They may not be enough to buy a decent jar of marmalade, but new 50p coins featuring Paddington Bear have entered circulation.
Two new coins – featuring the bear from darkest Peru at the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral – have been released by The Royal Mint.
On Tuesday, they filled the tills at the Mint’s museum in Llantrisant, South Wales, and will be circulated more generally in the coming weeks.
The coins mark 60 years of Paddington.
The first Paddington book was published in October 1958 and the series following his adventures have become classics of children’s literature. Last year, the Mint released 50p coins depicting the fictional bear visiting other London landmarks – the train station after which he was named, and the guards outside Buckingham Palace.
Now two more of the capital’s landmarks feature in the latest designs.
Nicola Howell, director of consumer coins at The Royal Mint, said: “Following the huge popularity of the coins featuring the much-loved bear last year, we thought it was only right that Paddington continued his adventures around London on UK coinage.
“Paddington Bear is a massive part of British popular culture and is a favourite amongst fans of all ages, who we’re sure will be looking out for him in their change.”
A host of different designs feature on 50p coins. Just this year, they have ranged from another children’s favourite character The Gruffalo to a black hole in memory of Stephen Hawking.
In addition to placing the Paddington coins in general circulation, the Mint – which is wholly owned by the Treasury – is selling a collector’s “mint condition” coin, with the same design for £10 and a gold coin for £850.
Any relative buying one for children at such a mark-up will no doubt add the note: “Please look after this coin”.