Sherlock Holmes 2019 UK 50p Silver Proof Piedfort Coin

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Limited Edition Presentation of 2,500

This hugely popular issue, already fully reserved with the Royal Mint, commemorates the 160th anniversary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s birth. Conan Doyle was the creator of the most famous detective in literary history – Sherlock Holmes – and wrote 60 stories featuring the most famous resident of Baker Street.

Sherlock Holmes is a fictional, self-proclaimed consulting detective with a proficiency for observation, logical reasoning and forensic science. Holmes is the best-known detective in fiction, with the Guinness World Records list him as the ‘most portrayed movie character’, with the most recent on-screen successes seeing Marvel superstars Robert Downey Jr take up the role on the big screen and Benedict Cumberbatch taking the lead in the hugely successful BBC series.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in May 1859, Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was originally a physician, studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh Medical School and studied practical botany at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.

During his studies, Conan Doyle began writing short stories and was first published in September 1879 with ‘The Mystery of Sasassa Valley’. In the same month his first academic article, ‘Gelsemium as a Poison’ was published in the British Medical Journal and was regarded as potentially useful for 21st-century murder investigations according to The Daily Telegraph.

Following the completion of his studies, he worked at several medical practices which were not successful and so he spent his time writing fiction. He studied ophthalmology and opened an office of his own at 2 Upper Wimpole Street (known Devonshire Place at the time) where a Westminster City Council commemorative plaque can be seen today, but this was also an unsuccessful venture for Conan Doyle.

Initially, finding publishers for his non-fiction work proved difficult. His book ‘A Study in Scarlet’ was his first work featuring Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson and the rights of this were bought by Ward Lock & Co and was published in 1887 in the Beeton’s Christmas Annual, receiving good reviews.

Following the successful publication of many sequels, Conan Doyle confided in his mother that she was ambivalent towards Holmes, writing "I think of slaying Holmes, ... and winding him up for good and all. He takes my mind from better things." His mother responded, "You won't! You can't! You mustn't!"

To try and stop demand for more Holmes stories, Conan Doyle demanded higher prices for his work, but the popularity of the detective and his Dr. sidekick meant the publishers were happy to pay, and so Conan Doyle continued to write of Holmes, and quickly became one of the best-paid authors of his time.

Sherlock Holmes featured in 56 short stories and 4 novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the last of which was published in 1927, though he has since appeared in many novels, stories and movies from other authors and creators who wish to keep the legacy of Sherlock Holmes alive.

Sherlock Holmes 2019 UK 50p Silver Proof  Piedfort Coin Specification

  • Denomination: 50p
  • Quality: Proof Piedfort
  • Country of issue: United Kingdom
  • Year of issue: 2019
  • Composition: Silver 
  • Weight: 16.00g
  • Diameter: 27.30mm
  • Obverse designer: Stephen Raw
  • Reverse designer: Jody Clark

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