A NEW 50p piece with Sherlock Holmes on the front has gone on sale today – and it’s expected to go into general circulation too.
The Royal Mint has today released four commemorative coins featuring Sherlock Holmes’ iconic profile complete with his pipe and deerstalker hat.
In the background are the titles of other books written by crime author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with lettering so tiny that you might need a magnifying glass to decipher it.
These include The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Sign of Four.
This year marks the 160th birthday of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes detective series, who was born on May 22, 1859.
The cheapest version of the coin is a brilliant uncirculated 50p in a presentation pack for £10.
But you might want to go quick as Colin Bellamy, founder of coin collection site CoinHunter.co.uk, thinks the coins will be snapped up within a few hours – and the gold proof version already says it’s “awaiting stock”.
Before now, the only way to get the coin was to buy Royal Mint’s annual coins 2019 set, which starts from £55 and ranges up to a whopping £5,250 for a gold proof version.
But the Royal Mint says the Sherlock Holmes 50p coin will also be released into general circulation in the “forthcoming months”.
What are the most valuable 50p coins?
HAVE a rummage through the change in your pocket for rare 50p coins because they could be worth a small fortune.
Kew Gardens, up to £160
This rare commemorative coin was created in 2009 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of London’s Kew Gardens. Only 210,000 of these coins were issued and a quick check online shows up that a circulated coin with this design sold for £160 on eBay after it got 25 bids.
Sir Isaac Newton, up to £77
At first, just 375 of the Sir Isaac Newton coins were released into the tills at Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire, the birthplace and home of the famous scientist, but more of the coins were slowly released into circulation – adding up to a total of 1.8million. The majority of these coins are still boxed in protective packaging and they’re selling for around £76.99 online.
Jemima Puddle Duck, up to £13.50
Suffragettes, up to £7.50
There are currently 3.1million of the coins in circulation. Recently, one coin that had been in circulation fetched £7.50 on eBay – that’s 15 times its face value.
WWF, up to £4.50
There are 3.4million coins in circulation and they are hugely popular amongst collectors. We found one that was recently sold for £4.50.
Britannia, up to £1.81
Britannia was replaced by the new Royal Shield in 2008 as the standard 50p design, and none have been issued since, making the ones minted in that year valuable to collectors. Only 3.5million were issued into circulation and one recently sold on eBay for £1.81.
It’s almost impossible to know exactly how much the coin could be worth as we don’t know yet how many will go into circulation – and we might not find this out until next summer.
But Mr Bellamy says it could initially be worth five to ten times its face value on eBay, meaning you could get up to a fiver for it.
Of course, the rarer a coin is the more valuable it’s likely to be, so its worth could creep up once we know the mintage.
The rarest coin in circulation, for example, the Kew Gardens 50p has sold for £90 – 180 times its value.
Just 210,000 of these went into circulation.
Other coins set to launch this year include a £2 coin commemorating diarist Samuel Pepys and a £2 coin celebrating the 260th anniversary of Wedgewood pottery.
What are the different types of coin?
THESE are the coins you can get from the Royal Mint:
- Circulated – these are the coins you’ll see in your shop change.
- Brilliant uncirculated – these coins are a higher standard than circulating and bullion coins. The machines used to strike these coins are polished and finished by hand.
- Proof – these are the highest quality coins produced by the Royal Mint. Machines used to make these are all hand-finished.
- Bullion – these coins are made from gold and silver and are usually used as an investment that aims to retain a certain value over time.
More on coins
This year has already seen the launch of a £5 coin to celebrate Queen Victoria’s 200th anniversary and a new £2 coin to mark 75 years since D-Day Landings.
But none of these coins have gone or are planned to go into general circulation.
The most recent 50p coins to be released into general circulation was Mrs Tittlemouse – a Beatrix Potter character – in May 2018.
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