A new commemorative coin celebrating Sherlock Holmes has gone on sale for more than 100 times its face value, and it could be worth even more.
The special 50 pence piece, timed to coincide with Holmes’ author Arthur Conan Doyle’s 180th anniversary, is priced by the Royal Mint at £55 and comes in a bespoke presentation box.
Just 6,500 of the coins became available to be bought by collectors on Monday, but similar commemorative coins have also entered general circulation and gone on to achieve higher values.
A Kew Gardens-themed 50p was issued in 2012 and was subsequently listed online for between £50 and £90. While some of those coins were sold to collectors, a total of 210,000 entered circulation.
The Royal Mint has kept quiet about whether the new Sherlock Holmes edition will tread the same path, however. The company’s press office did not respond to HuffPost UK’s request for comment.
The Sherlock Holmes collection includes three additional coins:a 50p Brilliant Uncirculated Coin, priced at £10; a 50p Silver Proof Piedfort Coin, of which there are 2,500, priced at £95; and a 50p Gold Proof Coin, of which there are 400, priced at £795 (although these will not be available until mid-June).
On its website, the Royal Mint describes the new coin as being the first to feature the world-famous detective.
“The coin’s reverse design, created by Stephen Raw, was inspired by the adventures, character and intrigue of Sherlock Holmes,” it said.
It added that the piece is “struck in 925 sterling silver to Proof standard, which accentuates the detailed design”.
Special 50p coins have been issued for a host of events and occasions, including the London 2012 Olympic Games.
And last year, the Royal Mint issued four special editions to celebrate 150 years since the birth of Peter Rabbit author Beatrix Potter.
Other denominations have also proved worthy investments – if spenders were lucky enough to find them.
In 2017, a tiny flaw in a trial version of the new £1 coin led to claims it was worth over £250.
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