Squirrel Nutkin is one of Beatrix Potter’s charming animal characters. In 2016 the Royal Mint released a set of 50p coins to commemorate the 150th anniversary of her birth, and Squirrel Nutkin was included in that set. Children will love this coin and collectors will enjoy finding and collecting the whole set.
History of The Coin
In 1968 the 5p and 10p coins became the first decimalised coins to be minted in the UK. In 1969, the 50p became the 3rd. Replacing the 10 shilling note, it was a 7 sided coin and it has kept its shape to this day. When the 5p and 10p coins were reduced in size, the 50p was the largest coin in circulation, and it was made smaller in 1997.
Beatrix Potter was a writer, illustrator and botanist. She created stories from the animals and people she saw around her, most of which are from the holidays she spent in the Lake District.
About Squirrel Nutkin
The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin was first published in 1903, and became the 2nd of Beatrix Potter’s stories to be published. As with her other books, the illustrations used were her own.
Squirrel Nutkin, his brother and cousins sail to Owl Island to collect nuts. They use their own rafts which they have made out of twigs. They are courteous to Old Brown, who is the resident owl on the island and offer him a gift if he lets them collect nuts. They are afraid if they don’t, that he might eat them.
All the squirrels quietly gather nuts, except for Squirrel Nutkin who taunts Old Brown with a riddle song. This goes on for six days, and Old Brown says nothing. One day Old Brown decides he’s had enough, and grabs Squirrel Nutkin. Attempting to skin him, he removes most of the fur from Squirrel Nutkin’s tail.
From then on, whenever Squirrel Nutkin heard a riddle, he got angry.
How Many Squirrel Nutkin 50p Coins Were Made?
In 2016 when the Squirrel Nutkin 50p was put in to circulation, 5,000,000 coins were released.
Design and Designer
- Front design:
An image of Squirrel Nutkin appears on the front of the coin which his name at the top.
- Obverse design:
The coin features Jody Clark’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
- Designer: Emma Noble
Emma Noble is no stranger to the world of coin designs. As an engraver at the Royal Mint, she has helped create the coin commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation and the coin commemorating the diamond wedding anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
She has designed all of the coins in the Beatrix Potter collection and many have been based on Potter’s own illustrations.
Issued as part of the first set in the Beatrix Potter collection, 5,000,000 Squirrel Nutkin 50p coins were circulated.
- Brilliant uncirculated coins are available
- Limited edition silver proof coins were made
- Silver proof coins with colour design
- A limited number of gold proof coins were also produced