positive news very soon. Thank you for your patience. pic.twitter.com/ltS25jzNFi
— The Royal Mint (@RoyalMintUK) February 19, 2019
Are there any other new coins?
This is the first new coin from the Royal Mint since the limited edition Snowman 50p coin was released last November.
The Mint teamed up with Penguin Ventures to launch the new 50p, which commemorates the 40th anniversary of Raymond Briggs’ classic festive tale, first published in 1978.
The coin shows The Snowman and the story’s young protagonist in the iconic flying scene, and sold out within a day of being made available through the Royal Mint.