To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter - famous writer of children's books, the Royal Mint released a circulating commemorative 50p coin to celebrate Beatrix Potter herself. All designed by Emma Noble, further coins were issued in 2016 featuring favourite characters from her books: Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Squirrel Nutkin. Due to the great success of the coins, the Royal Mint continued the series in 2017 with a different coin featuring Peter Rabbit again, then Tom Kitten, Mr. Jeremy Fisher and Benjamin Bunny. In 2018 they were followed by yet another Peter Rabbit coin, then Mrs. Tittlemouse, The Tailor of Gloucester and Flopsy Bunny.
The British decimal fifty pence (50p) coin - often pronounced fifty pee - is a unit of currency equalling one half of a pound sterling. It is a seven-sided coin formed as an equilateral-curve heptagon, or Reuleaux polygon - a curve of constant width, meaning that the diameter is constant across any bisection. This shape, which was revolutionary at the time, made it easily distinguishable from round coins both by feel and by sight, while its constant breadth allowed it to roll in vending machines.
The denomination was introduced in October 1969 with a large version of the coin; it was reduced in size in 1997, with the older coins being demonetised in 1998. The design of the new (smaller) type remained unchanged at that time, retaining Christopher Ironside's Britannia reverse. In 2008 though the regular reverse was changed to Matthew Dent's design; in a world-first concept, the designs for the 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p and 50p coins depict sections of the Royal Shield that form the whole shield when placed together (the shield in its entirety being featured on the £1 coin).
The denomination has also been used extensively to issue one-year types of commemorative coins such as this one.
Twenty pence and fifty pence coins are legal tender only up to the sum of £10; this means that it is permissible to refuse payment of sums greater than this amount in 20p and 50p coins in order to settle a debt.
Coins issued in 2016 have now been in circulation for only three years.
Crowned old head of Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem crown worn for her Coronation (effigy known as the "Fifth Portrait"). Running continuously around the effigy is the monarch's legend and the date: ELIZABETH II · D · G · REG · F · D · 50 PENCE · 2016 ·. Translated from Latin: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith. Fifty Pence 2016.
In tiny letters below the head, the artist's initials J.C (for Jody Clark).