Paddington Bear first appeared on 13 October 1958 in a children's book named A Bear Called Paddington and continued in more than twenty books, selling more than 30 million copies Worldwide.
Paddington was written by British author Michael Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum and other artists.
The second coin in a 2-coin series designed by David Knapton shows Paddington joining the choir at St Paul's Cathedral.
Release date mid-September 2019.
The Obverse shows a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark.
Image Credit: The Royal Mint.
Mintage: 9,001,000 (may include coins in sets)
Minted at The Royal Mint.
Queen Elizabeth II has issued many coins and was monarch during decimalisation.
The British Fifty Pence (50p) coin was introduced in October 1969 as part of the decimalisation of the British currency. It replaced the 10 shilling note, both being equivalent to half of one pound (£0.50). It is colloquially called the '50 pee'. The coin has 7 sides (heptagonal) but has rounded corners on each apex so that the coin will roll and work in vending machines.
Originally, the coin has a diameter of 30mm and weighed 13.5g, but in 1997 this was replaced with a smaller version of diameter 27.3mm and weight of 8g. The thickness was kept at 1.78mm. The coin is made of Cupro-Nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel). The larger version was demonitised (i.e. ceased to be legal tender) in 1998.
All coins have an obverse featuring the portrait Queen Elizabeth II. There are three versions:
- 1969-1984 - Designer: Arnold Machin
- 1985-1997 - Designer: Raphael Maklouf
- 1998-2015 - Designer: Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
- 2015 to date - Designer: Jody Clark
There are also 29 different variants which were minted in 2011 in celebration of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Formed in the reign of Alfred the Great about the year 886, during the period 1279-1812 it was generally referred to as The Tower Mint as it was housed at the Tower of London. The Master of The Royal Mint has included famous figures such as Sir Isaac Newton.
Since 2010 it has operated as Royal Mint Ltd, a company owned by HM Treasury, under an exclusive contract to supply all coinage for the UK although it also produces medals and coins for other countries. It is currently located at Llantrisant, Wales.
There is also an on-line shop at The Royal Mint Shop.
The orignal coinage was Pounds, Shillings and Pence but since decimalisation on 15 February 1971, it is £1 = 100p, that is One Pound = 100 pence. The coinage of the UK is also a long history, the Royal Mint being established as long ago as 886AD when coins were hammered. Today there is perhaps 30 billion coins in circulation, and many (numismatic) collectors coins and sets are issued frequently in gold, silver and other metals.
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