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Calling All Sherlock Holmes Superfans: A New Commemorative Coin Has Just Launched

Sherlock Holmes is one of the greatest literary characters of our time, and despite being over 130 years old, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective is still being obsessed over today.

Now The Royal Mint has given Mr. Holmes his very own coin to commemorate the 160th anniversary of Conan Doyle's birth.

The 50 pence coin, which was released on Monday, features Holmes' iconic profile (deerstalker hat and smoking pipe included), with some of Doyle's best known works surrounding it.

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Surely the perfect gift for Holmes superfans, the special coin will set you back just £10.

If you're looking for something even more special, the government-owned coin producer has also released three extra Sherlock coins, all in limited numbers.

There are 6,000 Silver Proof Coins, available at £55 each, 2,500 Silver Proof Piedfort Coins, selling for £95 each, and on the really rare end of the scale, just 400 Gold Proof Coins, which are going for a more hefty £795.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Holmes and Watson in the BBC remake. Credit: BBC
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Holmes and Watson in the BBC remake. Credit: BBC

The commemorative coin was designed by textual artist, designer and longtime fan of the super-sleuth Stephen Raw.

Raw says he first connected with the character through a radio dramatisation, which then drew him to read the books and the television and film adaptations.

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According to Raw, the design actually encourages holders to deploy one of Holmes' favourite pieces of equipment.

Explaining his design he says: "In my design for the coin I have listed the most popular of those adventures but by necessity have kept the words very small.

"I hope it will encourage the 'inner detective' in those who are intrigued by the coin. Naturally, the only way to solve 'the mystery of the text' is by using that essential piece of equipment always carried by the intrepid sleuth: a magnifying glass."

This year marks the 160th birthday of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the detective series, who was born on May 22, 1859.

Originally a physician, Doyle published A Study in Scarlet in 1887, the first of four novels about Holmes and Dr. Watson. In addition, Doyle wrote over fifty short stories featuring the famous detective over his lifetime, before dying on 7 July 1930.

His works have since been remade into TV and film adaptations, most recently the BBC drama featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman his sidekick John Watson.

Featured Image Credit: The Royal Mint

Topics: News, Life News, Literature

Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance journalist working for Pretty 52. After graduating from the University of Sussex, Ciara worked as a writer at GLAMOUR Magazine and later as the Assistant Editor of Yahoo Style UK.

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