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Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit to appear on 50p coin, Royal Mint announces

By David Wilcock

Beatrix Potter's mischievous Peter Rabbit is to become the first children's literary character to appear on a UK coin.

In a move certain to infuriate Mr McGregor, the anthropomorphic vegetable thief will feature on a silver 50p released to mark the 150th anniversary of the author's birth in 1866.

The Royal Mint said three more Potter characters will feature on special edition coins released later in the year to complete a four-piece set.

Uncoloured regular 50p coins featuring the designs will be released into general circulation later this year.

The coins were created by Royal Mint designer Emma Noble, who has previously worked on pieces commemorating the Diamond Jubilee and Remembrance Sunday.

She said: "I wanted to put Beatrix Potter's illustrations to the forefront of my design as they are lovely images and the characters are very well known.

"I felt they were strong enough to stand alone and I designed them in this way as I thought they would work best for both the coloured commemorative and uncoloured circulating coins."

Potter's children's book The Tale Of Peter Rabbit, the first to feature the character, was an instant success after being picked up in 1902 by British children's publisher Frederick Warne & Co. He went on to appear in five more books by the author who became linked with the Lake District.

Potter died in 1943 aged 77.

The coins are the second set announced by the Royal Mint this year to celebrate the sesquicentenary of Potter's birth, with gold and silver 50p pieces unveiled at the new year.

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