THE MODERN MUSICAL WORLD: A multi-mint round-up of silver and gold coins

Despite the prevalence of music in the modern world, there really hadn’t been much interest in the numismatic world up until just a few short years ago. Ironically, it was headbangers AC/DC that sparked the modern renaissance, with both the Royal Australian Mint (the band hails from there), and CIT issuing coins for their anniversary in 2018.

With licencing being as complex as it is, CIT soon moved onto Iron Maiden, leaving the RAM as the sole AC/DC producer, but it wasn’t long before the selection spread, with MTB-PAMP bringing the iconic instrument manufacturer, Fender, into the mix, with an unusual range of guitar picks, and miniature guitar-shaped offerings. The Crown Mint added The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles, with equally unusual issues.

Of more surprise was the Royal Mint jumping in with a traditional, but high quality range of proof and bullion coins featuring some of the biggest names in music history, and we’re expecting all of these producers to continue with the genre. As always, we’ll keep updating this guide with all the new releases we can, and fill in gaps we’ve missed, which you can track in the Changelog below.

2023
09/01 ARTICLE PUBLISHED
20/01 MARVEL COMIX RANGE ADDED
04/02 FIRST CHIBI COIN ADDED

FENDER ‘CASTER’ GUITARS (MTB-PAMP)

2021 STRATOCASTER

Mintage 2,500

2021 TELECASTER

Mintage 2,500

2022 STRATOCASTER SURF GREEN

Mintage 6,000

2022 STRATOCASTER FIESTA RED

Mintage 6,000

This range kicked off in 2021 with a two-coin series featuring a Stratocaster, and a Telecaster guitar-shaped silver coin. They seemed to be immensely popular, and PAMP were no doubt kicking themselves for pre-announcing this as stopping after just two coins. However, the simple solution was to start a new series, and one with a very cool idea, sure to appeal to admirers of Fender and their popular instruments.

Series Two was born with the idea the iconic colours Fender painted the Stratocaster, often in limited numbers, would look great on a coin series. Based around those most liked colours on the cars of the day, the shades are reproduced here. We think they’re right. The mintages are quite a bit higher, reflecting the popularity of Series One. All have great packaging, sporting images based on the ad campaigns of the time.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
$2 Solomon Islands 31.1 grams 0.9999 silver Circa 29.3 x 88.3 mm Reverse proof, colour Varied, see above

FENDER GUITAR PICKS (MTB-PAMP)

2021 EXTRA HEAVY (A)

2021 351 HEAVY (B)

Mintage 5,000

2021 FENDER 75th COIN (C)

Mintage 2,500

Formed in five grams of sterling silver, the first one in this range was touted as being playable, no doubt the reasoning behind 0.925 fineness metal, rather than the softer 0.999 type. Indeed, metal picks are said to have a ‘brighter’ sound, and are used to create a signature sound by such players as Queen’s Brian May. Also hinting at its usability is the pattern grip on both sides, and it follows the basically triangular shape, with its rounded points, perfectly.

This was followed by a slightly bigger one, although doubled in weight. The last release to date was an actual denominated coin in 0.9999 silver, with colouring. Far bigger than the earlier pair, this was definitely one for the numismatic crowd above any practical consideration, unless you like to strum the cello, of course…

COIN DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
(A) NONE 5.0 grams 0.925 silver 30 x 25 mm Prooflike Unltd
(B) NONE 10.0 grams 0.925 silver 31.5 x 27.4 mm Prooflike 5,000
(C) $2 Solomon Islands 31.1 grams 0.9999 silver 42.3 x 50 mm Prooflike 2,500

THE ROLLING STONES ‘TONGUE & LIPS’ 50th (Crown Mint)

2021 TONGUE & LIPS SILVER (A, B)

2021 TONGUE & LIPS GOLD (C)

2021 SILVER CERTIFICATE (A, B, C)

Stones fans will need no introduction to the ultra-iconic ‘Tongue & Lips’ logo, first appearing on the album ‘Sticky Fingers’ in 1971, so now celebrating its 50th year. It’s hard to believe these guys are still working together and recently became the first band to top album charts in six different centuries decades… The logo, designed by John Pasche, was done on the suggestion of Mick Jagger and was originally meant to ape the Hindu god, Kali, but it
wasn’t long before Jagger himself became inextricably linked with it.

The album cover was voted by VH1 as the greatest of all time, so it’s fair to say it has done its job. The coin replicates the logo perfectly, including the colour on the silver versions. There are two of those – a 10 gram and a 1 ounce, with identical designs. An uncoloured gold version with a 12 gram weight rounds out the options. All are beautifully presented in a themed tin and come with a superb 2 gram, fine-silver Certificate of Authenticity made to look like a concert ticket.

COIN DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
(A) £1 UKP Gibraltar 10.0 grams 0.999 silver 32.00 mm Proof, colour Unlimited
(B) £5 UKP Gibraltar 31.1 grams 0.999 silver 50.05 mm Proof, colour 7,500
(A) £2 UKP Gibraltar 12.0 grams 0.999 gold 32.00 mm Proof, colour 1,000

THE BEATLES (Crown Mint)

2022 YELLOW SUBMARINE (A)

2022 YELLOW SUBMARINE (A)

From their roots in 1960s Liverpool, to being regarded as the most influential band of all time, the Beatles wide, and often eclectic, musical style has earned them legions of fans around the globe. As well as music, they also dabbled in the movies, and between 1964 and 1970, starred in five major films. The fourth of them, Yellow Submarine, is probably the most iconic of them all, despite being animated, and despite their characters being voiced by actors.

The coin is a perfect celebration of the song, and the film, one that Beatles lovers will instantly take a shine to, we’re certain. Fully coloured, beautifully presented, and relatively affordable (it’s 1 oz), this officially licenced coin has popularity written all over it. It comes with a two-gram silver certificate of authenticity.

There’s more to come, including designs featuring the evil, music-hating Blue Meanies from the same film, and the Beatles themselves, The range will also expand to include gold coins (1 oz & 12 gram), and 10 gram silver – the possibilities for this licence are endless. A fine debut for Beatles fans.

COIN DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
(A) £5 UKP Gibraltar 31.1 grams 0.999 silver 60.0 x 35.0 mm Proof, colour 4,000

MUSIC LEGENDS PROOF RANGE (Royal Mint)

2020 QUEEN

2020 ELTON JOHN

2020 DAVID BOWIE

2021 THE WHO

2022 THE ROLLING STONES

One of the best of the traditional coin ranges out there, the Royal Mint’s ‘Music Legends’ series is on its fifth issue at the time of writing. The release is a collaboration with Bravado, a brand management company representing the giant Universal Music Group (UMG). ‘Music Legends’ is to be a series showcasing some of the incredible music talents that have been birthed in the United Kingdom. If the whole series is to be as represented by UMG, that would include such artists as Elton John, George Michael, U2, The Who and Amy Winehouse. Sadly, it also includes the Spice Girls…

The range of formats is extensive, with three silver weights (the smallest coming with a coloured name), and five gold, topping out at over £75k with the one-kilo gold. All are boxed, with a Certificate of Authenticity, and a themed shipper. For those on a budget, or are just casual fans, there’s a base-metal, brilliant uncirculated variant with an unlimited mintage, although the Royal Mint is directly selling the same thing with the coloured logo for a higher price, and that one has a mintage limit of 20,000 pieces.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
£1 UKP 15.71 grams 0.999 silver 27.0 mm Proof Varied 10,000-20,000
£2 UKP 31.21 grams 0.999 silver 38.61 mm Proof, colour Varied 8,000-10,000
£5 UKP 62.42 grams 0.999 silver 40.0 mm Proof Varied circa 550
£10 UKP 156.3 grams 0.999 silver 65.0 mm Proof Varied circa 500
£25 UKP 7.80 grams 0.9999 gold 22.0 mm Proof Varied circa 1,000-1,400
£100 UKP 31.21 grams 0.9999 gold 32.69 mm Proof Varied circa 300-400
£200 UKP 62.42 grams 0.9999 gold 400 mm Proof Varied circa 50-150
£500 UKP 156.3 grams 0.9999 gold 50.0 mm Proof Varied circa 60
£1,000 UKP 1005 grams 0.9999 gold 100.0 mm Proof Varied 4-10

MUSIC LEGENDS BULLION RANGE (Royal Mint)

2020 QUEEN

2020 ELTON JOHN

2020 DAVID BOWIE

2021 THE WHO

2022 THE ROLLING STONES

Bullion versions of the base designs from the ‘Music Legends’ range, these seem to be very popular, no doubt aided by the neat designs, and the very small mintages for the Royal Mint. Exclusively distributed by US company, Manfra, Tordella & Brookes (a PAMP company), you can pick these up reasonably easily, although they do sell through quickly.

As a bullion coin, these come encapsulated only, but at some very keen prices compared to the proof range.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
$2 UKP 31.1 grams 0.999 silver 38.61 mm Brilliant uncirculated 25,000
£100 UKP 31.1 grams 0.9999 gold 38.61 mm Brilliant uncirculated 2,500

ELTON JOHN CHARITY MEDALLION (Royal Mint)

Elton John has a long history of charitable work through his Elton John’s UK Charitable Foundation, helping over 100 organisations with financial and promotional support, and he and the Royal Mint collaborated to produce this one-off medallion, to be auctioned for the foundation.

Whether you like Elton’s music or not, there’s no arguing this is a simply stunning piece of numismatic art. The reverse design from the proof coin range is brought to life in part-gilded silver and looks phenomenal. The edge of the medallion is also gilded, and carries the name of the foundation. The obverse has five concentric rings of inscriptions listing out his favourite songs, in the centre of which is a gilded area carrying a reproduction of Elton’s signature.

It was auctioned, with a starting price of £12,000, but likely made a good six-figure sum given the musician’s popularity and the industry he works in. The medallion weighs around five kilos, and is a huge 185 mm in diameter. It’s a wonderful idea, and a fantastic testament to the expertise of the Royal Mint and the tireless work of a music legend helping the less fortunate. More here.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
NONE Approx 5 kg 0.999 silver 185.0 mm Hand-finished, gilded 1

IRON MAIDEN COLLECTION (CIT Coin Invest)

2021 NUMBER OF THE BEAST (A)

2022 SENJUTSU (B)

2022 SENJUTSU GOLD (C)

2022 SENJUTSU FOIL (D)

2022 FEAR OF THE DARK (E)

2023 EDDIE THE TROOPER (F)

The latest Heavy Metal coin from CIT, following their hugely successful AC/DC range, is one depicting another giant of the music world, Iron Maiden. The band’s first appearance on a CIT coin, The Number of the Beast, adorned an Obsidian Black coin, and Senjutsu got a silver coin, a minigold, and a silver foil. They now seem to have settled on the coloured one-ounce silver format.

Iron Maiden is unusual in that a mascot is present on all of their covers – Eddie – and he appears in a hugely varied range of forms. For the single Eddie the Trooper, from the 1983 album, ‘Peace of Mind’, the latest issue has Eddie in full British Redcoat battledress. A great piece of art by the band’s regular artist, Derek Riggs, it makes for a good-looking coin for the Maiden fan.

COIN DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
(A) $5 Cook Islands 31.1 grams 0.999 silver 38.61 mm Obsidian Black, colour 1,982
(B) $10 Cook Islands 62.2 grams 0.999 silver 38.61 mm Proof, colour 999
(C) $5 Cook Islands 0.5 grams 0.9999 gold 11.0 mm Proof 15,000
(D) $1 Cook Islands 5.0 grams 0.999 silver 150 x 70 mm Prooflike, colour 5,000
(E) $5 Cook Islands 31.1 grams 0.999 silver 38.61 mm Obsidian Black, colour 1,992
(F) $5 Cook Islands 31.1 grams 0.999 silver 38.61 mm Proof, colour 1,983

AC/DC COLLECTION (CIT Coin Invest)

2018 BLACK ICE (A)

2018 HIGH VOLTAGE (B)

2018 HIGHWAY TO HELL (C)

2019 THE RAZOR’S EDGE (D)

2019 GUITAR PICK (E)

2019 FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK (F)

2019 ANGUS BUCK (G)

It was CIT that first pushed popular music into the limelight with its 2018 issued ‘Black Ice’, a traditional two-ounce coloured silver coin. It wasn’t long before this adventurous producer branched out, however, starting with a 7″ silver foil for ‘Highway to Hell’. At 168 mm in diameter, but only a fraction of a millimetre in thickness, in came in a cardboard sleeve, just how we used to buy our records years ago.

The following year saw the first guitar pick coin, one with a terrific design, and also a gold foil banknote, the iconic ‘Angus Buck’ Through it all, they continued the coloured silver coin, albeit in two differing weights. CIT have since moved on to Iron Maiden, with the Royal Australian Mint now seemingly having sole licencing rights to the band. A very eclectic selection while it lasted.

COIN DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
(A) $10 Cook Islands 62.2 grams 0.999 silver 38.61 mm Proof, colour 999
(B) $2 Cook Islands 15.5 grams 0.999 silver 38.61 mm Proof, colour 5,000
(C) $2 Cook Islands 15.5 grams 0.999 silver 168.0 mm Prooflike, colour 1,973
(D) $10 Cook Islands 62.2 grams 0.999 silver 38.61 mm Black Proof, colour 999
(E) $2 Cook Islands 7.78 grams 0.999 silver 31.0 mm Antique 2,007
(F) $2 Cook Islands 15.5 grams 0.999 silver 38.61 mm Proof, colour 5,000
(G) $1 Cook Islands 3.11 grams 0.999 gold 156 x 67 mm Prooflike, colour 25,000

AC/DC 45 YEARS OF THUNDER (Royal Australian Mint)

COIN

BOX

Such luminaries as VH1, MTV, Rolling Stone, and the music buying public have consistently rated AC/DC one of the greatest music groups of all time. Selling more than 200 million albums over a 45-year period is a phenomenal achievement for any rock and roll band. Formed in Sydney, Australia in 1973 by Malcolm and Angus Young, their first album was called High Voltage, and while they’ve had some ups and downs in popularity over the following decades, they have a huge following today and continue to record.

Triangle shaped, although heavily rounded to ape a guitar plectrum, the 22.23 gram silver coin is plated in nickel (yes, it has a Nickel back…). The black finish with yellow highlights looks good, and AC/DC fans will recognise parts of the design from the High Voltage album. The packaging is very cool. The box looks like an amplifier and opens up to reveal a bright-red themed interior holding both the coin and an AC/DC guitar pick. The RAM has done a good job with this one.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
$5 AUD (Australia) 22.23 grams 0.999 silver 33.9 mm Proof, colour, nickel plating 10,000

AC/DC ANNIVERSARIES SET (Royal Australian Mint)

2020 DIRTY DEEDS 45TH (A)

2020 BALLBREAKER 25TH (A)

2020 BACK IN BLACK 40TH (A)

2020 ABOUT TO ROCK 40TH (A)

2020 HIGH VOLTAGE 45TH (A)

2020 TNT 40TH (A)

2020 ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION BOX (A)

2020 AC/DC (B)

2020 AC/DC BOX (B)

The one of most interest here is the one-ounce silver coin with a 30,000 mintage. Depicting band imagery rather than any specific album, it makes a great centrepiece to a collection, combining elements of many different albums with a dynamic pose by a guitar wielding musician. The record groove background field looks perfect. We can’t imagine many fans being disappointed, even if it lacks the interesting triangular shape of the last issue. Neat theming on the packaging and a $90 AUD price tag.

While we don’t cover much in the way of base metal coins, we’re definitely making an exception for these. Six of the band’s most iconic albums have elements reproduced on these miniature-vinyl styled coins. Coloured black around the centre to simulate the grooved area on the disc, they come in a larger frame which is then packaged in the same cardboard sleeves that we used to get with our single purchases a couple of decades ago. We love them, and at just $15.00 AUD each, they’re eminently affordable.

Best of all, if you purchase the set, you will get all six of the coins, as well as an extra one with the AC/DC logo on it. These all come collected in a box designed to replicate the ones used by DJ’s for storing vinyl records. It’s a brilliant idea that looks fantastic. If you like the band, or even just any music themed collectible, these have got to be appealing.

COIN DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
(A) $0.2 Australia 11.3 grams CuNi 28.52 mm Uncirculated 30,000 sets
(B) $1 Australia 31.1 grams 0.999 silver 40.00 mm Frosted uncirculated 30,000

AC/DC ANNIVERSARIES SET 2 (Royal Australian Mint)

2023 BLACK ICE 15TH (A)

2023 BLOW UP YOUR VIDEO 35TH (A)

2023 LET THERE BE ROCK 45TH (A)

2023 AC/DC (A)

2023 FLICK OF THE SWITCH 40TH (A)

2023 POWERAGE 45TH (A)

2023 ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION BOX (A)

2023 AC/DC (B)

2023 AC/DC BOX (B)

Back for a second rock around the clock, the RAM has issued a new silver coin, and another six of the base-metal album covers. If you liked the first run from 2020, you’ll love these, for sure.

COIN DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS FINISH MINTAGE
(A) $0.2 Australia 11.3 grams CuNi 28.52 mm Uncirculated 30,000 sets
(B) $1 Australia 31.1 grams 0.999 silver 40.00 mm Frosted uncirculated 30,000