The Royal Mint has introduced a new collection, Music Legends, celebrating the artists who have changed the face of British music. This new series immortalises in coinage the country’s greatest musicians, starting with rock band, Queen. Each artist will feature on the reverse of the coin with The Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II by Jody Clark on the coin’s obverse. In a slow release of the full collection, the series will pluck the very best from the music Hall of Fame in a series of limited edition designs celebrating each artist’s legacy.
The Royal Mint have released an array of Gold Proof, Silver Proof and Brilliant Uncirculated coins for the Music Legends collection. The Royal Mint has developed advanced striking and tooling techniques for the high end, premium coins in this collection, a surface design feature creating a new shimmering pattern, giving an appreciation for the detail of the design.
Why is it important to commemorate UK musicians in coinage?
“Free Nelson Mandela!” demanded The Specials in 1984, raising awareness of Mandela’s plight in prison. “Imagine all the people, living life in peace” cries John Lennon arm-in-arm with Yoko Ono as they preach world peace and harmony. Then imagine the ear-splitting noise of Johnny Rotten’s anti-establishment lyrics in The Sex Pistols’ “God Save The Queen” and you cannot deny the decades of influence by British music on our world events, politics and society. The UK’s ability to generate some of the planet’s most successful musicians is second to none and this new collection of coins from The Royal Mint will pay tribute to some of the most significant British musicians from “piano-playing showmen to guitar-wielding rock gods and everything in between.” Music Legends allows collectors to own a slice of Britain’s musical geniuses immortalised in coinage.
Which artists have been chosen to feature in The Royal Mint’s Music Legends?
In January 2020, Rock band Queen were selected as the inaugural design for The Royal Mint’s Music Legends series, becoming the first band to be celebrated on an official UK coin. The design was created by Chris Facey and highlights the equal contributions of all four band members; frontman Freddie Mercury, guitarist Brian May, bassist John Deacon, and drummer Roger Taylor.
What coins are available in the Queen set?
The Queen collection covers a range of Gold Proof, Silver Proof and Brilliant Uncirculated coins. The Gold Proof coins are available in a one, quarter or five ounce size. The Silver Proof coins come in one, two, five or half ounce sizes. Gold and Silver Proof coins are presented in a special “Queen Live” coin cover. The £5 Brilliant Uncirculated coins are accompanied by limited edition covers of the band’s stunning album art or photography of their acclaimed live performances. Collectors can choose from the following covers; Queen Live, A Kind Of Magic or Hot Space.
Click here to read more about the Queen coins in The Royal Mint’s Music Legends series.
Sir Elton John
The Music Legends collection would not be complete without the inclusion of the eccentric and flamboyant, Sir Elton John. In July 2020, The Royal Mint announced that “Rocket Man” Sir Elton John would be the next artist in the collection. Bradley Morgan Johnson drew inspiration from Elton John’s iconic musical note glasses and straw boater’s hat to create the design for the coin’s reverse.
This Elton John coin set is a minting first for The Royal Mint thanks to a pioneering laser cutting technique. The laser cutter refines cuts into gold and silver coins to 1/200th the thickness of a human hair, resulting in a micro-structure, which resembles a honeycomb of miniature mirrors. When light is reflected from different angles, the coin produces a high relief shimmering effect, showcasing the intricate details of the design. The new glittering effect, which has never been used on a UK coin before, perfectly echoes the glitz and glamour of Elton John.
What coins are available in the Elton John set?
The Elton John coin selection includes a one, two, five and half ounce Silver Proof coin, and a one, two, and quarter ounce Gold Proof coin. A 1 Kilo Gold Proof coin is also available. Collectors have the opportunity to purchase Brilliant Uncirculated coins accompanied by a presentation cover of your choice; Rocket Man, Dodgers Stadium, The Very Best Of or Elton John Illustrated.