The Gruffalo gets its own 50p coins

The Gruffalo coins are not for general circulation
The Gruffalo coins are not for general circulation

A set of 50 pence coins celebrating the 20th anniversary of the literary monster The Gruffalo have been released.

The Royal Mint launched the new commemorative coins depicting the distinctive beast with his orange eyes, poisonous wart and purple prickles and is available in three different finishes, including gold proof, silver proof and brilliant uncirculated.

They will be highly collectable with a limited edition presentation and limited amount of stock, but are not for general circulation, the Royal Mint said.

Beloved child’s story, The Gruffalo, was written by Julia Donaldson and first published 20 years ago, selling 13.5 million copies worldwide, accompanied by colourful illustrations from Axel Scheffler.

Ms 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.”

Prices start from £10 for the uncirculated coin, £65 for the silver proof coin, and £795 for the gold coin, which weighs 15.50g, with only 600 available for purchase, the rarest of the three.

Nicola Howell, director of consumer business at The Royal Mint, said: “Over the last 20 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.”

This is not the first time a celebrated children’s character has been used for a coin. Recent editions include the Beatrix Potter character collection, Paddington, the friendly Peruvian bear and the Christmas favourite, The Snowman.

They will be available to purchase from www.royalmint.com.