Mahatma Gandhi is celebrated by a new Royal Mint coin on the 75th anniversary of Indian independence

Once considered the jewel of the British Empire, by the end of the Second World War, it was clear that there was little appetite in Britain for further conflict, and popular opinion had moved heavily toward the Independence of India, with a general realisation that the time of empires was rapidly fading. After rushed discussions and planning, India was partitioned along broadly religious lines and became, along with Muslim Pakistan, an independent nation.

There had been a push for decades to remove the British from the country, but also concerns on how this would be achieved without violence. One of those that helped to mitigate the worst of it was Mahatma Gandhi, who had championed a campaign of peaceful transition. He visited many troubled areas, calming tensions, and arguing for a fair distribution of resources. He was assassinated by a fellow Hindu, who believed Gandhi was too accommodating with Pakistan. Today, his legacy is less clear and some aspects of his life are questioned, but it’s certainly fair to say that without his influence, India’s early years may have been considerably bloodier than they were.

The Royal Mint has, for the first time, released a coin in honour of the Indian icon, timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence from the UK. The design by Heena Glover centres around their national flower, the Lotus, depicted in outlined form, around which is inscribed one of Gandhi’s most famous quotes, ‘My Life is my Message’. It’s a symbolic rather than realistic depiction, but if you do want the latter, then CIT have you covered with a superb depiction of the man as part of its ‘Revolutionaries’ series.

Two precious metal versions, both an ounce in weight. Just 185 of the 0.9999 gold coins will be struck, with the 0.999 silver coin also capped at a surprisingly low 2,510 pieces. Both are boxed with a C.O.A. in the traditional Royal Mint style, of course, and both are available now. There’s a base-metal version with an unlimited mintage also on offer for just £13.00.


Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today (04/11/21) unveiled a new £5 coin celebrating the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi – one of the world’s most influential leaders.

It is the first time that Gandhi has been commemorated on an official UK coin, designed and made by The Royal Mint. Struck in the 75th year of India’s Independence, the coin features an image of a lotus, India’s national flower, and one of Gandhi’s most famous quotes – ‘My life is my message’. Born in Porbandar, India, in 1869, Gandhi was instrumental in the movement for Indian independence. His followers called him ‘Mahatma’, which means ‘great soul’, and he is still widely remembered by that name.

The new coin, designed by Heena Glover, is available in a range of finishes including a gold one ounce, silver one ounce and a £5 ‘brilliant uncirculated’. It is part of a wider Diwali collection offered by The Royal Mint, which includes 1g and 5g gold bars in henna packaging, and the UK’s first gold bar depicting Lakshmi – the Hindu goddess of wealth.

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Master of the Mint, said: “This coin is a fitting tribute to an influential leader who inspired millions of people around the world for his social activism. As a practicing Hindu, I am proud to unveil this coin during Diwali. Mahatma Gandhi was instrumental in the movement for Indian independence, and it is fantastic to have a UK coin commemorating his remarkable life for the first time.”

Nicola Howell, Chief Customer Officer for The Royal Mint, said: “We are delighted to unveil the first official UK coin commemorating the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. The beautiful design has been struck in the 75th year of India’s Independence, and builds on the enduring relationship and cultural connections between the UK and India.

COMPOSITION 0.9999 gold 0.999 silver CuNi
WEIGHT 31.21 grams 31.21 grams 28.28 grams
DIMENSIONS 27.30 mm 27.30 mm 27.30 mm
FINISH Proof Proof B / Unc.
MAX MINTAGE 185 2,510 Unlimited
EDGE TEXT None None None
R.R.P. £2,440.00 £95.00 £13.00