06 January 2021
The Sherlock Holmes 50p coin has proved popular with collectors and fans of the TV shows and books. Find out more about the background and design of the coin, and what the Sherlock Holmes 50p is worth with our coin guide.
Discover more about the Sherlock Holmes 50p coin
The Royal Mint issued a special Sherlock Holmes 50p in May 2019, to celebrate the 160th anniversary of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s birth. The first story involving the character of Sherlock Holmes was published in 1887, and since then Holmes has inspired countless films, video games, radio plays and TV series.
The BBC TV show Sherlock ran from 2010 to 2017 and was hugely popular. The drama was based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective stories and starred Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson.
The commemorative 50p coins were made available in Gold proof, Silver Proof, Silver Proof Piedfort and Brilliant Uncirculated versions, whilst 8,602,000 coins were put into circulation.
The specification of the coins is as follows:
Sherlock Holmes 50p Brilliant Uncirculated Coin
- Metal: Cupro-Nickel
- Weight: 8g
- Diameter: 27.30mm
- Mintage: Unlimited
- Retail price: £10
The Gold Proof coin had a mintage of just 400, the Silver Proof coin had a mintage of 6,000, and the Silver Proof Piedfort coin was limited to 2,500 copies. The Royal Mint have now sold out of these special versions of the coin with just the Brilliant Uncirculated – which they describe as 'a higher quality than other coins you’ll find in your pocket' – coin still available.
The coin's design, by Stephen Raw, features a silhouette of Holmes wearing his trademark deerstalker hat and smoking a pipe. He is surrounded by the names of his famous cases – and these names can only be read by using a magnifying glass.
So how rare is the 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50p coin?
With 8,602,000 copies of the coin put into circulation in 2019, the coin is not one of the scarcer 50p coins out there, and examples in average condition will be worth little more than face value.
Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) copies of the coin are no longer available from The Royal Mint, but they are on offer in many other places. BU examples are fetching between £3 to £8 on eBay.
Related Sherlock souvenirs
The Royal Mint have exhausted their supplies of the coin, but are still offering limited edition Medal Covers for £19.99. Limited to 7,000 copies, one of the envelope designs features a full set of miniature sheet stamps cancelled with a special edition postmark featuring Crowborough, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s home for 23 years, along with a simply designed medal.
The Brilliant Uncirculated medal features the words ‘221B Baker Street’ on one side and the quote ‘An interesting and unusual case’ on the other.
A second design features six stamps issued by Royal Mail, and an image of Sherlock and Moriaty from the BBC series, together with a medal featuring the text: ‘Get Sherlock’ and ‘The Game is On’. A silver edition of the medal is available for £110 and limited to just 600 special covers.
Collectors should be aware that the medal has no denomination or value, so is purely a collectable item.
Find out more
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