The Royal Mint has launched (20th January) a new collector coin series entitled “Music Legends,” which honours some of the world’s best and most admired music whose origins stem from the United Kingdom. Launching this groundbreaking series is the ...

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United Kingdom: Renowned rock band Queen launches new “Music Legends” collector coin series and more...

United Kingdom: Renowned rock band Queen launches new “Music Legends” collector coin series

The Royal Mint has launched (20th January) a new collector coin series entitled “Music Legends,” which honours some of the world’s best and most admired music whose origins stem from the United Kingdom. Launching this groundbreaking series is the iconic band, Queen, which is the first time that a British band has been celebrated on British coinage.

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Chris’s design commemorates all four members of Queen, in recognition of their contributions to the band’s success. This is achieved with the portrayal of each member’s instrument, with the Bechstein grand piano — which Freddie Mercury played for Bohemian Rhapsody — featured at the top of the coin. The group’s logo is placed at the centre of 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.

The obverse side of all options includes the fifth numismatic effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II, created by Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark, that was introduced onto British coinage in 2015. The edge lettering on the £2 Proof crown reads MERCURY ● MAY ● TAYLOR ● DEACON ●.



Weight Diameter Quality

Maximum Mintage

Five Pounds


  28.2 Grams 38.6 mm. BU


One Pound

.999 Silver

15.7 Grams 27 mm. Proof

20,000 Pieces

Two Pounds

.999 Silver

31.2 Grams 38.6 mm. Proof

10,000 Pieces

25 Pounds

.9999 Gold

7.8 Grams 22 mm. Proof

1350 Pieces

100 Pounds

.9999 Gold

31.1 Grams 32.6 mm. Proof

350 Pieces

The Brilliant Uncirculated coin will also be available in limited numbers in three exclusive packs that include a poster and will only be available to purchase from the Royal Mint.

The half-ounce fine silver coins are presented in a Perspex frame enabling easy viewing of both sides of the coin and are accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. The fine silver crowns are encapsulated and presented in a black-branded custom case, accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity.

The gold examples are presented in custom-polished black ebony cases and are accompanied by numbered certificates of authenticity. For additional information about these coins and others available from the Royal Mint, please visit their website.

These are the first in an exciting new series and collaboration celebrating innovation and success of British music that was brought together and facilitated by, Bravado, Universal Music Group’s leading merchandise and brand management company. The commemorative coins are available in gold Proof, silver Proof, and Brilliant Uncirculated options.

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Australia: Second gold and silver triangular coins of the Australian Shipwreck series feature Vergulde Draeck

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Following the first release last year in the Royal Australian Mint’s popular bullion series entitled “Australian Shipwrecks,” the second gold and silver coins issued feature another fascinating story of maritime lore.

On the morning of the 28th April 1656, a VOC (Dutch East India Company) ship called the Vergulde Draeck (“Gilded Dragon”), a 41.8-metre, 260-tonne ship travelling from the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa,  towards Batavia (present-day Jakarta) with a load of trade goods, coins, cargo, passengers, and crew. The ship struck an uncharted reef off the coast of Western Australia which resulted in the reef gutting the ship with only 75 of the crew surviving, along with a small number of provisions and a single boat.

The under-steersman, Abraham Leeman, took the boat along with six crew members on an astonishing and gruelling journey to Batavia and reported the wreck. The wreck of the Vergulde Draeck was not discovered until 1963 and was excavated in 1972.

The Vergulde Draeck Gilded Dragon follows on from the popular first release in the series featuring the Batavia. The exquisite and clever design of the reverse conveys two scenes to communicate the journey of the Vergulde Draeck. With the image of the ship viewed upright, the Vergulde Draeck is shown setting sail in its full glory. Flipping the coin enables a view of the text of 1656 and VERGULDE DRAECK. Upright depicts the ship in its final state capsised shortly after wrecking in 1656. The obverse design depicts scenes from the dramatic story of the Vergulde Draeck before its ultimate demise. The border encompassing the main design also incorporates unique design elements from the Vergulde Draeck. The obverse side features the Commonwealth effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II, along with the denomination of the triangular-shaped coin placed below the Queen’s likeness.



Weight Dimensions Quality

Maximum Mintage

One dollar

.999 Silver

  31.1 g 33.9 mm Brilliant Unc.


100 dollars

.9999 Gold

31.1 g 33.9 mm Brilliant Unc.


In collaboration with the Royal Australian Mint, the coins are exclusively distributed by LPM, who are pleased to present the second release in the Australian Shipwreck series featuring the Vergulde Draeck. The coins are produced in both gold and silver and weigh one troy ounce. For additional information about these coins and others offered by LPM, please visit their website.

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Canada: New $5 banknote planned, Bank of Canada seeks public input on design and featured personality

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The governor of the Bank of Canada, Stephen Poloz, announced (9th January) that a new initiative to re-design the $5 banknote would involve broader public input to determine the personality featured on the face. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz announced the plans about the country’s smallest banknote denomination at the end of a speech to a business audience in Vancouver. Governor Poloz reiterated the bank would launch public consultations for the design of the polymer note, similar to the ones which led to the selection of Viola Desmond for the $10 banknote. Part of the plan will include asking all Canadians to nominate any historic Canadian, or in the words of the governor: “Someone who is truly banknote-able.”

The Bank of Canada moved to polymer banknotes between 2011 and 2013 when their “Canadian Frontiers” series was launched, becoming the first country in the Americas to adopt a full series of currency notes printed on the polymer substrate. After a re-design of the $10 banknote in which the design format was changed to a vertical layout, the Bank of Canada, through public consultation, included civil rights personality, Viola Desmond. The note was officially issued on the 19th November 2018, and now, it’s the $5 banknote’s turn for a makeover.

Desmond, a Nova Scotia civil rights pioneer and businesswoman, was selected by Canada’s finance minister to be featured on the $10 bill after an open call for nominations for prominent women who could appear on a banknote. Her inclusion of the $10 denomination displaced Canada’s first prime minister, John MacDonald (1815–1891), who had been included on the note as part of the “Scenes of Canada” issued between 1969 and 1971. The new $10 banknote gained further notoriety as it was unique since it is the only Canadian currency note with a vertical design, as opposed to the conventional horizontal.

Currently, Sir Wilfrid Laurier (1841–1919), Canada’s first prime minister of French heritage, who governed from 1896 to 1911, is featured on the current versions of the $5 banknote. Laurier has appeared on one side or the other of at least the past four versions of Canada’s $5 denomination, dating back to the “Scenes of Canada” released in 1969, through the “Birds of Canada” series launched in 1986, the “Canadian Journey” series launched in 2001, and the current “Frontiers” series polymer banknotes which launched in 2011. The Bank of Canada will release further details for the public’s input for the $5 banknote at the end of January. For additional information about Canadian banknotes, please visit their website.

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Canada: Centenary anniversary of iconic RCMP features on new silver bullion piedfort coins

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The Royal Canadian Mint has released new silver bullion quality piedfort coins which are in celebration of the country’s iconic Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), founded 100 years ago.

Colloquially known today as the “mounties,” the RCMP provides vital law enforcement at a federal level while also providing provincial policing in eight of Canada’s 10 provinces, exempting Ontario and Quebec.

The idea of a mounted force was first conceived by Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, who envisaged a permanent force to patrol Canada’s newly acquired Northwest Territories, purchased by the Dominion of Canada from the Hudson’s Bay Company. The prime minister signed into law the force initially known as the “Northwest Mounted Rifles.” However, officials in the United States raised concerns that an armed force along the border could be inferred as a prelude to a military buildup. As a consequence, the force was renamed the Northwest Mounted Police (NWMP) when it was officially founded in 1873. In 1904, the force added the prefix “Royal” to its name when it merged with the Dominion Police, the main police force for all points east of the province of Manitoba. Finally, in 1920, it was renamed the “Royal Canadian Mounted Police,” a reference which remains today.

Since this time, there have been several substantive changes or additions to the RCMP, which included the amalgamation of Newfoundland’s own Newfoundland Ranger Force when they joined the Canadian Federation on the 1st April 1949. The RCMP became a full member of the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) in June 1953. On the 4th July 1973, the centenary anniversary of the founding of the original police force (the NWMP), Queen Elizabeth II approved in Regina, Saskatchewan, a new badge for the RCMP. In recognition of this acknowledgement, the force presented the sovereign with a tapestry rendering of the new design.

The RCMP are famous for their distinctive dress uniform, or “review order,” popularly known as the “Red Serge.” The resplendent design includes a high collared scarlet tunic, midnight blue breeches with yellow leg stripe, Sam Browne belt with white sidearm lanyard, oxblood-coloured riding boots (some fitted with spurs), brown wide flat-brimmed felt campaign hat with the characteristic “Montana crease,” and brown gloves. Today, the RCMP will include horses for ceremonial operations such as escorting the governor general’s open landau to the opening of Parliament.

The reverse side of the silver piedfort strikes is designed by Paul Cedarberg and includes a beautiful depiction of a lone RCMP rider on horseback holding a standard in his left hand and the reins of his mount with his right. The denotation of the coin’s pure silver content is represented with 9999 seen to the left of the design, and a small maple leaf is placed on the right. The commemorative years 1920 and 2020 are placed above the primary design along the edge. The additional text FINE SILVER 2 OZ ARGENT PUR is found below the design along the edge.

The obverse side includes a crowned effigy of HM King George V created by Sir E. B. Mackennal, which is the same portrait of the King used on Canadian coinage during his reign (1910–1936). The denomination of TEN DOLLARS is placed below the King’s likeness.

Denom. Metal Weight Diameter Quality Maximum Mintage
10 dollars .999 Silver  62.2 g 38 mm Uncirculated bullion To meet demand

As the Royal Canadian Mint does not sell bullion-related coins directly to the public, interested collectors are advised to contact their preferred precious metal dealers to purchase this coin. For additional information about RCM bullion products, please click here.

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United Kingdom: Royal Mint unveils new commemorative coins for 2020

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The Royal Mint has unveiled (1st January) the various commemorative coins which will be issued during 2020, and the subjects covered this year are as diverse as has been seen in many years. The subjects include a royal anniversary, a tribute to a well-known author, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, remembering victory in Europe, and an anniversary with an important American theme.

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Five Pounds — Bicentenary, Death of King George III

One of Great Britain’s most notable monarchs, his time on the throne was both tumultuous and eventful. His period of rule saw sweeping change, including the loss of the American colonies in 1776, and also the acquisition of many overseas territories which formed the foundation of Britain’s 19th-century empire. Two centuries after his death, his effigy once again returns to UK coinage for his contribution in making Britain more prosperous and democratic than ever before.

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Two Pounds — Centenary Anniversary, Remembering Agatha Christie

To mark 100 years since Dame Agatha Christie published her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, the “Queen of Crime” is commemorated on a £2 coin for the first time. Having sold over two billion copies of her stories, she is considered to be one of the most successful authors in the world, and this coin celebrates her legacy of defining the golden age of crime fiction.

Two Pounds — Victory in Europe, 75th Anniversary, 1945-2020

One of the most important days in both British and European history, VE Day (Victory in Europe), celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. The 8th May 1945 saw the beginning of the end of the Second World War, the six-year conflict that cost millions of lives and shaped the future of countries and continents. Following news of the Third Reich’s surrender, spontaneous street parties and celebrations across the country lasted long into the night. 75 years later, this £2 coin remembers those unrestrained outpourings of pure joy, leading to the first steps towards a lasting peace which has endured to this day.

Two Pounds — Voyage of the Mayflower — 1620-2020

2020 welcomes the 400th anniversary celebrating the extraordinary voyage of the Mayflower. The long, dangerous journey that took 102 men, women, and children from Plymouth, England, to Provincetown, Massachusetts, and the founding of one of the first European settlements in the New World. Following their first harvest in 1621, America’s original Thanksgiving feast was held, and the spirit of the pilgrims still remains a part of the annual national celebrations in the United States held every third Thursday in November since 1938.

50 Pence — XXXIII Olympiad, Tokyo, Japan

The next Olympiad will be the second time that Tokyo has hosted the Summer Olympic Games, the first being in 1964. After Great Britain’s biggest medal haul in Rio 2016, when 366 members of Team GB’s Olympic team competed to bring home 67 medals, Team GB is commemorated on a unique new 50-pence coin ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo. As one of only three countries to have competed in every single summer and winter Olympic Games, Team GB continues to push boundaries and inspire people to achieve their personal best.

The new commemoratives will be available in a variety of qualities during the year, in base metal Brilliant Uncirculated, sterling silver Proof and piedfort options, and 22-carat gold Proof versions. The coins are also available as either a separate item or in sets which include a five-coin option and in a year set which includes all definitive circulation coins from one penny to two pounds.

For additional information on these and other coins, please visit the website of the Royal Mint.

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