The duffle coat, the suitcase, that hat… yes, the rumours were true, Paddington Bear is starting a new adventure and will feature on UK coins, with not one, but two 50p coin designs! This year marks the 60th anniversary since the first publication, today, Paddington is a British icon and we’re excited to celebrate Britain’s most-loved bear on UK coins for the first time.
First published in 1958, ‘A Bear Called Paddington’ was created by Michael Bond, a BBC cameraman who, inspired by his own love of bedtime stories, became a writer. In 1956, he noticed a lonely bear sat on the shelves of a department store in London and bought him as a Christmas gift for his wife. From this moment, the Bear inspired Mr. Bond to write about his adventures.
Since then, Paddington Bear has become a firm family favourite, gracing the homes of many and whether they are familiar with the books or movies, Paddington fans will instantly recognise his iconic suitcase, his namesake train station and the famous Buckingham Palace on each 50p coin design.
The first coin in the series sees Paddington Bear at the beginning of his story, captured sitting on his iconic suitcase at Paddington Station. The second 50p coin sees Paddington Bear at Buckingham Palace. Every detail on each coin design, from his signature blue duffle coat to his old red bush hat, are brought to life with vibrant colour printing.
It was the task of Royal Mint Graphic Designer Dave Knapton to bring Britain’s best-loved bear to life on UK coins. Dave “loved reading the books about Paddington” when he was younger, and felt a “real sense of nostalgia” when designing these coins.
“Paddington was part of my childhood, but now he’s being discovered by a whole new generation. I wanted to bring his portrait to life and show him in a very realistic environment, so I began with a modern train at Paddington Station, showing Paddington waiting patiently on his suitcase for his new life to begin”.
Find out more about Dave’s design process and how Paddington Bear came to lend a paw by clicking here.
The Paddington at Paddington Station design is available in Brilliant Uncirculated, Silver Proof and Gold Proof. And if you just can’t wait until the second coin release, you can sign up to our continuities, securing both coins in the series. Paddington at Paddington Station will arrive first and Paddington at Buckingham Palace will follow in August. For more information on continuities click here.