Agatha Christie’s first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles was published in 1920 and it kick-started the nation’s love of her detective novels and murder mysteries.
In 2020, to mark 100 years since her first publication, The Royal Mint celebrates the world’s best-selling novelist with this brand new 2020 UK Agatha Christie £2.
2020 UK Agatha Christie £2
David Lawrence’s design of this coin pays homage to Christie’s crime novels, with a piece of a jigsaw slotting into place and her signature at the bottom.
The coin also features the edge inscription ‘100 years of mystery 1920’-2020’ to mark this very special anniversary.
Issued initially as part of the 2020 Commemorative Coin Set, this brand new £2 coin has just been individually released and is available in Brilliant Uncirculated quality for JUST £8.99 (+p&p)
Murder, Mystery, and Masterpieces
After the end of the First World War, Christie published her first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles. This incredibly popular story introduced readers to one of Christie’s most famous characters – Belgian detective Hercule Poirot*.
Writing well into her later years, Christie wrote more than 70 detective novels as well as short fiction. Her books have been made into films, television, and radio programmes. In 1971, she was made a Dame of the British Empire for her outstanding contribution to Literature.
In 2020, she is celebrated once more with this brand new £2 coin and she becomes another UK author to be commemorated on UK coinage…
2016 Shakespeare £2 Series
William Shakespeare is the most influential literary figure in British history and his works are an important part of Britain’s cultural heritage.
In 2016, a series of three £2 coins were issued to mark the 400th anniversary since his death and to celebrate his greatest works.
Each coin’s design takes inspiration from some of Shakespeare’s greatest works, including Macbeth (pictured right), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (central) and his most-famous love tragedy (pictured left).
All three coins entered circulation but the Comedy £2 has the lowest circulating mintage – just 4,355,000!
2017 Jane Austen
In 2017, to celebrate the life and works of one of Britain’s best-loved authors, The Royal Mint issued this Jane Austen £2.
Jane Austen is one of the best-loved English novelists from the 19th century. Her novels were revolutionary and from her first novel, Sense and Sensibility, readers began a love affair with her fiction that has lasted two centuries.
Designed by Dominique Evans, a portrait of Jane Austen features on the reverse of this coin. It did not enter general circulation and was issued in collector quality only.
2019 Sherlock Holmes 50p
In 2019, to mark 160 years since the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Royal Mint issued this 50p coin.
The prolific writer is best known for his incredibly popular detective stories featuring the fictional Sherlock Holmes™. It is said his works revolutionised the crime genre, and despite Doyle sharing an ambivalent relationship with his famous character, Holmes’ popularity resulted in Doyle becoming one of the best-paid authors of the time.
The reverse has been designed by Stephen Raw and features a silhouette of Sherlock smoking a pipe, surrounded by a few of his most-famous story titles.
It entered general circulation but the exact mintage figures have not been confirmed yet!
2012 Charles Dickens £2
The Charles Dickens £2 coin was issued by The Royal Mint in 2012 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of one of Britain’s most famous and beloved writers.
His enchanting stories, vivid characters and depiction of Victorian life are widely acknowledged across the world by critics and scholars alike and his novels and short stories continue to be widely popular.
The design features Dickens’ recognisable profile crafted from the titles of his most famous works and is a favourite amongst collectors.
This coin was released into general circulation and has a mintage of 8,190,000.
2018 Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein £2
This £2 coin was issued by The Royal Mint to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s famous novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.
Whilst on holiday in Geneva Mary Shelley and her poet friends, including Lord Byron and future Husband Percy Shelley, decided to have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. Out of this Mary Shelley created Frankenstein, a story about a scientist’s scary act at playing God and creating life. It went on to become one of the best loved gothic novels.
The reverse of this gothic coin was designed by Thomas Doherty and features the words ‘Frankenstein’ in an electric gothic font. It features the edge inscription, Bicentenary of Mary Shelley’s The Modern Prometheus.
It did not enter general circulation.
2016 Beatrix Potter Anniversary 50p
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter, the Royal Mint have released this 50p to celebrate Beatrix herself.
Designed by Emma Noble, the coin includes elements that celebrate Beatrix as the artist behind some of the best-loved characters in children’s literature along with the nostalgic font used for the inscription.
This coin entered general circulation and has a mintage of 6,900,000.
We love seeing Britain’s best-loved authors come to life on our UK coins, but which author coin is your favourite? Comment below!
Secure the 2020 UK Agatha Christie £2 to your collection today!
* AGATHA CHRISTIE, POIROT and the Agatha Christie Signature are registered trademarks of Agatha Christie Limited in the UK and elsewhere. All rights reserved.
On this day, 265 years ago, Samuel Johnson’s English Dictionary was officially published.
The dictionary is considered to be one of the most influential pieces of scholarship in the history of the English Language.
So influential in fact, it was used by famous authors such as Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and Oscar Wilde. The dictionary took eight years to compile and listed 40,000 words – quite the achievement!
In 2005, The Royal Mint honoured Johnson’s gruelling work with the ‘Dictionary’ 50p, issued to mark the 250th anniversary of its publication.
To celebrate 15 years since the release of this coin, we thought we would take the opportunity to explore the UK coins celebrating great British authors who have used Johnson’s dictionary.
Now, as many Change Checkers will already know, there’s been no shortage of great authors celebrated on our coinage – from classic children’s authors like Beatrix Potter and Julia Donaldson, to Victorian greats like Charles Dickens and Conan Doyle – there’s a big selection of coins to choose from!
To keep it simple, we’ve selected our Top Five below…
#5 2020 William Wordsworth £5
A brand new coin creeping in here in 5th place. This coin was issued in March of 2020 to celebrate 250 years since the birth of the famous poet and this is the first time Wordsworth has been celebrated on a UK coin.
Wordsworth is considered one of the most popular poets to have written in the English language, gaining fame during the beginning of the English Romantic period.
Designed by David Lawrence, the reverse features lines taken from one of Wordsworth’s most celebrated poems, ‘Tintern Abbey’.
#4 Beatrix Potter Series
It just wouldn’t be a Change Checker coin list without the Beatrix Potter 50p series making an appearance – coming in 4th place here!
Beatrix Potter’s book ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ has sold some 150 million copies since its release in 1903. The much-loved children’s character was initially featured on a 50p coin in 2016.
The 50p designs by Emma Noble have been taken straight from the illustrations of the original books and started an unprecedented collecting phenomenon. The series continued throughout 2016, 2017 and 2018 with a standalone Peter Rabbit 50p being issued in 2019 and 2020 as well.
#3 2012 Charles Dickens £2
A list of great authors wouldn’t be complete without Charles Dickens, and a list of great coins wouldn’t be complete without the Charles Dickens £2!
Dickens’ enchanting stories, vivid characters, and depiction of Victorian life are widely acknowledged across the world by critics and scholars alike and his novels and short stories continue to be widely popular to this day.
The reverse design of this £2 coin by Matthew Dent features Dickens’ recognisable profile crafted from the titles of his most famous works.
This coin had a circulating mintage of 8,190,000 and is one of my personal favourites!
#2 2020 Agatha Christie £2
First seen as part of the 2020 Annual Coin Set, the 2020 Agatha Christie £2 coin takes our 2nd place!
Issued to mark the 100th anniversary of Dame Agatha Christie’s genre-defining murder mysteries, the author of 66 detective novels and 150 short stories, Agatha Christie has justly earned the title of the ‘Queen of Crime’.
The reverse design of this coin, by David Lawrence, depicts a jigsaw puzzle with a question mark, representing the mystery behind her stories.
We are yet to find out if this coin will be issued for general circulation, but if it is we’re certain Change Checkers will be rushing to find it
#1 2019 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 50p
Our personal favourite, and taking the #1 spot, the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 50p! And for us, there really could be no other winner..
Conon Doyle revolutionised the crime genre with his creation of one Britain’s best-loved detectives, Sherlock Holmes.
To mark the 160th anniversary of Doyle’s birth, The Royal Mint issued a commemorative 50p coin paying homage to the author’s legendary works.
The reverse has been designed by Stephen Raw and features a silhouette of Sherlock Holmes smoking a pipe, surrounded by a few of the most-famous Holmes story titles.
This coin only went into circulation in 2019 so we’re yet to hear what the mintage figure is for this special 50p but we’re certain any Change Checker lucky enough to have come across this in their change will be keeping tight hold of it!
So there we have it! Britain’s best authors celebrated on UK coinage! We’ve shared our Top Five, now what are yours? Let us know in the comments below!