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Royal Mint unveils new £5 coin celebrating Freddie Mercury and Queen

'To have our band recognised in this way is very touching, a real honour,' says Brian May

Sarah Young
Monday 20 January 2020 16:43 GMT
Royal Mint unveils new £5 coin celebrating Freddie Mercury and Queen

Queen has become the first British band to join Queen Elizabeth II on a commemorative coin.

On Monday, the Royal Mint released a commemorative coin collection to celebrate the band as part of its ongoing “Music Legends” series.

The coins detail the instruments of all four members of the band, including Brian May’s Red Special guitar, John Deacon’s Fender Precision bass, Roger Taylor’s Ludwig bass drum and Freddie Mercury’s Bechstein grand piano.

The coin’s designer Chris Facey also paid tribute to “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the band’s most celebrated hit, with the keys of the piano on the coin pressed down for the opening notes of the song.

Brian May, guitarist for the band, said: “Here we have the first ever Queen and Queen coin.

“This is a big ‘Who could have imagined it?’ moment for us. When we began as Queen, even the first rung of the ladder to recognition seemed remote and unreachable.

“To have our band recognised and our music celebrated in this way is very touching, a real honour.”

Drummer Roger Taylor added: “Marvellous, all this fuss over our band. I feel entirely spent.”

Facey said it was an honour to commemorate the “extraordinary” band on the first coin he designed.

“My first memory of Queen was hearing Bohemian Rhapsody in the film Wayne’s World, and I’ve been a big fan ever since,” he said.

The coin is available from the Royal Mint in a gold proof, silver proof and a more affordable brilliant uncirculated coin.

Prices for the limited-edition coins range from £13 for a £5 brilliant uncirculated coin to £2,020 for the one-ounce gold proof coin in a £100 denomination.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that a rare coin featuring the Queen’s uncle before he abdicated had been sold for £1m, setting a new record for the sale of a British coin.

The Edward VIII sovereign was bought by a private buyer in the UK from a collector in the US, having been located by the Royal Mint.

The 22-carat gold coin was one of a small collection of trial sets that were created when Edward ascended the throne, but they were never released to the public because of his abdication in 1936 to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

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