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Is my Flopsy Bunny Beatrix Potter 50p rare and worth lots of money?

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Collectors could be set to go crazy for two Beatrix Potter coins struck last year after the Royal Mint revealed they are now the rarest non-Olympic or Kew Gardens 50p coins. 

The Flopsy Bunny and 2018 Peter Rabbit 50p were minted just 1.4million times, making them rare when it comes to 50p coins and thus hard to come-by to complete collections. 

In 2018, the Royal Mint released the third installment in a series of special coins which featured the characters of beloved children’s author Beatrix Potter.

Last year’s four coins featured Mrs Tittlemouse, The Tailor of Gloucester, Flopsy Bunny and Peter Rabbit – who as the most well-known character had already been put on 50p coins in 2016 and 2017 and has been put on another one this year.

In 2018 the Mint released the latest in its long-running set of 50p coins featuring characters from the children's novels of Beatrix Potter. The 4 coins meant 13 have now been struck

In 2018 the Mint released the latest in its long-running set of 50p coins featuring characters from the children's novels of Beatrix Potter. The 4 coins meant 13 have now been struck

In 2018 the Mint released the latest in its long-running set of 50p coins featuring characters from the children’s novels of Beatrix Potter. The 4 coins meant 13 have now been struck

All 13 coins produced by the Mint so far have been released into circulation, which often gets avid and casual collectors alike excited about the prospect of finding an unusual coin in their change.

However, up until now, none of the coins have been especially rare, meaning those looking to make a profit out of their good fortune may have been left disappointed.

The rarest is the 2016 Jemima Puddle-Duck – this has been minted a still substantial 2.1million times.

But now the Royal Mint has released the official mintage figures for all 2018 50p coins struck and it reveals that two of the four Beatrix Potter releases are quite rare. 

The third, and so far rarest, design featuring Peter Rabbit. Just 1.4m were circulated

The third, and so far rarest, design featuring Peter Rabbit. Just 1.4m were circulated

The third, and so far rarest, design featuring Peter Rabbit. Just 1.4m were circulated

Both Flopsy Bunny and the latest iteration of the Peter Rabbit 50p – this time showing the character munching on carrots and radishes – were minted just 1.4million times.

Mrs Tittlemouse was minted 1.7million times, while The Tailor of Gloucester was struck a far larger 3.9million times.

To put the figures in context, the original 2016 Peter Rabbit 50p was minted 9.6million times, while the one released a year later had a circulation of a massive 19.3million.

Meanwhile, a 50p featuring the feline Tom Kitten, part of the 2017 set, which was supposedly selling for hundreds of pounds online, had a mintage of 9.3million. 

This is Money was asked by a reader if it was really worth that much, though unfortunately they were likely disappointed by the fact its value was closer to £4 than £400.

Two coins released in 2018 which featured Britain’s favourite Peruvian import Paddington Bear were circulated over 5million times each, the Mint’s figures also revealed. 

The 2018 50p featuring Peter Rabbit's sister Flopsy Bunny. Change Checker's latest scarcity index found this is one of the scarcest 50p pieces in circulation, but does that translate online?

The 2018 50p featuring Peter Rabbit's sister Flopsy Bunny. Change Checker's latest scarcity index found this is one of the scarcest 50p pieces in circulation, but does that translate online?

The 2018 50p featuring Peter Rabbit’s sister Flopsy Bunny. Change Checker’s latest scarcity index found this is one of the scarcest 50p pieces in circulation, but does that translate online?

In fact, according to the latest scarcity index from website Change Checker – which ranks special 50p and other value coins by how sought after they are – the 2018 Flopsy Bunny and Peter Rabbit coins are the scarcest non-Olympic 50p coins after the 2009 Kew Gardens 50p, minted just 210,000 times.

Many of the coins created to commemorate the London 2012 Olympics are rare themselves, and This is Money previously looked at which ones might fetch a decent sum online.

We discovered the football 50p, depicting the offside rule, sold for the most online out of all 29 designs, with collectors having paid close to £22 for it. It is also the rarest of all the coins, being minted just over 1.1million times.

Change Checker works out which coins are the scarcest based on the demand for a certain coin as well as the ease of getting hold of it, combined with the mintage.

This is why Flopsy Bunny is deemed scarcer than Peter Rabbit, despite them being the struck the same number of times.

The latest Change Checker scarcity index. While the 29 coins created to commemorate the 2012 Olympics dominate the index, some Beatrix Potter coins are present in its top tier

The latest Change Checker scarcity index. While the 29 coins created to commemorate the 2012 Olympics dominate the index, some Beatrix Potter coins are present in its top tier

The latest Change Checker scarcity index. While the 29 coins created to commemorate the 2012 Olympics dominate the index, some Beatrix Potter coins are present in its top tier

Are these two 50p coins worth more than face value?  

Given the Mint’s announcement of the mintage of the four 2018 50p coins, and thus confirmation Flopsy Bunny and Peter Rabbit are pretty rare, is a fairly recent one, it might be a little while before the news filters through and affects the value of either of the coins.

According to Coins News’ magazine Spend It? Save It?, which works with the Royal Mint and attempts to list the real value of many rare or unusual coins, all four 2018 Beatrix Potter 50p pieces are valued at £5, though this predates the Mint’s mintage announcement.

Therefore, next port of call is eBay. Though it’s worth being aware when you search for the Flopsy Bunny 50p or the Peter Rabbit one that the auction site often returns listings for uncirculated versions, which are far more numerous, can be bought from the Mint directly, and are not really worth all that much.

Bearing that in mind, there are a couple of ongoing bids for the Flopsy Bunny 50p, with the coin currently sitting at £4.20 with several days left on the bid, meaning it should go for more than the £5 suggested by Spend It? Save It?.

Additionally, when it comes to a straight purchase, Flopsy Bunny is listed for £15.99 and also in a separate listing for £8.29. 

Even the lower price of the latter would be 16 times the coin’s face value, a decent return.

Meanwhile, 16 circulated coins that have actually sold have gone for a range of sums, anywhere from £2 to £4.50, and are now listed at £9 on the same sale.

And what about Flopsy’s sister Peter Rabbit? Given the character is such a well-known children’s character, it seems people are willing to pay more of a premium for this 50p, regardless of Change Checker’s finding that the other one is more scarce. 

One listing found by This is Money details 16 sales of the 2018 Peter Rabbit 50p, with it selling for as much as £9, 18 times its face value. 

Meanwhile current bids for the coin are at £4.20 and £5.02, with the latter still having over two days left for the price to increase.

In that situation, that looks as if the coin will exceed the value predicted by Spend It? Save It?.

While it may be the case that the two rabbit 50p pieces will see a bounce once news filters through of their rarity, it seems at the moment it has been a buyer’s market, with those lucky enough to get in already perhaps nabbing a bargain, with circulated versions of these pretty rare coins selling for as little as £1.25.

Those sellers will not have known the mintage until now and may have sold a coin for what ultimately is not a particularly big profit.

Well, given the latest mintage figures, they might just be hopping mad at the news. 

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Labour’s free broadband plot ‘threatens jobs and future investment’

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Virgin Media boss Lutz Schuler has  condemned Jeremy Corbyn¿s plan to provide free broadband

Virgin Media boss Lutz Schuler has  condemned Jeremy Corbyn¿s plan to provide free broadband

Virgin Media boss Lutz Schuler has  condemned Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to provide free broadband

Telecoms bosses have warned that Labour’s plot to nationalise part of BT will threaten jobs and future investment.

The chief executive of Virgin Media, Lutz Schuler, joined other firms in condemning Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to provide free broadband to families and businesses, claiming it risked wrecking the rollout of cutting-edge fibre optic cables by private companies.

On Friday, Labour announced its plan to nationalise Openreach, the infrastructure arm of BT, without warning its bosses.

Virgin Media is in the midst of a multi-billion-pound expansion of its cable network, but Schuler told The Sunday Telegraph the nationalisation would threaten that investment because ‘competition is dead’. 

His comments were echoed by BT boss Philip Jansen, who warned the move could ‘crater the whole market’.

It came after Tristia Harrison, the chief executive of low-cost broadband rival Talk Talk, said Labour’s proposals had forced the company to put its fibre plans on ice.

However, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell insisted Government intervention was necessary because of historic under-investment in the broadband network.

 

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British Steel has been paying auditor EY £1m a week since it collapsed

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British Steel's restructuring specialists EY were appointed by the Official Receiver in May

British Steel's restructuring specialists EY were appointed by the Official Receiver in May

British Steel’s restructuring specialists EY were appointed by the Official Receiver in May

Accounting firm EY has been raking in £1million a week running British Steel since it collapsed, it has emerged.

Its restructuring specialists were appointed by the Official Receiver in May, with Government funding keeping British Steel going while a buyer is sought.

It means EY has made about £25million so far and stands to make as much as £40million if British Steel is not sold until the end of February, as industry sources expect, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

A spokesman for the Official Receiver said EY’s support was ‘essential’ to keep British Steel running.

The Financial Reporting Council is plotting a crackdown on pay for partners at audit firms, it has been claimed, after failing to raise red flags before a string of high-profile companies collapsed.

 

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RUTH SUNDERLAND: This election is a battle for soul of capitalism

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This election presents voters with the most stark choice on the economy since 1979 when Mrs Thatcher came to power.

At the start of her decade-long tenure, few, whether friend or foe, imagined the scale of the economic and social reforms that would take place.

The City was opened up to foreign investment by the Big Bang in 1986, pensions were liberalised, mortgage cartels were broken and right-to-buy for council houses was introduced. 

Stark choice: Both Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson appear to have ditched austerity and seem to be vying as to who can offer the biggest public spending bribes

Stark choice: Both Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson appear to have ditched austerity and seem to be vying as to who can offer the biggest public spending bribes

Stark choice: Both Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson appear to have ditched austerity and seem to be vying as to who can offer the biggest public spending bribes

Millions of small savers also became shareholders as industries including British Gas, BP and, of course, British Telecom were taken out of state hands.

The Labour Party wants to undo most of those reforms and usher in a socialist regime with wholesale redistribution of wealth involving punitive tax rates and asset seizures. 

Swathes of industry have been earmarked for renationalisation, including rail, Royal Mail, water and now the broadband infrastructure arm of BT. 

Similar populist Leftism is being aired in the US by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, to the horror of more sensible Democrat voices.

Here, both main parties have ditched austerity and seem to be vying as to who can offer the biggest public spending bribes. 

Official figures this week are likely to show Government borrowing is already on the rise due to slower growth. This is just the start.

If the Tories get in, there will be higher borrowing to invest and get the economy through the Brexit bumps, while under Labour, John McDonnell plans to tap the bond markets to fund his revolution.

But this is not about the detail of tax rates or how many billions we go into hock – important though those things are. The election will determine the shape of the economy and society for years to come.

A decade ago, the financial crisis led to widespread distrust and contempt for business that is not confined to errant bankers and has not faded away. Jeremy Corbyn and McDonnell can see an opportunity to exploit people who feel left behind to plug their revolutionary socialist agenda.

It is telling that the FT last week hosted a debate entitled: ‘Should liberal capitalism be saved?’ That would not have occurred before the financial crash.

The bigger picture is that the UK needs to pay its way in a much more competitive world. Germany recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the lifting of the Iron Curtain. 

Since then, countries that once were largely closed off from international trade have come on to world markets, including resource-rich Russia and China.

It is a sign of the times that China wants to take over the bankrupt British Steel – an industry where the UK once led the world.

The past three years of rows over Brexit have had a huge cost for the UK economy in terms of important areas that have been ignored or neglected. 

There has been no energy left over to deal with urgent concerns for companies and entrepreneurs, such as reforming business rates.

If Boris Johnson keeps the keys to No 10 he needs to rebuild relationships with business that have been put under strain and become a champion of pragmatic, morally robust capitalism. 

Should the Conservatives fail to do this, Corbyn and McDonnell will remain a threat or new versions of anti-capitalism will emerge. It is not an exaggeration to say the future of capitalism in this country is on the line.

 

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