UK

George Michael takes centre stage on Royal Mint’s new collectable coin

The George Michael coin is available to buy from the Royal Mint’s website from Monday and is part of its Music Legends series.

A collectable coin celebrating George Michael has been unveiled by the Royal Mint
George Michael coin A collectable coin celebrating George Michael has been unveiled by the Royal Mint

A collectable coin celebrating George Michael has been unveiled by the Royal Mint.

The coin features the singer-songwriter’s signature look from his debut solo album Faith.

It is the latest in the Mint’s Music Legends series, following David Bowie, Sir Elton John and Queen.

Designed by artist and sculptor Sandra Deiana, the new collectable coin portrays a headshot of Michael wearing his trademark sunglasses and an engraving of the refrain of Faith. The colours black and red feature on a selection of the coins.

Coins on a record

The Mint said the coin has been officially approved by Michael’s estate.

Its release follows the recent celebrations over Wham!’s single Last Christmas topping the UK charts, 39 years after its initial release.

The festive track made history after it completed the longest journey to the Christmas number one, according to the Official Charts Company.

It was released in 1984 and was beaten to number one by Band Aid’s charity single Do They Know It’s Christmas? which featured Michael, among a host of other singers.

Ms Deiana said: “From the beginning of the project, I was clear about certain elements that I wanted to incorporate into the design. I wanted a detailed portrait that captured his charismatic expression – I was particularly thinking of his iconic sunglasses.

“It’s amazing to be able to pay tribute to his music and what you see in the design is truly a piece of George Michael’s song.”

Rebecca Morgan, director of collector services at the Royal Mint said: “From his debut with Wham! to becoming one of the bestselling solo musicians of all time, George Michael is a global superstar whose work has inspired and influenced generations with his music and his unique style.

“Loved by millions of fans worldwide, we are delighted to be introducing an official UK coin celebrating his life and legacy.”

Michael died on Christmas Day in 2016, aged 53. He has been remembered for his philanthropy as well as his musical talent as one of the best-selling musicians of all time, with numerous stories of his compassion, kindness and generosity having emerged.

He rose to fame in the 1980s as a member of Wham!, which formed after Michael and Andrew Ridgeley met at Bushey Meads School in Hertfordshire.

They released their debut album Fantastic in 1983 and decided to bow out at the top, staging a farewell gig at London’s Wembley Stadium on in 1986.

George Michael, who died on Christmas Day in 2016, is pictured on stage performing during the Live Aid Concert
Music – Live Aid Concert – Wembley Stadium – London George Michael, who died on Christmas Day in 2016, is pictured on stage performing during the Live Aid Concert (PA/PA)

A statement from George Michael Entertainment said: “On behalf of George Michael, we are deeply honoured that the Royal Mint is paying tribute to him by creating a series of beautifully crafted coins. He would have been enormously proud and genuinely touched that a national institution should have decided to pay tribute to his memory in this way.”

The collectable coins will be available to purchase from the Royal Mint’s website from 9am on Monday.

Prices for the coins start from £15.50 for a £5 denomination brilliant uncirculated coin, with a colour version available for £24.50.

A 2oz gold coin, with a denomination of £200, is available for £5,305.