While not exactly rare, we don’t tend to see a huge number of coins celebrating the world of music. However, there was bound to be an increase in interest after the sell out popularity of the AC/DC coins issued by both Coin Invest, and the Royal Australian Mint in 2018. We certainly didn’t expect the next big release to be by the relatively conservative Royal Mint, but here we are, and it isn’t a half-hearted fifty pence coin issue either.
The first 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…
As you can see, the debut coin features that most loved of bands, now enjoying a second renaissance, Queen. Believed by many to be one of the greatest bands to have ever created music, Queen, fronted by legendary singer Freddie Mercury, are represented by their iconic instruments, at least fragments of them. The band name and the mic-stand that Mercury used complete the design by first-time coin designer, Chris Facey. The obverse is the usual effigy of not so thin Lizzy.
A big mix of sizes out now and yet to come. Two 0.9099 gold formats on offer are 1oz and 1/4oz in weight, with 1oz and 1/2oz 0.999 silver variants making up the debut. The larger silver coin has selective gilding on the reverse face, but misses out on the very nice packaging of the smaller silver coin. The gold coins are packaged in, appropriately enough, piano black boxes. A cupro-nickel coin with an unlimited mintage is also available in a blister-card and slipcase, and there are also three packaging variants of that one featuring different Queen album covers that are only available from the Royal Mint and are limited to 15,000 examples of each. All are available to order now and selling fast (the 1oz gold is already gone!)
There are more coming soon under a new mint programme called Inspired Innovations. These are issues that enhance the finish of the originals, but early indicators point to considerably more expensive formats. The Queen coin is to have an unusual sounding surface animation that appears to play the opening chords of Bohemian Rhapsody. It sounds fascinating, but we’ll reserve judgement until we’ve seen it. Those coins will consist of a 2oz gold proof (53 mintage in honour of Queen’s 53 UK Top 40 singles), a 2oz silver proof (500 mintage, and a 1kg gold proof with a mintage of just 6 pieces (as per Queen’s UK Number 1 hits). We will revisit when we know more.