The Royal Mint launches David Bowie coin range and sends it into space

7 December 2020, 16:34 | Updated: 8 December 2020, 10:43

The special commemorative coin is the third in The Royal Mint’s Music Legends collection and follows coins in honour of Queen and Elton John.

The Royal Mint, the Original Maker of UK coins, has today launched a commemorative coin celebrating the career of David Bowie.

In order to celebrate the impact and legacy of the late Ziggy Stardust icon and his intergalactic hits, which include Starman, Space Oddity and Life on Mars?, one of the coins has also been launched into space.

Watch footage of the moment, courtesy of The Royal Mint, above.

The coin reached 35,656m and orbited the Earth’s atmosphere for 45 minutes before safely descending back to Britain, where it will now be offered as a competition prize for David Bowie fans via The Royal Mint’s Facebook page.

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The Royal Mint's David Bowie commemorative coin is launched into space
The Royal Mint's David Bowie commemorative coin is launched into space. Picture: 1. Press/The Royal Mint UK 2. NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

The David Bowie commemorative coin is the third in The Royal Mint’s Music Legends collection and follows coins in honour of Queen and Elton John.

The latest coin celebrates the chameleon with a design inspired by an image of David Bowie from his time spent living and recording in Berlin and it includes the iconic lightning bolt motif from his Aladdin Sane album.

Using the latest innovative technology and manufacturing techniques, the lightning bolt that features on a number of the special edition coins appears laced with stardust to create a glitter effect.

Clare Maclennan, Divisional Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said, “We are thrilled to unveil the third coin in The Royal Mint’s ‘Music Legends’ series, honouring the intergalactic legacy and career of David Bowie. In recognition of Bowie’s first hit single ‘Space Oddity’, we felt it was fitting to send his coin into space and celebrate the Starman in his own pioneering fashion. David Bowie’s music has inspired and influenced generations of musicians and we hope this commemorative coin will be cherished by fans around the world.”

The Royal Mint has an unbroken history of minting British coinage dating back over 1,100 years. Based in the Tower of London for over 500 years, by 1812 The Royal Mint had moved out of the Tower to premises on London’s Tower Hill. In 1967 the building of a new Royal Mint began on its current site in South Wales, UK, to accommodate the minting of UK decimal coinage. Today, The Royal Mint is the world’s largest export mint, supplying coins to the UK and overseas countries.

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