New Sherlock Holmes 50p coin requires magnifying glass to read text

It sounds like it’s not so elementary to decipher the coin’s text

Katie O'Malley
Monday 13 May 2019 16:28
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The Royal Mint has designed a new Sherlock Holmes 50p coin which features lettering so small it requires a magnifying glass to read it.

To celebrate 160 years since the birth of the character's creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the Royal Mint has created a coin which features the profile of the famous literary character, complete with a pipe and deerstalker hat.

Holmes' outline is surround by the names of his most popular cases which are so small that coin holders will require a magnifying glass to read them.

Coin designer Stephen Raw says he hopes the need to use a magnifying glass to read the lettering will help bring out the "inner detective" of anyone who finds the coin in their change.

“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," explained Raw.

The cases noted on the coin include The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Sign of the Four, and The Valley of Fear.

Versions of the coin are currently on sale on the Royal Mint’s website, with prices ranging from £10 for a brilliant uncirculated version to £795 for a gold proof coin.

New Sherlock Holmes 50p coin requires magnifying glass to read text

According to the Royal Mint, coins are mentioned on several occasions in Sherlock's adventures, such as in the short story A Scandal in Bohemia.

In the story, the detective is given a sovereign by the character Irene Adler for being a last-minute best man at her wedding.

Nicola Howell, director of the consumer division at the Royal Mint said: "We are all huge fans of Arthur Conan Doyle at the Royal Mint, which makes us all very happy to honour him with his own coin."

Howell added that she hoped that, like Holmes, the coin "inspires some new detectives".

The character of Sherlock Holmes has inspired several films, video games, radio plays and television series.

Sherlock Holmes 2019 UK 50p Gold Proof Coin

Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Downey Jr and Rupert Everett are several Hollywood actors to have played the famous role over the years.

Last month, the Royal Mint created two coins in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria's birth.

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One of the new coins released by The Royal Mint commemorates the advancements of the epoch, displaying inventions including a telephone, a steamship and a locomotive.

The design also features several different-sized cogs, to represent the industrial period.

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