An iconic children’s character created by Sussex author Julia Donaldson is to appear on a special 50 pence coin.
The Royal Mint has released a new collection of special commemorative coins to mark the 20th anniversary of when the Gruffalo was first published by Macmillan Children’s Books.
The famous story of brain over brawn, written by Julia Donaldson who lives in Steyning in West Sussex and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, has become a firm bedtime favourite with more than 13.5 million copies being sold worldwide, with the tale and stunning illustrations proving to children globally that monsters aren’t always frightening.
The Gruffalo commemorative coin captures the distinctive beast in profile and is available in different finishes including Gold proof, Silver proof and Brilliant Uncirculated. The Silver proof coloured coin captures the iconic orange eyes, thick brown fur and unusual purple prickles. The coin is expected to be highly collectable with a limited edition presentation of 25,000.
Julia Donaldson said: “I can’t believe it has been 20 years since The Gruffalo was first published. In that time, he’s been brought to life on stage and screen, featured in nature trails, library cards and book tokens and turned into a soft toy; and now he’s got his own 50p coin!”
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Axel Scheffler, added: “When I first envisaged him, over 20 years ago, I never anticipated that my artwork would be used on a coin. The Gruffalo was born of an Anglo-German creative collaboration and it’s amazing to see how his universal appeal continues to connect with families across the world.”
It joins the ranks of other celebrated popular children’s characters that have appeared on coins in recent times including the sell-out Beatrix Potter character collection, Paddington, the friendly Peruvian bear and the Christmas favourite, The Snowman.
The commemorative coins will be available in Gold proof, Silver proof and Brilliant Uncirculated and will be available to purchase from www.royalmint.com, prices start from £10 with the most expensive coin costing £795.
Nicola Howell, director of consumer at The Royal Mint, said: “Over the last twenty years The Gruffalo has become one of the most famous children’s characters in the world. We felt it was only right, we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the book being published to feature him on a commemorative coin. We hope that children and adults across the UK will love this family favourite as much as we do.”
50p Gold Proof Coin: Alloy - Au – Red, weighs 15.50g, 600 available, costs £795.
50p Silver Proof Coin: Alloy - Sterling Silver, weighs 8g, 25,000 available, costs £65.
50p Brilliant Uncirculated Coin: Alloy - Cupro-Nickel, Weighs 8g, unlimited number, costs £10.