Earlier this month The Royal Mint announced the upcoming release of a new collection, inspired by the Harry Potter series. The 25 Years of Magic coins aren't out yet but we've got all the details on what we expect to be a very popular series.
New Royal Mint Releases
We get news about new Royal Mint releases by scouring the London Gazette website. The Gazette is the British Government's journal of record and all new coins and changes to existing denominations need to be 'proclaimed' here.
Proclamations - like the one published on 10 June 2022 - give us hints about new issues. They don't give you the full details or any image but they certainly leave us with enough to speculate on.
This recent proclamation confirms an extensive collection of Harry Potter themed coins. It includes specifications and brief descriptions of reverse designs.
The details of upcoming Royal Mint releases are announced in The London Gazette.
Twenty Five Years of Magic
2023 marks twenty-five years since the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (also known as the Sorcerer's Stone in the United States). The first book in J K Rowling's seven-part fantasy series was published in June 1997, inviting readers - young and old - to enter the magical world of Hogwarts.
The story follows Harry Potter as he discovers he's a wizard on his eleventh birthday and spends the rest of his school career fighting the magical supremacist who killed his parents with the help of his pals, Ron and Hermione.
The Harry Potter books are the best-selling series in history. They've been translated into 73 languages and adapted into a series of blockbuster films. Collectors can enjoy a whole range of official and unofficial merch but there's never been an official UK coin featuring The Boy Who Lived: until now.
What designs will Harry Potter coins feature?
The proclamation suggests that four different reverse designs will be available in the 25 Years of Magic collection. We don't know exactly what they'll look like or the artists behind them but we do have some brief descriptions to go on. The four reverses are as follows:
- Harry Potter - 'a depiction of Harry Potter with the inscription “HARRY POTTER 25 YEARS OF MAGIC”'
- Hogwarts Express - 'a depiction of the Hogwarts Express and the figure of Harry Potter with the inscription “HOGWARTS EXPRESS 25 YEARS OF MAGIC”'
- Albus Dumbledore - 'a depiction of Albus Dumbledore and the inscription “ALBUS DUMBLEDORE 25 YEARS OF MAGIC”'
- Hogwarts School - 'a depiction of Hogwarts School and the inscription “HOGWARTS 25 YEARS OF MAGIC”'
Will the artwork be inspired by that used on the UK edition of the Harry Potter books? Or will new artists put their own spin on these themes? We'll just have to wait and see, though Royal Mint promotional materials do seem to show original artwork.
The obverse of all the coins in the collection will no doubt feature Jody Clark's portrait of Her Majesty the Queen. In use since 2015, this is the fifth definitive definitive effigy of Elizabeth II to be used on her British coinage. This will be accompanied by the legend: 'ELIZABETH II · D · G · REG · F · D ·' and the face value.
What 25 Years of Magic coins will be available?
You'll be able to collect the four designs on a comprehensive range of coins, suitable for all budgets. It looks like the collection will include large gold and silver pieces as well as Fifty Pence coins in gold, silver and BU. The proclamation details eight different options:
The 2oz silver coins have an extra feature: quotes from the books, inscribed on the edge:
- For the Harry Potter coin: 'HARRY POTTER – THE BOY WHO LIVED!'
- Hogwarts Express: 'PLATFORM NINE AND THREE-QUARTERS'
- Albus Dumbledore: 'NITWIT! BLUBBER! ODDMENT! TWEAK!'
- Hogwarts School: 'DRACO DORMIENS NUNQUAM TITILLANDUS'
As usual, the gold and silver editions will be offered in very limited numbers with the 2oz gold proof coins likely to be the most scarce and the most sought after. We don't have any specific mintage figures just yet but we'll let you know when we do.
We can expect that the proof Harry Potter coins will come in bespoke presentation packaging with artwork to the outer box and a fascinating information booklet enclosed. The Brilliant Uncirculated pieces will presumably come in a display folder.
When will the Harry Potter coins be released?
We don't have a release date yet for the 25 Years of Magic range. The first Harry Potter book was published on 7 June 1997 but since we're past that anniversary we might expect the release later in the year - perhaps for Harry's birthday on 31 July?
Frequently Asked Questions
The very first UK legal tender Harry Potter will be released by The Royal Mint sometime in late 2022. Other British territories have previously released Harry Potter 50p sized coins, which are marketed by other companies, but they are not UK legal tender. Keep an eye on The Britannia Coin Company website for more information when it's released!
A number of countries have issued Harry Potter coins over the years, including The Isle of Man, New Zealand, Gibraltar and The Pitcairn Islands. However, none of these carry UK legal tender status. The first UK Harry Potter coins will be released by The Royal Mint in late 2022.
The Royal Mint will be releasing a series of four Harry Potter coins in various sizes and denominations from late 2022. These will be the first ever UK legal tender Harry Potter themed coins to be issued.