The Royal Mint announces new commemorative coin to celebrate the legacy one Britain’s most loved bands
The Royal Mint has announced that Queen will be celebrated with the launch a commemorative coin collection, making it the first time that a British band has been celebrated on UK coinage. Available now, the design is the first in The Royal Mint’s new “Music Legends” collection.
Known for pushing the boundaries with their own unique style and continually reinventing their approach to music, Queen’s layered sound and flamboyant anthems continue to influence a new generation musicians’ decades after they were formed.
Perhaps the most striking example the band’s determination to be bold was their decision to release a six-minute quasi-operatic single, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” in 1975. Before the release the song, the label was determined to cut the length the single significantly. However, the foursome refused and the risk paid f, with the single spending nine consecutive weeks at the top the charts. In 2002, 27 years later, the single was voted as Britain’s favorite song all time. The opening notes “Bohemian Rhapsody” are so well recognized, that The Royal Mint’s coin designer, Chris Facey, decided it was a fitting tribute to showcase these by featuring the keys on the piano pressed down.
The coin commemorates all four members Queen, in recognition their contributions to the band’s success. This is done through the portrayal each member’s instrument, with the Bechstein grand piano – which Freddie Mercury played for “Bohemian Rhapsody” – featuring at the top the coin. Meanwhile, the group’s logo is placed at the centre the design and is underscored by the singer’s signature mic stick.
Brian May’s “Red Special” guitar – which he still plays using an old sixpence to give his unique sound – also features alongside John Deacon’s Fender Precision Bass. Finally, Roger Taylor’s Ludwig bass drum is decorated with the Queen crest, as it appeared in the band’s early days.
“This is a big ‘Who could have imagined it?’ moment for us,” Brian May shares. “When we began as Queen, even the first rung the ladder to recognition seemed remote and unreachable. To have our band recognized and our music celebrated in this way is very touching – a real honor.”
“Marvellous, all this fuss over our band. I feel entirely spent,” Roger Taylor quips.
“Queen were one the most influential bands their generation, and their timeless classics are still enjoyed by millions fans around the world,” states Nicola Howell, Chief Commercial Officer at The Royal Mint. “That’s why we’re so pleased to be honoring their great contribution to British music with their very own coin, which will be the first time a British band has been celebrated on UK coinage. British music is one our greatest contributions to culture around the world, and its musicians like Queen who are at the forefront this. We’re looking forward to announcing other coins in our new ‘Music Legends’ collection later this year, marking the work other exceptional British musicians.”
The collaboration was brought together and facilitated by, Bravado, Universal Music Group’s leading merchandise and brand management company. The first in an exciting new series celebrating innovation and success British music, the commemorative coins will be available in Gold pro, Silver pro, and Brilliant Uncirculated and will be available to purchase from royalmint.com.
Prices range from £13 for the Brilliant Uncirculated coin up to £2,100 for the Gold pro coin. The Brilliant Uncirculated coin will also be available in limited numbers in three exclusive packs which includes a poster and will only be available to purchase from The Royal Mint.