SINCE the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Paddington Bear has become a symbol for the nation’s grief.
Following the comedy sketch between the beloved character and the Queen filmed for the Platinum Jubilee earlier this year, some mourners have left Paddington toys alongside floral tributes at Buckingham Palace.
But did you know, that Paddington Bear has also been featured on a 50p coin?
There are four designs of the 50p coin – and it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for them in your spare change.
Two designs were released in 2018 to the delight of coin collectors.
One features the famous bear, known for his love of marmalade sandwiches, standing outside Buckingham Palace and waving a Union Jack flag.
While the other pictures him sat on his suitcase at Paddington station as a train rolls in behind him.
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The following year, a further two designs were released.
One design features Paddington Bear standing outside the Tower of London, while the other sees him tipping his hat as he stands outside St Paul’s Cathedral.
If you find one of the coins in your pocket, you’ll want to get clued up on how much they are worth.
Change Checker says more than five million of each design was released into circulation too.
The Royal Mint said it anticipated the coins would be “highly collectible” when it released them.
We explain how rare the coins are and how much they could be worth.
How rare are Paddington Bear 50ps?
According to Change Checker’s Mintage figures index, the Paddington at the Station 50p is the most sought after of all the Paddington Bear coins.
It is the 14th rarest 50p coin, with a mintage of 5,001,000.
The next rarest 50p design is Paddington at the Palace, which is the 18th rarest 50p coin in circulation with a mintage of 5,901,000.
Paddington at the Tower and Paddington at St Paul’s Cathedral are the least rare of all the coins featuring the Peruvian bear.
There were 9,001,000 coins of each design released into circulation.
However, just because they are rare doesn’t necessarily mean they are in demand.
If a coin is scarce, a lot of people want them.
But Paddington Bear coins aren’t the most in demand 50p coins you’ll come across.
Looking at Change Checker’s Scarcity Index, they rank low at the bottom of the table.
But of all the designs, Paddington at the Station is the most scarce, with an induex rating of 3 out of 100.
Paddington at the Palace has a rating of 2, while the St Paul’s Cathedral and Tower of London coins have a rating of 1.
If a coin is both rare and scarce, it can usually bump up how much it is worth.
This is because not a lot of the coins are around but a lot of people want them – so you could find collectors lock horns in bidding wars for the coin.
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How much are the Paddington Bear 50ps worth?
Paddington Bear 50ps have been known to sell for tens of thousands of pounds.
In 2018, one of the coins sold for £16,000 after a student found a leaked one in her change before it came out and sold it on eBay.
But since then, we haven’t spotted any coins being sold for as much as this.
On September 16, we found a Paddington by St Pauls Cathedral which had sold for £300 on eBay- which is 600 times its original value.
The Sun spotted the Paddington at the Palace 50p had sold for £500 on the same day on eBay.
Finally, we also spotted a Paddington at Tower Bridge which had also sold for £500 on the marketplace.
It might be worth holding onto your coin in the hope that demand for it increases – and nudges the price up.
Or, if you have a big collection, it might be worth selling it as part of this.
How to check if your small change is worth anything
If you think that you might have a rare coin then you might be able to make a real mint.
The most valuable coins are usually those with a low mintage or an error. These are often deemed the most valuable by collectors.
You can check how much the coin is selling for on eBay, by searching the full name of the coin, select the “sold” listing and then toggle the search to “highest value”.
It will give you an idea of the amount of money that the coin is going for. But it’s not always the case that a coin has sold for the amount is was listed for.
Coins are really only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.
Sometimes collectors are willing to pay more for a coin if they need it to collect a set.
You can either choose to sell the coin on eBay or through a specialist like ChangeChecker.org.
If you choose the auction website then remember to set a minimum price that is higher or at the very least equal to the face value of the coin.
Even if your coin “sells” on eBay for a high price there’s no guarantee that the buyer will cough up.
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It its terms and conditions, the auction website states that bidders enter a “legally binding contract to purchase an item”, but there’s no way to enforce this rule in reality.
The most eBay can do is add a note to their account for the unpaid item or remove their ability to bid and buy.
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