The Royal Mint has launched a new selection of coins to celebrate The Who’s contribution to music history.
The band’s co-founder and lead singer Roger Daltrey personally visited the Mint to unveil the coins, which include some of the most recognisable symbols from the band’s live performances including a union flag, mod logo and Rickenbacker guitar. Together, the symbols on the coin form a pinball table, which is a nod to their single “Pinball Wizard” and album Tommy, one of the band’s most famous creations.
Clare Maclennan, divisional director of commemorative coin at the Royal Mint, said: “The Who are an iconic British band with an incredible musical legacy, so it felt right to honour them with an official UK coin.”
The new range is available to buy now, but many of the coins have a limited-edition run, so you’ll need to snap them up quickly to avoid disappointment. As well as the new The Who collection, we’ve rounded up other coins inspired by Great Britons that you can buy right now to help you curate your very own collection of great figures across music, literature and science.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
The Royal Mint has chosen The Who as the fourth performer in its music legends series. The collection includes an uncirculated £5 coin (£13, Royalmint.com), which features the band’s name and the image of a Rickenbacker guitar. There is also a coloured version of the coin (£22.50, Royalmint.com), with a limited run of only 10,000.
If you’re looking for something a little more special, the range also includes a one-ounce silver proof coin (£97.50, Royalmint.com), which is the only silver colour-printed edition of the coin and has a limited run of just 8,010. It features a bespoke edge with the words “Pinball Wizard” to reflect the design and the group’s famous song.
Fans of the pioneering and influential singer will be thrilled at The Royal Mint’s Bowie collection, which ranges in price from £13 to £2,425. The David Bowie 2020 £5 brilliant uncirculated coin (£15, Royalmint.com) is exclusive to The Royal Mint and comes in three different slipcase covers with a matching poster.
There is also a half-ounce silver proof coin (£65, Royalmint.com), a gold quarter-ounce coin (£615, Royalmint.com) and a one-ounce coin (£97.50, Royalmint.com) available to buy. The latter is the only collectable in the range to feature colour.
These are limited edition, and the one-ounce gold proof coin has already sold out, so act fast.
Having sold more than 200 million records in his 50-year career, The Royal Mint honoured John’s legacy with the second coin in its music legends collection.
The Elton John 2020 UK half-ounce silver proof coin (£65, Royalmint.com) is a collectable you can cherish forever, and the more expensive price tag than the brilliant uncirculated coin (£13, Royalmint.com) reflects the limited availability of just 14,000. It also is the only coin in the range to be displayed in a colour-printed acrylic block.
To celebrate Queen’s groundbreaking music and the fact they redefined hard rock, this was the first coin in the music legends series.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest bands in history, the design of the Queen £5 brilliant uncirculated coin (£15, Royalmint.com) was approved by band members Roger Taylor and Brian May and features the instruments played by each of the founding members – guitar, bass, bass drum and grand piano. Each coin comes with a poster matching the slipcase.
For something a little more special, the Queen 2020 UK five-ounce silver proof coin (£520, Royalmint.com) is also still available and the piano keys showcase the opening chords to the piano medley of Queen’s most famous track – “Bohemian Rhapsody”. With a limited run of just 750, this is a lovely, albeit pricey, gift for fans of the band.
It’s not just Great British music legends that the Royal Mint has chosen to pay tribute to. The woman behind some of the nation’s most-loved animal characters and a true pioneer of storytelling for children, Beatrix Potter’s legacy lives on through her tales and these Royal Mint designs.
As the first and only official coin to feature Peter Rabbit’s sister, this Flopsy Bunny 2018 UK 50p silver proof coin and book gift set (£125, Royalmint.com) would make a truly special gift. The coin itself has been enhanced with colour and the set also includes a book with an exclusive cover.
Celebrating the life and legacy of one of the world’s most brilliant scientists, this is the first time Stephen Hawking has been celebrated on a UK coin.
The design of the Celebrating the Life of Stephen Hawking 2019 UK 50p brilliant uncirculated coin (£10, Royalmint.com) was influenced by Hawking’s important work and research into black holes, and the packaging it is housed in brings his groundbreaking work to life.
On what would have been the country’s most beloved poets 250th birthday (7 April 2020), The Royal Mint released silver and gold commemorative coins.
The 250th Anniversary of the Birth of William Wordsworth 2020 £5 brilliant uncirculated coin (£13, Royalmint.com) features lines taken from “Lines Written a few miles above Tintern Abbey”, one of Wordsworth's most celebrated poems, on a backdrop of the Lake District, where he grew up. A lovely way to pay tribute to one of our literary greats.
Marking the 100th birthday of British chemist, Rosalind Franklin, this collectable honours her achievements and legacy as one of the country’s greatest scientists. Franklin played an instrumental role in pioneering the use of X-ray diffraction, which is reflected on the coins’ designs.
This Rosalind Franklin 2020 UK 50p silver proof coin (£57.50, Royalmint.com) features Franklin’s name alongside a depiction of Photograph 51 – the groundbreaking X-ray diffraction image of DNA, which was captured by the scientist in 1952 with the help of Raymond Gosling at King’s College London.
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