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George Michael commemorated with coins from UK’s Royal Mint

HighLifeChannel March 4, 2024

Slicked-back hair, a leather jacket, a cross dangling from his ear and his trademark aviator sunglasses.

This is how many of George Michael’s fans remember the late, great singer—and his image has now been immortalized just so on a new collectible coin issued by Britain’s Royal Mint.

Visitors to the institution’s website had to wait in a virtual line to shop for the limited-edition coins, which went on sale at 9 a.m. (4 a.m. ET) local time on Monday.

One of the coins issued as part of the collection

The design of the coin pays tribute to the late singer’s second solo hit single, “Faith,” according to the Royal Mint. In a statement published online, the mint, which is the official producer of Britain’s coins, said the George Michael coin is the latest addition to its Music Legends series. Similar issues have honored fellow British music stars David Bowie, Elton John and Queen.

Officially approved by the estate of the Wham! front man, who died on Christmas Day in 2016 at age 53, the coin was designed by Italian artist and sculptor Sandra Deiana. The headshot is set against an engraving of the refrain of “Faith.”

In a statement in the media release, Deiana said she was clear from the start that there were “certain elements” she wanted to include. She added: “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.”

The coin is available in several different finishes and weights, and ranges in price from £15.50 (around $20) to £2,770 ($3,500).

In a career spanning four decades, Michael sold more than 100 million albums, with hit singles including “Careless Whisper,” “Faith” and “Jesus to a Child.”

The singer, songwriter, producer and philanthropist rose to fame in the early 1980s as one half of Wham!, alongside bandmate Andrew Ridgley. The duo split in 1986 and Michael’s first solo hit was a duet with Aretha Franklin the following year—“I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me).”

The issue of the coins comes two months after Wham’s “Last Christmas” reached number one in the UK—39 years after it was first released.

Welcoming the coins’ creation, a statement from George Michael Entertainment included in the media release said: “On behalf of George Michael, we are deeply honored 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.”


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