Description

The Royal Mint launched the new commemorative coins celebrating the 20th anniversary of the literary monster The Gruffalo.

The Gruffalo is a children's book by writer and playwright Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, that tells the story of a mouse, the protagonist of the book, taking a walk in a European forest. It was penned for readers aged three to seven, and is about 700 words long. It is written in rhyming couplets, featuring repetitive verse with minor variance. The book has sold over 13 million copies, has won several prizes for children's literature, and has been developed into plays on both the West End and Broadway and even an Oscar nominated animated film.

Brilliant Uncirculated coins are struck with different presses and at a lower speed than circulating coins, giving them a superior finish. Tiny details like the Gruffalo’s whiskers and spine on each coin's surface are visible. It cased in a wallet, which opens out to reveal illustrations from the book, and information about the author and illustrator.

Obverse

The fifth crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the George IV State Diadem and drop earrings.

The George IV State Diadem, officially the Diamond Diadem, is a type of crown that was made in 1820 for King George IV. The diadem is worn by queens and queens consort in procession to coronations and State Openings of Parliament. The piece of jewellery has been featured in paintings and on stamps and currency. It can be seen in the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace.

ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FIDEI DEFENSATRIX means Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith.

Engraver: Jody Clark

·ELIZABETH II·D·G·REG·F·D·50 PENCE·2019
J.C

Reverse

The story of a mouse's walk through the woods unfolds in two phases; in both, the mouse uses clever tricks to evade danger. On his way the mouse encounters several dangerous animals (a fox, an owl, and a snake). Each of these animals, clearly intending to eat the mouse, invites him back to their home for a meal. The cunning mouse declines each offer. To dissuade further advances, he tells each animal that he has plans to dine with his friend, a gruffalo, a monster-like hybrid that is half grizzly bear and half buffalo, whose favourite food happens to be the relevant animal, and describes the features of the gruffalo's monstrous anatomy. Frightened that the gruffalo might eat it, each animal flees. Knowing the gruffalo to be fictional, the mouse gloats thus:

Silly old fox/owl/snake, doesn't he know?
there's no such thing as a gruffalo!

After getting rid of the last animal, the mouse is shocked to encounter a real gruffalo – with all the frightening features the mouse thought that he was inventing. The gruffalo threatens to eat the mouse, but again the mouse is cunning: he tells the gruffalo that he, the mouse, is the scariest animal in the forest. Laughing, the gruffalo agrees to follow the mouse as he demonstrates how feared he is. The two walk through the forest, encountering in turn the animals that had earlier menaced the mouse. Each is terrified by the sight of the pair and runs off – and each time the gruffalo becomes more impressed with the mouse's apparent toughness. Exploiting this, the mouse threatens to eat the gruffalo, which flees.

The story is based on a Chinese folk tale of a fox that borrows the terror of a tiger. Donaldson was unable to think of rhymes for "tiger" so instead she invented a word that rhymes with "know".

Design: Magic Light Pictures

The GRUFFALO®

Edge
Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Cupronickel
Weight 8 g
Diameter 27.3 mm
Thickness -
Shape polygon
Sides 7
Alignment Medal
Mint
Royal Mint

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