Music Legends Series

Author: Jon Clarke - Bullion & Economics Editor

Published: 21 May 2021

Last Updated: 4 Jul 2023


The music legends range of coins was started in 2020 by The Royal Mint to celebrate the greatest rock bands past and present from the United Kingdom!

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

The Royal Mint's Music Legends Series

Music Legends is a series of gold & silver coins by the Royal Mint that feature some of the most legendary British rock icons ever. Below you can see every coin that has been released to date and which band we think could feature next!


The Music Legends series began in 2020 with the first coins featuring UK rock group Queen.

The classic line-up of lead vocalist and pianist Freddie Mercury, guitarist and vocalist Brian May, drummer and vocalist Roger Taylor and bass player and vocalist John Deacon.

Since 1971, Queen have released over 70 singles, 15 studio albums and 11 live albums, some of which were released posthumously after the death of Freddie Mercury.

The coins were designed by Christopher Facey and featured images of Freddie’s grand piano and microphone, Brian May’s guitar, Roger Taylor’s bass drum and John Deacon’s bass. 

Elton John

The second release paid homage to Elton John, whose music has been entertaining audiences for nearly 60 years.

Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in 1947, John showed a musical aptitude early on and frequently entertained friends and family with his piano playing. He released his debut album 'Empty Sky' in 1968 under his stage name Elton John. He legally changed his name to Elton John in 1972.

Elton John has sold over 300 million records and is one of the best-selling music artists ever.

Outside of his music, he set up the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992, to support those suffering from HIV. The foundation has raised over US$600 million across 35 different countries to fund its HIV-related programs.

Also released in 2020, the Elton John coins celebrate his “I’m Still Standing” day, with Bradley Morgan Johnson’s design featuring his iconic glasses, boater hat and bow tie. 

David Bowie

The David Bowie coins are arguably the most popular coins in the series (so far) - a great tribute to perhaps the most influential musical artist of the 20th century.

Also born in 1947, Bowie was born David Robert Jones. He showed an early interest in music and was influenced by the rock and roll artists of the era, such as Little Richard and Elvis Presley.

His first single “Liza Jane” was released in 1964 under the name 'Davie Jones with the King Bees', although it was not successful. In order to avoid confusion with Davy Jones of the Monkees, he took the name David Bowie after the Bowie knife.

Bowie’s ability to reinvent himself over the years has given him great influence and a broad fan base. One of these reinventions include his androgynous alter ego, Ziggy Stardust and the related concept album 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars'.

Bowie also became an accomplished actor with roles in a number of Broadway productions and the cult classic film Labyrinth.

Bowie passed away just 2 days after his 69th birthday on 10th January 2016.

Designed by Jody Clark, the David Bowie coins feature the legendary artist in front of the iconic lightning bolt, as seen on his Ziggy Stardust character. 

The Who

This release in the Music Legends series celebrates The Who, who gained a reputation as one of the greatest rock bands and live acts in the world.

Originally made up of vocalist Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon, the group became famous for their live performances which regularly ended with the destruction of their instruments and amplifiers.

The band were just as influential in fashion, embracing pop art and using the Union Jack and the mod roundel as a logo.

Their 6th album, Quadrophenia, became the basis for the 1979 film of the same name, which depicted the rivalry between the mods and rockers. The film would also help in the growing mod revival of the late 70s and early 80s.

Despite the deaths of Moon and Entwistle, Daltrey and Townshend have continued to tour and released their latest studio album 'Who' in 2019.

The coin design features some of the most iconic symbols of The Who. A Rickenbacker guitar-shaped pinball machine is shown smashing through a speaker. The guitar is adorned by a colourful Union Jack flag. The round mod-style 'The Who' logo appears at the top of the coin.

The Rolling Stones 

The Rolling Stones are one of the biggest bands in history, with hits including Paint It Black, Satisfaction, Sympathy for the Devil and Jumpin' Jack Flash.

The band formed in 1962 and to-date have released 30 studio albums and 23 live albums. In 1989 the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They were added to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. 

During their 60 years of Rock 'n' Roll royalty, the Rolling Stones have achieved:

  • 8 UK number one singles.
  • 13 UK number one albums.
  • 3 Grammy awards.
  • The Grammy Lifetime achievement award.

The coin captures the iconic rock 'n' roll band performing on stage in front of a live crowd. The design includes the classic 1973 'The Rolling Stones' font in red text, with the dates '62-22' to mark the 60th anniversary of the band.

Dame Shirley Bassey

Dame Shirley Bassey is the latest addition to the Music Legends series. 

Dame Shirley Bassey, a Welsh singer, began her remarkable career in the mid-1950s and continues to enchant audiences to this very day. Celebrated for her mesmerizing voice and captivating stage charisma, she attained immense renown through unforgettable hits such as "Goldfinger," "Diamonds Are Forever," and "Big Spender."

Her musical journey has been adorned with numerous accolades, including multiple number one singles and prestigious Grammy Awards. To honor her exceptional musical contributions, The Royal Mint introduced the Dame Shirley Bassey coins as part of their esteemed Music Legends series, paying tribute to her enduring legacy and profound impact on the world of music.

Who's Next?

It’s not unreasonable to say that the British Isles have given birth to some of the most influential artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. The big question is: who’s going to be the next music legend?

Here’s who we expect to be seeing in the future:

  • The Beatles 
  • Led Zeppelin 
  • Pink Floyd
  • Des O’ Connor
  • The Bonzo Dog Do-Dah Band 

Who do you think should be on the next coin?

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