2021 Coin Predictions

Author: Amy Billington - Content Editor

Published: 19 Oct 2020

Last Updated: 19 Apr 2021


What will 2021 bring for UK coins? Can we expect to see a One Year Anniversary of Lockdown coin? Or even the Queen wearing a mask? We've listed our annual predictions below.  
Mock Image of David Bowie 1oz Gold Coin

Music Legends: David Bowie

We've just heard news that the mint will release a David Bowie coin in 2021! Bowie is undoubtedly one of the most influential musicians in modern history. Known for his creative style and innovative and constantly evolving music, as well as his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust.

Born David Robert Jones in 1947, Bowie started playing the saxaphone at an early age and showed an interest in modern jazz. For his early perfromances he used the stage name Davie (or Davy) Jones, but changed it to avoid confusion with the actor Davy Jones, who had found success with The Monkees. Bowie chose to name himself after the Bowie knife as 'it cuts both ways'.  

Bowie has sold over 100 million records. Some of his best known works include Heroes, Life on Mars, Let's Dance, Changes and his collaboration with Queen on the song Under Pressure. He was also an accomplished actor, with performances in The Prestige, The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Snowman, Zoolander, Extras and 80's cult classic, Labyrinth. We cannot wait to see him celebrated on a UK coin!

There's a lot of speculation about who will appear on future coins in the Music Legends Series. Top suggestions include The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. 

95th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II

The longest-reigning monarch in UK history (and fourth in the world) celebrates her 95th birthday in 2021. Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne in 1952 after the sudden death of her father, King George VI. Coins have been issued to celebrate her 70th, 80th and 90th birthdays so we think a 2021 coin is on the cards. 

95th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II Coin Mock-Up
Prince Philip Centenary £5 Mock-Up

100th Birthday of Prince Philip 

The Duke of Edinburgh is set to turn 100 on 10th June 2021. We're sure the mint will issue a coin to celebrate the momentous birthday, especially after coins were issued to mark his 90th Birthday in 2011 and also his retirement in 2017. We're not sure a 100th Birthday Telegram from The Queen will have as much of an effect on Philip as it does on most centenary recipients of the card!

10th Wedding Anniversary of Prince William and Kate Middleton

On 29th April 2011, Prince William married Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey. The wedding was a huge event, attended by royal dynasties from around the world as well as a who's-who of celebrity friends. People celebrated the marriage of the future King across the globe, with street parties being held throughout the Commonwealth. The Royal Mint released an official wedding coin and the day was even declared a Public Bank Holiday in the UK. 

The event was watched by 36.7 million viewers in the UK alone, and streamed by over 72 million people on YouTube. 

10th Wedding Anniversary of Prince William and Kate Middleton £5 Mock-Up
Mock Image of H. G. Wells £2 Coin

75th Anniversary of the Death of H. G. Wells

2021 marks the 75th anniversary of the death of science fiction author, H.G. Wells. Born Herbert George Wells in 1866, his literature career spanned over 60 years. His best known works include The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, and The Time Machine. 

Mostly set in futuristic, utopian society, Wells foresaw the invention of space travel, satellite television, planes and even the internet! His novels were so popular that he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times, but sadly did not win. 

75th Anniversary of the Death of John Logie Baird

This coin could possibly be the latest entry into the Innovators In Science Series. Scottish inventor and engineer John Logie Baird helped create the first television set in 1926. His first working prototype incorporated household items such as scissors, sewing needles and a hatbox. Whilst it's hard to imagine life without television, early sceptics believed that "instantaneous transmission of a picture" was dreamt up by a mad man! 

Throughout his life Baird explored long range transmissions, and successfully transmitted the first transatlantic broadcast from London to New York. He also pioneered the way with colour TV and even made the first 3D television. 

Mock Images of John Logie Baird 50p
Mock Image of Sir Walter Scott £2

250th Anniversary of the Birth of Sir Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott was a Scottish playwright and poet, known for establishing the historical fiction genre. His notable works include The Lady of the Lake and The Tale of Old Mortality. 

Scott wrote a three volume series of historical stories called The Waverly Novels, one of which featured a version of Robin Hood which influenced our modern concept of the hero. In it the outlaw is portrayed as a nobleman named Locksley. The alias 'Robin of Locksley' is still used to this day.

Scott's work helped anglicise and popularise the word 'glamour' which originated from the old Scottish word 'gramarye', meaning a magic enchantment. 

2021 Rugby League World Cup / 150th Anniversary of Rugby Football Union

Whether you're a fan of Rugby Union or Rugby League, 2021 is going to be a big year! The 2021 Rugby League World Cup is due to be held in England in October, 2021. Meanwhile, the Rugby Football Union celebrates 150 years since its 1871 founding. 

It's not unlikely that one of these event will be commemorated on a UK coin. Previous rugby coins include the 2012 London Olympics rugby 50p and the 1999 Rugby World Cup £2. 

Rugby League World Cup £2 Mock-Up
2020 Tokyo Olympics Team GB Coin

2021 Tokyo Olympics

The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics were just one of the many events postponed due to COVID-19. The games were due to start on 22nd July 2020 but will now commence on 23rd July 2021.

The Royal Mint did issue a Team GB 50p coin as part of the 2020 Annual UK Coin Sets, however this is now considered an error coin due it featuring the date of the cancelled event. We think the mint will likely release the same coin design but with a different date. 

50 Years Since Decimalisation

Decimal Day, the day in which the UK switched from £sd to decimal coinage, took place on 15th February 1971. The government prepared for the massive change by withdrawing some denominations of coins and notes prior to the 1971 launch day. They also introduced fifty pence coins a couple of years earlier, in 1969.

In order to acquaint the general public to the new denominations of coins, special packs were issued featuring the new half penny, penny, two pence, five pence and 10 pence coins. 

Mock Image of Decimal Day 50p

1st Anniversary of Lockdown

We're not sure if people will want to celebrate this one! On 23rd March, 2020 the UK officially went into lockdown. With social distancing guidelines still in place, we're likely to have some form of limited social contact by the time the anniversary rolls around. To reflect the new norm, maybe the 2021 coins could incorporate some health and safety regulations into their design? The Queen could wear a face mask whilst making sure to remain socially distanced from lady Britannia?  

UK Withdrawal From EU Single Market and Customs Union

In a process which seems to have lasted decades rather than years, 2020 finally saw the UK officially withdraw from the EU. It's not over just yet, with the UK leaving the EU single market and customs union on 1st January, 2021. Coins were issued when we joined the trade market in 1973, and also when we withdrew from the European Union. 

UK Withdrawal From EU Single Market and Customs Union 50p Mock-Up
100th Anniversary of Northern Ireland Joining the United Kingdom 50p Mock-Up

100 Years since NI being a part of the UK

On 3rd May 1921 Northern Ireland became a province of the United Kingdom. 

100 Years of the British Legion

The British Legion was founded on 15th May 1921. The charity works to support veterans of the British Armed Forces by providing them and their families with financial and emotional support. We'd love to see this celebrated on a coin, with proceeds being donated to the charity so they can continue their good work. 

100 Years of the British Legion Coin Mock-Up
Una and the Lion Gold Bullion Coin Mock-Up

New Bullion Coins

With the final Queen's Beasts bullion coin having been released, and the cancellation of the 2021 UK lunar bullion coins, there's a huge gap in the market for new British bullion coins. Some suggestions for new designs include coins inspired by old hammered coinage, or the iconic Una and Lion design. 

Honorary Mentions

Whilst these may not warrant UK coins, the following may be commemorated on other world coins:

40th Anniversary of DeLorean: Great Scott! Production of the first DMC DeLoreon car was completed in Belfast on 21st January 1981. The coin is most prominently known for being a time machine in the Back to the Future Trilogy. 

Charlie Chaplin - The Kid Film: One of the most celebrated films of the silent era celebrates its 100th birthday in 2021! 

65th Anniversary of Elvis's Heartbreak Hotel: Upon the song's release in 1956, it spent 7 weeks at the top of the US Billboard Chart. Since then it has been certified Double Platinum - that's over 2 million copies sold!  

Charlie Chaplin's 'The Kid' Anniversary Coin Mock-Up
Scottish Independence 100 Bawbees Mock-Up

Scottish Independence: We don't know what 2021 will bring in regards to Scottish Independence, but with calls for a second referendum growing each day, it may not be implausible to see Scotland become a Sovereign state. Maybe a commemorative bawbee coin will be issued to celebrate the event. 

EU Daylight Savings Time: The EU had set forward plans to abandon Daylight Savings Time in 2021, however due to COVID-19 it looks like this may have been pushed back to 2022.

James Joyce: 2021 marks the 75th anniversary since the death of the Irish novelist who's best known for writing the 1922 book, Ulysses. 

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