The Royal Mint has launched the final individual collectable 50p of the year and it’s a must-have for Harry Potter fans. The Hogwarts Express coin is also the final individual 50p to have Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait appear on the obverse (heads) side of the coin.
The latest release is part of a larger Harry Potter collection celebrating 25 years since the novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling was first published in the UK, by Bloomsbury Publishing back in 1997. The coins in the set feature Harry Potter, the Hogwarts Express, Professor Dumbledore and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The collection will be one of a small number to see a change of portrait during the series. The first two coins in the collection will feature the portrait of Her Late Majesty, and the final two coins will feature the official portrait of King Charles III. A change of portrait during the series is a rare occasion, making this set of coins highly collectable.
Rebecca Morgan, Director of Collector Services at The Royal Mint, said: “Following a popular response to the first coin in The Royal Mint’s Harry Potter collection, we are delighted to launch the next coin in the series and the final individual collectable 50p of the year, featuring The Hogwarts Express. The spellbinding Hogwarts Express coin will also be the last individual 50p to bear Queen Elizabeth II portrait before His Majesty The King’s official coin portrait will appear on the final two coins in the collection.
“The Royal Mint’s Harry Potter collection presents a unique opportunity for collectors and fans of Harry Potter across the world. A change in portrait makes this collection a highly sought after one. For 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait has appeared on every official UK coin struck by The Royal Mint. This collection of coins serves as a permanent reminder of the fascinating transition from Britain’s longest reigning monarch to His Majesty the King’s first appearance on UK coins.”
Combining traditional minting techniques with technology, The Royal Mint’s craftspeople have faithfully reproduced Jim Kay’s illustrations in colour for the first time on official UK coins. Many of the coins in the range also feature an enchanting ‘latent feature’ which rotates in the light to reveal a lightning bolt and the number ‘25’ to mark the anniversary year. An advanced picosecond laser was used by The Royal Mint to imprint the intricate design onto coin making tools to ensure accuracy, and create an additional, special effect to further enhance the coin’s design.
Commented on producing the coin design, Kay said: “It hasn’t really sunk in yet. It is the same for most aspects of publishing – because you are on your own all of the time in a studio, none of it quite seems real until you see the book on a shelf in a shop. Then you think ‘oh yeah! I did that!’ This is completely new to me though, a coin!”
The coin series has been created in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing, The Blair Partnership and Warner Bros, Consumer Products. Mandy Archer, Editorial Director at Bloomsbury Children’s Books said: “We are delighted to see the latest coin in The Royal Mint’s Harry Potter collection. Jim Kay’s evocation of the Hogwarts Express instantly whisks you away to platform nine and three-quarters – the very start of Harry’s magical journey. It’s a joy to see his stunning book illustration so skilfully and beautifully rendered on a new silver anniversary coin.”
The second coin in the collection celebrating The Hogwarts Express is available to purchase from The Royal Mint’s website with customers also able to buy all four coins at once in a complete set.