Sherlock Holmes is well-known in the crime fiction genre, just like his creator Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle.
Are you a fan of Sherlock Holmes? Do you collect coins? If so, you might be interested in the 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50p coin. In this blog post, we will explore the value and rarity of this unique coin.
Have you found this coin in your change?
History of the coin
Sherlock Holmes is undeniably one of the most famous detectives ever created and to honour Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 160th birthday, it was only fitting to include his iconic character in British coin history.
Celebrate the 160th anniversary of Conan Doyle’s birth in 2019. He was not only a man of letters but also a man of medicine. Conan Doyle's 60 Sherlock Holmes stories paved the way for the future of crime fiction.
He achieved success in medicine, even offering his services as a medic in the Second Boer War in 1900. This coin not only reminds you of Conan Doyle's remarkable life, but also celebrates one of the most famous detectives of all time.
Conan Doyle's influence on crime fiction is undeniable and continues to inspire authors today. This coin celebrates one of the most influential British authors in history, as a man dedicated not only to writing but also to medicine.
Holmes, originally written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1892, has been portrayed by top Hollywood stars in TV and film adaptations. After 100 years of solving mysteries, this beloved detective is now known worldwide, not just in the UK.
The 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50p is a special coin made by the Royal Mint in the UK. It honours the iconic detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Design of the 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50p coin
The cupro-nickel form of the coin has a plain edge, is 27.3mm in diameter, weighs 8g, and is 1.78mm thick.
Stephen Raw is a textual artist and designer born in London and based in Manchester. His work varies from paintings to cover designs, and commercial lettering to coins. This isn’t the artist’s first coin design for The Royal Mint.
His first appeared on the 2018 £2 Armistice coin that closed our First World War collection, on which Stephen focused on the words of Wilfred Owen’s poem Strange Meeting. For the 50p coin that celebrated the anniversary of the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the artist placed the iconic Sherlock Holmes at the centre of his mystery-themed design.
The reverse design of the Sherlock Holmes 50p coin features a silhouette of Holmes wearing his infamous deerstalker at the centre. The silhouette can also be seen with a pipe in his mouth – one of Holmes’ many quirks that were frequently mentioned within Conan Doyle’s novels.
The silhouette is surrounded by several of Conan Doyle's famous titles, including 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' and 'A Study in Scarlet'. Sherlock fans will easily recognize their favourite stories.
The coin features a silhouette of Sherlock Holmes along with his iconic deerstalker hat and pipe, with titles of famous novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, around the portrait. The inscription "SHERLOCK HOLMES" is featured at the top of the coin and '50 PENCE' at the bottom.
As mentioned, the design was created by artist Stephen Raw who also designed the 2018 Armistice £2 coin and the 2021 Sir Walter Scott £2 Coin. The obverse features the fifth portrait of Her Majesty the Queen as designed by Jody Clark.
On the obverse side, running continuously around the effigy is the monarch's legend and the date: ELIZABETH II · DEI · GRA · REG · FID · DEF ·2019.
Translated from Latin: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith, followed by the value and denomination in English.
In small letters below the head, the artist's initials J.C for Jody Clark.
Jody Clark was the youngest person to design the monarch’s profile on this currency at the age of just 33. Jody Clark was also the first Royal Mint employee to design a UK definitive coin portrait in more than 100 years.
He had only been working at the Royal Mint for about two years prior. The new design would be the first time her portrait had been changed in 17 years.
Jody Clark’s design was unveiled in 2015 as the fifth definitive coinage portrait of Her Majesty and the fourth portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in circulation.
Mintage of the 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50p Coin
The 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50p coin was released in 2019.
The initial mintage estimate was around 2 million, but the actual confirmed figure is much higher. A reason to be cautious when buying coins before their mintage figures are released.
Official mintage figures released confirmed the mintage as 8,602,000.
Is the 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50p Coin Rare?
Regrettably, a mintage of 8,602,000 is seen as fairly substantial for a 50p coin, so the Sherlock Holmes 50p isn't regarded as particularly rare.
The rarity of the 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50p coin also affects its value. The Royal Mint released a 8,602,000 of these coins into circulation, making them relatively common.
Additionally, there are certain variations of the coin that are even rarer and more sought after by collectors. These include coins with errors or special designs. If you happen to have one of these rare variations, its value could be much higher than the average.
The Sherlock Holmes 50p coin was also released in different versions including Brilliant Uncirculated Packs, Silver proof versions, silver proof piedfort versions and also gold proof versions
Not just a reminder of the remarkable life of Conan Doyle, the Sherlock Holmes 50p coin range is a celebration of one of the most famous detectives of all time.
Also, given the popularity of Sherlock Holmes, the coin is still highly sought after. The 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50p can still be found in your change and as collectors are adding them to their collections, the coin is becoming more scarce.
How much is the 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50p worth today?
Sherlock Holmes, an iconic British literary character, deserves a suitably British commemoration. In 2019, we celebrated the 160th anniversary of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's birth, and to honour his legacy, the character was featured on a special 50p coin. – but how much is the Sherlock Holmes 50p worth today?
The value of the 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50p coin can vary depending on a few factors. The condition of the coin, its rarity, and the demand among collectors all play a role in determining its worth. As of 2023, the average value of a circulated Sherlock Holmes 50p coin is around £2.50. However, if you have a coin in excellent condition or a rare variation, its value could be significantly higher.
Where Can I Buy the 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50p Coin?
If you're interested in adding the 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50p coin to your collection, there are a few places you can look. You can start by checking with local coin dealers or visiting coin shows and exhibitions.
Online auction websites and coin collector forums are also great places to find this coin. Keep in mind that the rarer variations may be harder to come by and could require more effort to find.
Alternatively, you can buy it from us by clicking here.
Unfortunately, as this coin is now 4 years old, the Royal Mint no longer stocks this coin so it is only available to buy on the secondary market.
The Sherlock Holmes 50p coin commemorates both an icon in British literature and one of the most beloved detectives in history.
Are there any known errors of this coin?
The Royal Mint has not confirmed any error versions of the 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50p coin.
Bit of Trivia...
Sherlock was going to be called Sherrinford.
Originally Sir Arthur Conan Doyle named the sleuth Sherrinford but changed his mind – perhaps because there were well-known Nottingham cricketers called Sherwin and Shacklock and the author was a big fan of the sport.