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Gibraltar’s 1994 The Final Problem Crowns

Gibraltar’s 1994 The Final Problem Crowns

“… reeling over, locked in each other’s arms.”

– The Adventure of The Final Problem (FINA)

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Gibraltar released 8 different designs for its 1994 series of coins commemorating the 100th anniversary of the return of Sherlock Holmes. In this post, we will discuss the three coins that feature the scuffle between Holmes and Professor Moriarty near the Reichenbach Falls of Switzerland.

Edward C. Rochette, the 5th Garrideb, suggested the idea of a series of coins commemorating Sherlock Holmes while having discussions with Derek Pobjoy, the head of the Pobjoy Mint in the early 1990’s. Pobjoy Mint then struck 8 different designs in 3 metals – cupro-nickel, sterling silver and .999 fine gold.

OBVERSE:  ELIZABETH II / (right facing bust of Queen Elizabeth II) / GIBRALTAR • 1994

REVERSE: • 100th ANNIVERSARY OF THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES • / (Holmes and Moriarty locked in an embrace, about to go over the edge into the Reichenbach Falls ) / THE / FINAL / PROBLEM / 1 / CROWN

KM291  – Round, 36.60 mm, Cupro-Nickel, 28.28 grams, Reeded Edge, unknown mintage

KM291a – Round, 36.60 mm, .925 Sterling Silver, 28.28 grams, Reeded Edge, 30,000 minted

KM284 – Round, 22 mm, 1/5 ounce .999 Gold, 6.22 grams, Reeded Edge, 5,000 minted

The press release, issued by the Pobjoy Mint, announcing these coins is somewhat vague and implies that all three coins are Crowns. The Standard Catalog of World Coins 1900-1999 (whose KM catalog numbers we are referencing above) lists the gold coins as being a 1/5 Crown. If this is the case, a slight modification is needed to the reverse description above.

Issue prices were $6 for cupro-nickel, $35 for thhe sterling silver and $165 for the gold coins.

The death of Sherlock Holmes. - Illustration by Sidney Paget in The Strand Magazine, December 1893
The death of Sherlock Holmes. – Illustration by Sidney Paget in The Strand Magazine, December 1893

Pobjoy’s engravers did a very nice job of taking Sidney’s Paget’s drawing of the fight scene from The Strand and engraving it onto the dies for these coins.

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