Commemorating Literary Giants and Great Works on Coins


Categories: Collect

As the new Wordsworth £5 coin launches, The Royal Mint has looked back on the many literary figures that have featured on both commemorative and circulating coins. From poets to writers, the beautiful words written by these icons have transcended time and been immortalised on coinage.

William Wordsworth 

One of Britain’s greatest poets. A 2020 £5 coin marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of William Wordsworth.

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William Shakespeare 

Such is the literary legacy of William Shakespeare that in 2016, The Royal Mint struck three official £2 coins in his honour, to mark the 400th anniversary of his death.

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Charles Dickens 

In 2012 we marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens, one of Britain’s finest writers, with a unique £2 coin that incorporates the titles of Dickens’ famous works on its highly inventive reverse.

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Mary Shelley 

In 2018 a £2 coin marked the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, widely considered the greatest horror novel of all time.

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Jane Austen 

In 2017 the life and work of Jane Austen was celebrated with a £2 coin commemorating the 200th anniversary of her death.

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Agatha Christie 

The 2020 Annual Sets contains a £2 coin celebrating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Agatha Christie’s first murder mystery novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

In 2019 a 50p marked the 160th anniversary of the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with a design celebrating his most famous creation, the great detective Sherlock Holmes™.

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Do you have a favourite design? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and who knows, perhaps your favourite author or poet might appear on a coin in the future.

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