The Royal Mint’s journey through the numismatic music charts continues with seminal 60’s band, The Who. The ‘Music Legends’ series has already had Queen, Elton John, and David Bowie releases, all of which were decent encapsulations of the artists in question, in both proof and bullion form. It’s the former that’s released today, with the bullion, usually distributed by MTB/PAMP, expected to follow soon.
The Who was a fantastic band, helping to define an era in which British music was pushing in many different directions. WIth such hits as ‘My Generation’, ‘Pinball Wizard’, ‘I Can See for Miles’, and the eight minute long ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’, they became one of the 20th centuries greatest bands. Artists like Pink Floyd, The Clash, the Sex Pistols, and Jimi Hendrix, all cited The Who as inspiration, as did some of my own personal favourites like The Jam, Oasis, and Blur.
They also popularised music as fashion, with their Union Jack and RAF roundel look, and wrote soundtracks for movies ‘Quadrophenia’ and ‘Tommy’, both now considered classics. The band has sold over 100 million albums, and continue to perform and publish new material to this day, some 57 years after their formation. A worthy entrant for this coin series.
The coin looks great and is a clever piece of design. A guitar is covered in the Union flag, and is modded with elements of a pinball table, a tribute to one of the bands greatest tracks. The RAF-style roundel with the band logo on it, overlaid on a loudspeaker, completes the look. This isn’t a flashy series, but it is beautifully crafted to evoke the essence of the artists featured, and this one is no exception. The inscription ‘PINBALL WIZARD’ sits on the coin edge.
A pretty comprehensive range, the same as prior issues, is headlined by a coloured one ounce silver proof. There’s a half-ounce, two ounce, and five ounce silver also, each of them eschewing colour for a clean look. No colour on any of the five gold coins, fortunately, which start at a quarter-ounce, rising to a kilo. Mintages are slightly lower than the Bowie coin, as are prices, since the spot price has eased a little in the meantime. A base metal variant can be picked up by souvenir fans, with a coloured version with a 15k mintage available directly from the Royal Mint at a somewhat hefty price of £22.50.
A great release in a really well done series. There’s no gimmickry here, just a solidly designed tribute to some of the biggest music artists of all time. There’s very little not to like here, and we reckon these will still be popular many years from now. Like The Who, some things just age well! We actually called out this band as our next pick when Bowie was released, so we’ll have another guess now. I’m going with The Beatles, and please, please, please, please, not the Spice Girls…