The Royal Mint will be commemorating 160 years since the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, with a coin dedicated to his most famous creation – the detective Sherlock Holmes.
The sleuth’s profile, complete with pipe and deerstalker will appear on a 50p piece surrounded by the names of his most popular adventures. The designer of the coin – Stephen Raw – chose to create a design that requires a magnifying glass to read the names of these famous cases, hoping to bring out the “inner detective” of anyone who finds the coin in their change.
The character of Sherlock Holmes has inspired countless films, video games, radio plays and TV series. In addition to creating one of the world’s most famous fictional characters, Conan Doyle also highlighted how important fingerprints could be as a type of evidence – with a fingerprint being mentioned in the 1890 story, The Sign of the Four. Scotland Yard would not begin to use the now iconic technique until 1901.
Era appropriate coins are mentioned throughout the Sherlock canon. One such example can be found in A Scandal in Bohemia, where Holmes was given a Sovereign by Irene Adler for being a last-minute best-man at her wedding. Perhaps this 50p will find its way into a future story.
The commemorative 50p coins will be available in Gold proof, Silver Proof, Silver Proof Piedfort and Brilliant Uncirculated and will be available to purchase from www.royalmint.com, with prices starting from £10.