World Coins

Royal Mint celebrates the season with 2020 Snowman 50-penny coins

The colorful Brilliant Uncirculated copper-nickel 50-penny coin is offered in a colorful card.

All images courtesy of the Royal Mint.

The Royal Mint, together with Snowman Enterprises Ltd., recently unveiled the 2020 50-penny featuring one of Britain’s most iconic festive characters, the trademarked The Snowman.

This is the third commemorative Snowman coin released by the Royal Mint under official license from Penguin Ventures (part of Penguin Random House UK), following coins released in 2018 and 2019.

First published in 1978 and adapted for television in 1982, Raymond Briggs’ heart-warming story of childhood innocence continues to delight young and old alike. Watching The Snowman with the whole family has become a much-loved Christmas tradition, the Royal Mint said.

This is a commemorative coin, for sale to collectors, and will not be entering circulation.

The new design celebrating Briggs’ classic tale is created by Robin Shaw, award-winning animator and illustrator. Shaw was also the art director on The Snowman and The Snowdog animation, the sequel to the original television adaptation.

The coin design shows the Snowman and the character James hugging, reflecting how the timeless tale brings people together at Christmas.

Shaw said, in a press release, “I’m delighted to have worked with the Royal Mint once more to bring The Snowman to life on a 50 pence. In a year where many of us have been separated, The Snowman helps remind us of the importance of a hug and our love for one another. In creating the 2020 design I wanted to capture this unique bond between The Snowman and James in recognition of Raymond Briggs’ timeless tale which unites us each Christmas.”

Specifications and versions

The Snowman design is available in several collectible coin options.

The Jody Clark effigy of Queen Elizabeth II appears on the obverse of all four versions.

All of the coins measure 27.3 millimeters in diameter. The copper-nickel and silver versions each weigh 8 grams, and the gold version weighs 15.5 grams.

The Brilliant Uncirculated copper-nickel coin is available with or without color. The plain coin has an unlimited mintage, each priced at £10, and the color coin is limited to 15,000 pieces costing £20 each.

The Proof .925 fine (sterling) silver version features color and is limited to 7,000 pieces, priced at £67.50 apiece.

The Proof .9167 fine red gold coin is plain and limited to 275 pieces, retailing for £1,125 each.

Sketch-a-long design contest

To celebrate the new coins and provide a fun activity at home, the Royal Mint worked with Shaw to create an exclusive “sketch-a-long” for fans. This online class, available via the Royal Mint’s website, provides hints and tips to help budding animators create their own Snowman drawings and share them via #SnowmanSketchalong.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all the fantastic drawings created through our special The Snowman sketch-a-long,” Shaw said, in a press release. “As a child I was inspired by Raymond Briggs 1978 book and the 1982 television adaptation, so I’m excited to see what this generation of budding illustrators and animators comes up with.”

For more information, or to order the coins, visit the Royal Mint website,

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