‘Harry Potter’ Now on Legal UK Currency

I kid you not. We’re not talking Galleons and Knuts here but 50 pence coins — but still, is there anything that says ‘Shared Text’ more than having a character from a book on coinage within a country?

Here is the story as reported in an announcement from Bloomsbury, the publisher of the Hogwarts Saga in the UK and several other Commonwealth nations:

The Royal Mint launches a spellbinding coin collection ⚡

This week we wanted to share the exciting news that The Royal Mint have just launched an official 50p featuring Harry Potter, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

The Royal Mint’s craftspeople have faithfully reproduced one of Jim Kay’s iconic illustration of Harry 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’.

Jim Kay commented: “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!”

They include a link to the Royal Mint’s interview with Kay, ‘Behind the Harry Potter Designs with Jim Kay.’ Reading stories at the BBC and The Mail, you’ll learn that this coinage is not a one-and-done; there will be other Potter-themed coins featuring the Hogwarts Express train, Albus Dumbledore, and the School of Witchcraft and Wizardy’s castle. The late Queen Elizabeth II will be on the reverse side of this year’s coins and King Charles III on later issues.

In the larger scheme of things, a Harry Potter 50p coin is not earth-shaking news. Rowling tweeted today about protests outside the UN in support of the people’s protest against the Islamist regime, about a ‘transgender’ takeover of a bathroom in Mexico (and the misogynist violence in that country women suffer), an Iranian professor who has courageously defied the regime in Tehran, forfeiting her safety and almost as certainly her career. This coin that features Rowling’s Potter is, relatively speaking, small beer; it remains a tribute, however, to this storyteller’s artistry and its continuing hold on the 21st century reader.

Hat-tip to Professor Stauffer for the link!



  1. Dolores Gordon-Smith urged me to search for the subject “fictional characters on currency UK” to find the other figures represented before Harry Potter. Sure enough, the Boy Who Lived is the fourth character so honored, in line behind Peter Rabbit, Sherlock Holmes, and Paddington Bear.

    Harry Potter, then, is not unique in being raised to iconic status via coin representation except in having been elevated in such a short time. The Peter Rabbit piece was issued to commemorate Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday (2016), Sherlock for Conan Doyle’s 160th birthday (2019), and Paddington Bear (2018) for the 60th anniversary of his advent to our collective imagination. The Hogwarts coins have been released this year for the 25th anniversary of ‘Philosopher Stone’s publication in 1997; his is a relatively ‘instant’ achievement’ of iconic status.

    I note that this is largely a money-taking exercise for the Royal Mint; they offer high end coinage, not for circulation, that numismatics will gobble up. From the link above about Sherlock Holmes’ coins:

    The Royal Mint plans to put the 50p coin in general circulation later this year. However, fans hoping to add a sparkly new piece to their Sherlock Holmes memorabilia, can purchase an uncirculated version for £10 ( $13) from the Royal Mint’s website. Also available are 600 limited edition silver proof coins for £55 ($70) each and 400 limited edition gold proof coins for £795 ($1,000) each.

    In the US, such commemorative coins are issued by direction of Congress on an annual basis, though I couldn’t find any examples of fictional characters being commemorated (stamps are our venue for that kind of celebration, I think). The Philadelphia Mint is most famous for this taxation on coin collectors, but Denver and San Francisco participate, too.

    I doubt, given Rowling’s “cancelled” status among the elites in throe to Big Pharma and General Hospital, the entities who benefit most from transgenderism, that we will ever see a coin for ‘Harry Potter’ here.

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