It was in January that the Royal Mint surprised us all with the debut of its new ‘Music Legends’ range. Launching with one of the biggest bands in history – Queen – the collaboration with music management company Bravado and Universal Music Group, opened up quite a bit of speculation on who would be next. In a very rare example of us guessing correctly, Elton John is the next subject.
The Queen coin appears to have been extremely popular, and Elton John has a similarly broad fanbase, the 73 year old, former Reg Dwight, still attracting a staggering amount of support from his legions of fans. In fact, he sits behind only The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Michael Jackson as the best selling artist of all time, with around 300 million albums sold, some 50% more than Queen. His Princess Diana tribute single, ‘Candle in the Wind’, remains the biggest selling single in both the US and the UK, with 33 million sold. His award cabinet is filled with five Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards, two Oscars, two Golden Globes, a Tony Award, a Disney Legends award, and the Kennedy Center Honor. He’s currently in his farewell tour, running over three years.
The coin is a superb tribute to this esoteric character, capturing his image as it was at his peak, combining musical notation, the British flag, and his iconic bow tie and hat. This is also one of the few examples of a coin that is lifted greatly with the application of some well placed colour, although the other variants remain first class. Additionally, the three biggest gold and two biggest silver versions also have some enhanced relief, and a ‘pulsating’ star pattern in the lenses of the glasses. It seems ‘Music Legends’ is shaping up into a series the music fan is going to find highly attractive. All versions have a simple Jody Clark effigy on their obverse, surrounded by the inscribed issue details.
The range is big, with gold variants going from ¼oz up to a kilo, and silver from ½oz to 5oz. If you just like the design and want a coin bearing it, a base metal brilliant unciculated version exists with an unlimited mintage and a £13 pricetag. There are also four limited, sleeve versions of it which sell for £15 each and have a mintage of 15,000 per design. It doesn’t end there. The mint is also producing a special one-off that will be auctioned off in aid of one of Eltons charities. As for what we think will come next, it’s always hard to predict because of the labyrinthine rights issues that accompany these artists and the different regions of the world, but last year, Bravado picked up Epic, and with that we believe came David Bowie… Available now, expect these to sell fast.