Your guide to the Sherlock Holmes 50p coin

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06 January 2021
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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. Unlike many of the other collectable 50p coins, the Sherlock Holmes 50p was not entered into general circulation, so it's not likely you'll find it in your loose change.

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.


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So how rare is the 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50p coin?

Since the coins have not been put into circulation, the value is fairly straightforward, they are worth the retail price (as shown in the details above). If you do find one in your change you should count yourself lucky and put it aside, as the 50p coins are not intended to be used.