Tom Kitten is one of Beatrix Potter’s best loved characters. The Tom Kitten 50p was produced as part of a series to commemorate her birth and some of her characters. The coin is collectible in its own right, but is also a good way to start collecting for the full set.
History of the coin
The first 50 pence piece was minted in 1969 to replace the 10 shilling note. It was the first 7 sided coin and also the largest. In 1997 a smaller version was introduced but it kept its original shape.
A collection of 50p coins was released in 2016 to mark the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth and coins were released over the next couple of years as well.
Beatrix Potter is one of Britain’s most famous and popular children’s authors. Born in 1866 she drew pictures of animals from an early age and even produced illustrations of other novels, such as Alice’s adventures in Wonderland.
Her first story, The Tale of Peter rabbit was published in 1902, with the last one published in 1922. Her stories and characters are popular all over the World.
About Tom Kitten
Beatrix Potter created many characters including Mrs Tiggywinkle, the Tailor of Gloucester and Tom Kitten.
Published in 1907, it tells the tale of Tom, Moppet and Mittens, his two sisters. Their mother, Tabitha Twitchit dresses them in their best clothes as she is expecting visitors. They are told to keep themselves clean but they go in to the garden and end up getting dirty. They are sent to bed in disgrace and disrupt the visitors’ party by romping around in the bedroom overhead.
The book originally contained her own illustrations and included some of the items which were in her own house.
The Tale of Tom Kitten is still popular today which is why he was chosen for one of the commemorative 50 pence coins.
How Many Tom Kitten 50p Coins Were Made?
The Tom Kitten 50p was produced in 2017 as part of a 2nd issue of the Beatrix Potter collection. Approximately 9.3 million of these coins were circulated.
Design and Designer
- Front design:
The front of the coin has an image of Tom Kitten, with his name around him. The designers initials, EM, can be seen at the bottom.
- Obverse design:
There is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. This portrait is the 5th portrait of the Queen used on coins and is by Jody Clark.
- Designer: Emma Noble
Emma Noble has produced the designs for all the Beatrix Potter coins. She works at the Royal Mint as an engraver and designer and has also worked at Chelsea College of Art and Design as a guest lecturer.
She uses her experience as an engraver to create her coin designs and give them the 3D effect they need when printed on to a coin. She has spent many years working for the Royal Mint, and she was excited to be chosen to produce the Beatrix Potter coins.
During her time at the Royal Mint, she has created many other commemorative coin designs, such as the 1966 FIFA World Cup Coin and the 60th Anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
The Tom Kitten 50p was released as part of a collection and 9.3 million were put in to circulation.
- Brilliant Uncirculated coins are still available.
- The collection includes a printed silver proof with a coloured design. Just 40,000 of these were produced.