The latest addition in The Royal Mint’s Music Legends £5 series has just been released, and it celebrates the man in the best-selling show…
For the first time ever, the Starman himself, David Bowie, has been featured on a brand new UK coin.
The coin, by Jody Clark, features a design which pays tribute to Bowie’s Aladdin Sane era. It depicts the music legend transitioning between his various personas, set against his iconic ‘BOWIE’ font.
Being a huge Bowie fan myself, my favourite feature of this coin has to be the world-famous lightning bolt that Bowie sported as his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust.
Encapsulating everything Bowie stood for; transformation, non-conformism, and vibrancy, this £5 coin pays the perfect tribute to one of the UK’s biggest Music Legends of all time.
Rock star David Bowie’s first hit was the song “Space Oddity” in 1969. The original pop chameleon, Bowie became a fantastical sci-fi character for his breakout Ziggy Stardust album.
Bowie’s songs depicted the ups and downs being an outsider: an alien, a misfit, or even a faraway astronaut! His music appealed to all, with a blend of rock, cabaret, jazz and soul. It was this eclectic mix of style and honest charm that defined him as one of the greatest music legends of the 20th century.
During Bowie’s vibrant career, he released 27 studio albums, 128 singles, and 72 music videos. Some of his most famous works include Space Oddity (1969), Life on Mars? (1971), Heroes (1977), and Ashes to Ashes (1980).
Sadly, in 2016 David Bowie passed away just two days after his birthday, leaving behind a legacy of nonconformist music and style.
And, in 2020 his legacy lives on, with the release of this brand new £5.
2020 UK Elton John £5
The second coin in the Music Legends series was released earlier this year, celebrating Sir Elton John, who has been delighting his fans for more than half a century.
Since his very first self-titled album in 1970, Elton John has sold in excess of 300 million records worldwide.
Some of his chart-topping hits include, ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight?’, ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’, ‘Candle in the Wind’, and ‘I’m Still Standing’.
He also found success on Broadway, composing for Billy Elliot (2008), which went on to win 10 Tony Awards.
As recognition of his contribution to music, Sir Elton John was knighted in 1998 and in 2020 he was celebrated on a £5 for the first time.
The reverse design of this £5 coin, by Bradley Morgan Johnson represents Elton John’s I’m Still Standing era. Speaking of the design, Johnson said, “I’m Still Standing was one of [his] favourite childhood pop tracks” and you can definitely see the influence this song has on the design of this coin.
My favourite feature of this coin design, is that Sir Elton John himself approved it. By owning this coin, you really are in possession of some huge music legend memorabilia.
If you would like to secure the 2020 Elton John £5 to your collection, click here >>
2020 Queen £5 Coin
The very first £5 coin in the Music Legends series was released earlier this year, celebrating one of Britain’s most iconic and influential bands ever, Queen.
Formed in London, 1970, Queen instantly rocked the nation and became a British icon, creating unique and timeless songs which are still loved to this day.
As of 2005, Queen’s albums have spent the equivalent of 26 years in the UK Album Charts! (According to the Guinness Book of World Records).
The design of this £5 coin by Chris Facey, showcases the iconic instruments of all four founder members of the band: Brian May’s Red Special guitar, John Deacon’s Fender Precision Bass™, Roger Taylor’s Ludwig™ bass drum, and Freddy Mercury’s Bechstein™ grand piano.
Band members Brian May and Roger Taylor have officially approved the design of this coin and alongside the fact that this coin is full of numismatic firsts, this coin has already proved incredibly popular with collectors:
- The first-time ever Queen have featured on a coin worldwide
- The first-time ever a British band has been celebrated on UK coinage
- The first coin to be issued in the new series celebrating British Music Legends.
If you would like to add the 2020 UK Queen £5 in Brilliant Uncirculated quality, then click here!
I’m sure you’re just as excited as we are by this brand new £5 coin and the continuation of the Music Legends £5 Series.
Which coin is your favourite in the series? Let us know in the comments!
Secure the brand new David Bowie £5 today!
As you would expect with a coin this exciting your brand new UK £5 has been struck to superior Brilliant Uncirculated quality and protectively encapsulated in official Change Checker packaging to preserve its quality forever.
Add this coin, celebrating one of the greatest music legends ever, to your collection right now, by clicking here.
We’ve been keeping our eyes on the latest Royal Proclamations and excitingly for collectors, there are some new coins on the horizon!
I’m sure you’re just as excited as I am to hear which themes we can expect for these coins, including those of the 2021 issues!
*** UPDATE ***
As of the Royal Proclamation issued on 18th December 2020, it has been confirmed that a brand new 50p will be released next year commemorating Charles Babbage, the English polymath. Babbage originated the concept of a digital programmable computer and is considered by some to be “father of the computer”.
The coin is said feature to the inscription “CHARLES BABBAGE” accompanied by numbers representing the name Babbage in numerical code. Whilst the actual design remains top secret, we’re certainly excited for this coin’s release!
As of the Royal Proclamation issued on the 13th November 2020, it has been confirmed that a number of £5 coins will be released next year and, excitingly for collectors, there will also me a continuation of the Dinosauria 50p series which was a roaring success in 2020!
Collectors of royalty £5s will be pleased to hear that a new £5 coin is being issued featuring the Royal Cypher and the inscription “MY HEART AND MY DEVOTION” alongside the date of the Queen’s birth and the year 2021.
What’s more, the royal theme continues with the tenth coin in the Queen’s Beasts series, the Griffin of Edward III.
A further two £5 coins have also been announced – one commemorating the Saxon King, Alfred the Great and the other celebrating The Royal Albert Hall, with the inscription “INSPIRING ARTS AND SCIENCES”.
To make sure you don’t miss out on adding these coins to your collection as soon as they are released, you can sign up to the Change Checker £5 Subscription Service here >>
Last year’s Dinosauria 50p collection shook the coin collecting world and this year we’re in for a real treat as a further three coins have just been announced!
Each 50p celebrates the Jurassic Coast discoveries made by English fossil collector, dealer, and palaeontologist, Mary Anning.
The coins are set to feature the Temnodontosaurus, Plesiosaurus and Dimorphodon – fantastic creatures that walked the Earth millions of years ago.
Don’t miss your chance to secure these incredible coins for your collection! Sign up to the Change Checker UK New Issue Subscription Service here and never miss another release >>
David Bowie £5
The Royal Proclamation issued on 16th October 2020, confirms that a David Bowie £5 will be issued this year.
Images of the Silver Proof version of the coins have been released and we think the coin looks amazing! It features a portrait of David Bowie himself set against a blue and red lightning bolt, synonymous with the musician and his Aladdin Sane era. We can’t wait to see the BU version when the coin is released!
We can assume this coin will be the latest release in the incredibly popular Music Legends series, in which we’ve already seen a Queen £5 and an Elton John £5 coin.
If you want to make sure you never miss out on owning future new UK £5 issue at the initial release price of just £10.99, including the upcoming 2020 David Bowie £5, you can register for the Change Checker £5 Subscription here >>
Sir Walter Scott £2
It has also been confirmed that a £2 coin will be issued in 2021 commemorating the 250th anniversary of the birth of novelist, historian, and poet, Sir Walter Scott.
The coin’s complete design remains a secret, but we do know it will feature the text: “SIR WALTER SCOTT NOVELIST HISTORIAN POET” encircled by the inscription “250TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS BIRTH” and the year date.
Excitingly, this coin will also feature the edge inscription, “THE WILL TO DO, THE SOUL TO DARE”, a quote from his epic poem, ‘Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field’.
H. G. Wells £2
A second £2 coin has been confirmed for 2021, commemorating the life and works of H.G Wells.
Herbert George Wells was an English novelist, sociologist, and historian, best-known for his sci-fi thrillers War of the Worlds, and The Invisible Man.
We can’t wait to see the design for this £2 as The Royal Proclamation alludes to a depiction of the Invisible Man and a Martian encircled by clock numerals. The coin is said to have an inscription which reads “GOOD BOOKS ARE THE WAREHOUSES OF IDEAS”.
John Logie Baird 50p
A 50p has been confirmed for 2021, commemorating Scottish engineer, John Logie Baird, who was the first person to demonstrate a working television.
The design of the 50p features the inscription “JOHN LOGIE BAIRD TELEVISION PIONEER” accompanied by a depiction of a television mast emitting circular radio waves with a range of dates relating to John Logie Baird‘s discovery and developments.
Decimal Day 50p
2021 will mark 50 years since decimalisation and as of the Royal Proclamation, it looks as though we’ll be seeing a special 50p to commemorate the anniversary.
The design of the coin is suggested to feature the inscription ‘Decimal Day 1971’ to mark the anniversary.
Given the popularity of the coins issued in 2019 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the 50p, this coin is sure to be sought-after amongst collectors and we can’t wait to see it!
2021 Team GB 50p
Following the announcement earlier this year that the individual release of the 2020 Team GB 50p would be postponed in accordance with the rescheduling of the Olympic Games, the Royal Proclamation confirms we will see a 2021 dated Team GB coin.
It seems as though the design of the 2020 coin will be replicated for 2021, with the exception of the new 2021 date.
Excitingly, this will mean that there are two versions of the coin – one with the obverse dated 2020 from this year’s Annual Coin Set and one with the obverse dated 2021 for next year’s individual release.
We certainly can’t wait to find out more about these coins, but if you want to make sure you don’t miss out on owning them as soon as they’re released, you can sign up to our Change Checker subscriptions service!
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Don’t miss your chance to get ahead of the crowd and be one of the very first collectors to receive the latest UK new issue coins as soon as possible after their release.
The Tower of London has been a symbol of royal power for nearly 1,000 years.
Built during the Norman conquest in 1066, Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and fortress of the Tower of London has been used as a prison, jewel house, mint and even a menagerie.
It’s been home to kings and queens, thieves and traitors and lions and bears.
In tribute to the Tower, The Royal Mint announced they would be issuing a four coin series throughout 2019 celebrating the history of the Tower of London, one of Britain’s most iconic attractions. The series will include coins depicting the following:
- The Legend of the Ravens
- The Yeoman Warders
- The Ceremony of the Keys
- The Crown Jewels
2019 Ceremony of the Keys £5
The Royal Mint has just released the fourth and final coin in the Tower of London series, with the new £5 being issued to celebrate the Ceremony of the Keys.
Designed by Glyn Davies the reverse of the coin depicts the keys and lamp which take centre stage in the ceremonial unlocking of the Tower of London gates.
What’s more, now that all four coins have been released the full image showing the Tower of London walls can be created by connecting the coins.
The Ceremony of the Keys £5 is available in Gold Proof, Silver Proof and Brilliant Uncirculated quality and I’m sure collectors will be eager to add this representation of our royal history to their collection.
Featuring a Raven with a bird’s-eye view of the Tower in the background, this coin captures the illustrious history of the iconic British landmark and its most famous residents.
The Tower’s ‘raven mythology’ is thought to be a Victorian flight of fantasy and has been a source of many legends, including the fate of Greenwich observatory.
It’s said that King Charles II disliked the raven’s droppings falling onto the telescope at the Tower’s observatory,and so ordered that the ravens must go. However, superstition stated that if the ravens left, the Tower would fall and Charles would lose his kingdom. Ever the pragmatist, the King decided that the observatory must go to Greenwich and the ravens must stay in the Tower.
Since Tudor times, the Yeoman Warders have been guarding the Tower of London. Nicknamed as ‘Beefeaters’, they originally formed the Yeoman of the Guard, which was the monarch’s personal team of bodyguards.
The Yeoman Warders were responsible for looking after the prisoners in the Tower and protecting the crown jewels, however nowadays they also conduct guided tours of the Tower and are an important icon for Britain, resplendent in their red uniforms and a favoured tourist attraction.
They need to be between 40 and 55 years old on appointment and hold at least 22 years’ military service, during which time they must have reached the rank of warrant officer and to have been awarded the long service and good conduct medal.
The Ceremony of the Keys
For over 700 years, as the clock strikes ten, the words ‘Halt! Who comes there?’ echo in the Tower of London. The ancient Ceremony of the Keys is a formal locking and unlocking of the Tower gates, which started in the mid 1300s on order of King Edward III after he entered the Tower unannounced one night and was able to walk straight in, unchallenged!
Tradition states that at exactly seven minutes to ten at night, the Chief Yeoman Warder of the Tower must leave the Byward Tower, wearing a red Watch Coat and Tudor Bonnet and carrying a lantern. He takes with him a very special set of keys – the Queen’s Keys.
A military escort meets him at the Bloody Tower and at 10pm he moves two paces forward, raises his Tudor bonnet and says: ‘God preserve Queen Elizabeth’. This is answered by ‘Amen’ from the guards and ‘The Last Post’ played on a bugle.
The keys are then taken back to the Queen’s House and handed to the Queen’s representative at the Tower, The Resident Governor.
Several expansions were made to the Tower throughout the reign of Kings Richard I, Henry III and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries, however in general the original layout remains consistent. It suffered structural damage during the Blitz, but this was repaired after the Second World War and the Tower was opened to the public, to marvel at the Tower’s most esteemed treasures – the Crown Jewels!
Not only a powerful symbol of the British Monarchy, the jewels have deep religious and cultural significance in British history and are used by HRH Queen Elizabeth for important ceremonies and royal duties.
However, the 12th century anointing spoon and three early 17th century swords are the only four original jewels left after the English Civil War in 1649, when the Crown Jewels were destroyed and the monarchy abolished. The jewels were remade for Charles II’s coronation in 1661 following Oliver Cromwell’s death.
From the late 15th century and during its peak period as a prison in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Tower housed some of Britain’s most notorious criminals, including Guy Fawkes, Anne Boleyn and even Elizabeth I before she became queen.
For those in a position of wealth, serving time at the Tower could be relatively comfortable, with some captive kings allowed to go out on hunting or shopping trips and even allowed to bring in their servants. However, for those less fortunate, the phrase “sent to the Tower” would conjure up gruesome images of torture and execution, such was its fearsome reputation.
Despite this reputation, only 7 people were executed at the Tower before the World Wars of the 20th century, where 12 men were then executed for espionage.
From 1272 until 1810, the Tower of London was home to The Royal Mint. Coins of the realm were produced in a dedicated area in the outer ward known as ‘Mint Street’. This dangerous task involved working with scorching furnaces, deadly chemicals and poisonous gases and many Mint workers suffered injuries including loss of fingers and eyes from the process.
In the 1600s, coins were no longer made by hand, but instead a screw-operated press was introduced. However, risk still befell the Mint workers, as they faced severe punishments should they be caught tampering with or forging coins.
In 1810, the Mint moved from the Tower to a new site at Tower Hill and eventually on to its present location in Wales to allow for expansion.
Now that the first coin in the Royal Mint’s brand new four coin series celebrating the Tower of London has been released, I’m sure £5 coin collectors will be looking forward to building up this fascinating collection.
Let us know what you think about the design and which coin in the series you’re most looking forward to seeing.
Complete your Tower of London £5 series
The Ceremony of the Keys £5 coin is now available to purchase in Brilliant Uncirculated quality.