For decades, UK coinage has celebrated some of the most influential and significant people in British history.

However, a lack of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic figures (BAME) being recognised on legal tender has led to campaigning for greater inclusivity.

This comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak stated he was considering proposals from a campaign group. He has since asked the Royal Mint to come up with new designs honouring BAME figures who have served the nation – such as military figures and nurses.

Will Mahatma Gandhi be the first to feature?

It has been confirmed that the first figure to be considered in a new series of UK coins that will recognise and celebrate BAME figures on UK currency will be Mahatma Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Gandhi is most well known for leading the successful campaign for India’s independence, using nonviolent resistance which inspired human rights movements across the world.

However, he also has strong ties with London, having attended the University College of London law school in 1888.

Despite leaving for India after being called to the bar in 1891, he continued to return to London, right up until his final visit in 1931 where he attended a conference on the future of India.

Military nurse Mary Seacole and spy Noor Inayat Khan also being considered

The Jamaican-born business woman and nurse, Mary Seacole is being considered as one of the figures to feature on a British currency.

Mary Seacole (1873). Credit: Wikimedia Commons

At the outbreak of the Crimean War, Seacole travelled to England hoping to join Florence Nightingale’s famous team of nurses.

However, she was turned down and instead travelled to Crimea herself where she established the “British Hotel”, intended to be somewhere soldiers could rest and eat.

With the location of her hotel being so close to the conflict, she was able to visit the battlefield, sometimes under fire, to nurse the wounded. Indeed, she nursed sick soldiers so kindly that they called her ‘Mother Seacole’.

In May, a community hospital was named after the pioneering nurse and there is also now a trust in her name, which aims to educate and inform the public about her life, work and achievements.

Noor Inayat Khan (1943). Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Noor Inayat Khan is also another figure in consideration. Khan was a wartime British secret agent of Indian descent who was the first female radio operator sent into Nazi-occupied France in 1943, by the Special Operations Executive (SOE).

Many members of the same network were arrested not long after entering France, but she spent the summer moving from place to place, trying to send messages back to London while avoiding capture.

In November 1943, she was sent to Pforzheim prison in Germany where she was kept in chains and in solitary confinement. Despite repeated torture, she refused to reveal any information about British Intelligence.

2014 Walter Tull £5

2014 Walter Tull Silver Proof £5 Coin. Credit: The Royal Mint

In 2014, a commemorative Silver Proof £5 coin was issued within a series of coins commemorating the First World War.

Recognised as the first black officer in Britain’s Armed Forces, Walter Tull is celebrated on this £5 coin as a hero and famous figure from the war.

However, coins such as this celebrating BAME figures on UK coins are few and far between, and when issued as higher specification precious metal coins, they end up being less accessible to the general public.

Banknotes of Colour Campaign

A ‘Banknotes of Colour’ campaign is currently being led by former Conservative parliamentary candidate, Zehra Zaidi in efforts to see the better representation of non-white peoples on British currency.

She said, “We must tell the story of inclusive representation as it matters for cohesion and it matters in the narrative of who we are as a nation.”

We look forward to hearing more as the story unfolds as Rishi Sunak considers these proposals which would recognise and celebrate BAME figures on UK currency.


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January 2019 eBay Tracker Update

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Here at Change Checker we’ve been keeping an eye on the latest Royal Proclamations and excitingly for collectors there’s not just one, but FOUR brand new £5 coins on the horizon!

I’m sure you’ll be just as excited as I am to hear which £5 coin themes have been announced, as there really are some fantastic coins due to be released in 2020!

British Red Cross £5

The Royal Proclamation issued on 22nd May 2020, confirms that a British Red Cross £5 coin will be issued this year.

We can assume this coin will be issued in celebration of the British Red Cross’ 150th birthday, as it’s establishment date ‘1870’ is said to feature as in inscription on the coin.

Whilst the actual design remains top secret, The Royal Proclamation hints the coin will feature “a cross set against a background of the British Isles and a series of lines symbolising the globe.”

The official motto of the British Red Cross, “The Power of Kindness” will also feature.

If you’d like to find out more, you can fill in our sign-up form below to stay up-to-date with all the latest news about this release.

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The End of the Second World War £5

Earlier this year we saw the release of the incredibly popular Victory in Europe Day £2 coin but it looks like 75th anniversary celebrations will be continuing with the release of a brand new End of Second World War £5 coin.

The coin is said to feature the words ‘War‘ and ‘Peace‘ accompanied by the inscription ‘The End of the Second World War.’

If the popularity of the 2020 Victory in Europe £2 is anything to go by, we can expect this £5 to be a real hit with collectors.

If you’d like to find out more, you can fill in our sign-up form below to stay up-to-date with all the latest news about this release.

2020 The End of the Second World War £5

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Remembrance £5

Every year, to commemorate Remembrance Day and the end of the First World War, The Royal Mint issues a brand new £5 coin. As of the Royal Proclamation on 24th June, it has been confirmed that a new 2020 Remembrance Day £5 coin will be issued later this year.

Although the final design hasn’t been revealed yet, the reverse is said to feature the silhouette of a First World War soldier formed by poppies accompanied by the inscription, “Lest We Forget 11 November 2020”.

These coins prove popular every year, so if you’d like to find out more, you can fill in our sign-up form below to stay up-to-date with all the latest news about this release.

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2021 Lunar Year of the Ox

In 2020 (and for the first-time-ever!) The Royal Mint issued a Lunar Year of the Rat £5 coin as part of their Shēngxiào Collection in Brilliant Uncirculated Quality.

And it seems this series will be continuing as brand new 2021 Lunar Year of the Ox £5 will be issued in Brilliant Uncirculated quality.

Whilst the actual design remains a mystery, the coin is said to feature the inscription “2021 YEAR OF THE OX” and the Chinese lunar symbol for an Ox. 

Last year’s coin proved incredibly popular with collectors, so if you don’t want to miss out on this new release, you can sign-up for updates below.

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As of the Royal Proclamation issued on 14th February, a very exciting United Kingdom £5 coin series has been confirmed for release in 2020.

Many will know him by him M16 codename ‘007’ but the name James Bond is famous worldwide.

007 on coins

The Royal Proclamation confirms there will be three coins in the series.

The reverse of the first coin in the series will show the Bond car from Goldfinger set against the 007 logo with the inscription ‘Bond, James Bond‘.

The second coin in the series will show the Bond car from The Spy Who Loved Me set against part of the 007 logo and the inscription ‘Pay attention 007′.

Finally, the last coin in the series will feature a depiction of James Bond’s torso in a dinner jacket and bow tie set against a part of the 007 logo with the inscription ‘Shaken not stirred’.

Not the first UK Bond coin…

This isn’t the first-time Bond has featured on a UK coin. The world-famous spy made his debut appearance on the A-Z of Great Britain 10ps taking the ‘B’ for ‘Bond’ spot.

The ‘Bond’ 10p is widely considered the most popular of the A-Z 10p coins and currently takes the top spot on the Change Checker A-Z 10p Scarcity Index so we’re certain this new release is going to be a hit with collectors!

Stay up-to-date

At the moment, any further information on this exciting release is strictly top secret but you can fill in our sign-up form below to stay up-to-date with all the latest news about this release.

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– Find and identify the coins in their pocket
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