Queen become first British band to be celebrated on an official UK coin

Queen's Brian May with the new £5 coin
Queen's Brian May with the new £5 coin (Image credit: The Royal Mint)

The Royal Mint have released a commemorative coin honouring rock legends Queen.

It’s the first time that a British band has been recognised on UK currency, with the range designed by Chris Facey featuring Freddie Mercury’s mic and Bechstein grand piano, Brian May’s ‘Red Special’ guitar, John Deacon’s Fender Precision bass and Roger Taylor’s Ludwig bass drum.

The coin is available in a variety of versions with the £5 Brilliant Uncirculated coin presented in four different slipcases covers representing Queen, their live work and the albums Hot Space and A Kind Of Magic.

In addition there’s a half ounce silver proof coin, a one ounce silver proof coin, a quarter-ounce gold proof coin, and a one ounce gold proof coin.

All are available to purchase through the Royal Mint’s website, with prices ranging from £13 for the Brilliant Uncirculated coin up to £2020 for the gold proof coin.

May says: “This is a big, ‘Who could have imagined it?’ moment for us. When we began as Queen, even the first rung of the ladder to recognition seemed remote and unreachable. To have our band recognised and our music celebrated in this way is very touching – a real honour.”

Taylor adds: “Marvellous, all this fuss over our band. I feel entirely spent.”

Designer Facey says his first memory of hearing Queen was Bohemian Rhapsody in the famous car scene from 1992 Mike Myers film Wayne’s World, and he’s been a fan ever since.

He adds: “It’s therefore such an honour to be asked to commemorate such an extraordinary band on a UK coin, and even more exciting as it’s the first coin I’ve designed.

“ All four members of Queen were vital for their bravery in the music they created and the boundaries they pushed, and I hope that fans will enjoy seeing each of their contributions paid tribute to on this coin.”

The Royal Mint’s chief commercial officer Nicola Howell says: “Queen were one of the most influential bands of their generation, and their timeless classics are still enjoyed by millions of fans around the world. 

“That’s why we’re so pleased to be honouring 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 of our greatest contributions to culture around the world, and its musicians like Queen who are at the forefront of this. 

“We’re looking forward to announcing other coins in our new ‘Music Legends’ collection later this year, marking the work of other exceptional British musicians.”

Queen and Adam Lambert will play at the Fire  Fight Australia benefit concert Sydney’s ANZ Stadium on February 16 to raise funds for the national bushfire relief efforts.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.