In January 2020, the Royal Mint released the first edition of its Music Legends Series — the QUEEN Collection. The Music Legends series is the Royal Mint’s tribute to some of the icons of British pop and rock’n roll, celebrating the musicians’ legacy in a range of gold, silver, and cupro-nickel coins. Music Legends will continue with the 2020 release of Elton John and David Bowie, and The Who in 2021 (illustrated above is the one-ounce £100 gold proof coin; photo: The Royal Mint, 2020).
The first British band ever depicted on a coin
An apt choice as the headline act for the Royal Mint’s limited series, QUEEN became one of the world’s leading bands after its formation in 1970. Fans around the world filled stadiums to witness their extraordinary stage performances led by Freddie Mercury on vocals alongside Brian May on guitar, bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor. Redefining the concept of rock, they combined elements of theatre and ballads and experimented across various musical genres. Five decades and 300 million record sales later, their songs continue to inspire today.
Engraving the spirit of the band
‘I love the band’s creative fearlessness and hope I’ve been able to capture some sense of it in my design,’ says the Royal Mint’s Chris Facey about his first coin design. The reverse side is decorated with intricate details of the band’s instruments in recognition of each member’s contribution: Mercury’s piano and mike stick, May’s ‘Red Guitar’, Deacon’s bass, and Taylor’s bass drum with the band’s crest are all featured surrounding the logo ‘QUEEN’. Fans will appreciate that the opening chords to the operatic single ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ played on the keys of Mercury’s Bechstein piano are reflected on the coin's surface design. Facey calls himself a ‘big fan’, and has said of this opportunity, ‘an honour to be asked to commemorate such an extraordinary band’.
The 2020 QUEEN Coin Collection
- QUEEN 2020 1kg Gold Proof Coin with face value £1,000
- QUEEN 2020 5oz Gold with face value £500
- QUEEN 2020 2oz Gold with face value £200
- QUEEN 2020 1oz Gold with face value £100
- QUEEN 2020 1/4oz Gold with face value £25
- QUEEN 2020 1oz Silver Proof Coin with face value £2
- QUEEN 2020 2oz Silver Proof Coin with face value £5
- QUEEN 2020 5oz Silver with face value £10
- QUEEN 2020 28.28g Cupro-nickel Coin with face value £5