Peter Rabbit part of Beatrix Potter coloured 50p coin release by Royal Mint

Russell Hope, News Reporter

A new set of coloured 50p coins is being issued by the Royal Mint, featuring characters from Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit series of books in their original outfits.

Designs on the coins commemorate the hand-painted style of Potter's original illustrations, with colour added to Peter's blue jacket, Jeremy Fisher's bright red one, Tom Kitten's blue pyjamas and Benjamin Bunny's green hat.

Thirty thousand coloured coins featuring Peter Rabbit are being released on Monday as collectables, as well as an unlimited number of plain ones.

Later this year the other three in the set will be released both as collectables and for general circulation.

The coins were created by designer Emma Noble, who has previously worked on pieces celebrating the Diamond Jubilee and Remembrance Sunday.

They will add to a collection issued by the Royal Mint last year to mark the 150th anniversary of the author's birth.

The 2016 batch showed illustrations of four of Potter's characters, Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Squirrel Nutkin.

Anne Jessopp, of The Royal Mint, said demand was astonishing: "The enormous popularity of the 2016 set exceeded everyone's expectations... The coins sold out almost instantly as people raced to collect a complete set of the four friends."

More than 45 million copies of Potter's original book, The Tale Of Peter Rabbit, have been sold since it was first published in 1902.

The story's enduring popularity is also being celebrated on the big screen, with filming starting this month on a Hollywood remake.

James Corden and Margot Robbie are among the stars voicing characters in the movie, which combines the scenery of the Lake District with CGI animation and is due for release in March 2018.

Potter, who lived in the Cumbrian beauty spot for the last 40 years of her life, died in 1943 aged 77.

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