Lennon Beats Historical Heavyweights to Become a Great Briton
29 Oct 2010
Beatlemania alive and well as Liverpool legend wins public vote to be immortalised on a coin.
In what would have been his seventieth year, music icon John Lennon has beaten a line-up of historical figures including Emmeline Pankhurst, Jane Austen and John Logie Baird to become the next Great Briton celebrated on a coin.
For the first time in its 1,000 year history, the Royal Mint asked the public to decide who should join the likes of William Shakespeare, Sir Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin and Florence Nightingale on its series of coins commemorating British luminaries of the past. Over 30,000 votes were cast with the vast majority – 27,874 (just over 92%) – nominating Lennon as the icon most deserving of a place in monetary history.
The Beatle benefited from huge support generated online, with music lovers harnessing the power of internet fan groups and Twitter to make their collective voice heard.
Lennon’s iconic sixties image has now been captured by the Royal Mint on a silver £5 Alderney coin, which is available to purchase from today. In addition, the Royal Mint is planning to produce a one-off, 24 carat gold version of the coin to be presented to the John Lennon Estate.
Voting began on 15th July and continued for a fortnight on a special Royal Mint website. Lennon’s nearest rival, with just 4.2% of the vote, was literary heavyweight Jane Austen. Emmeline Pankhurst, John Logie Baird, Sir Douglas Bader and Sir Walter Raleigh were also nominated for the public vote.
Commenting on the result Dave Knight, Director of Commemorative Coin at the Royal Mint, said: “It’s entirely fitting that John Lennon has been chosen by the public in what would have been his seventieth year. The massive proportion of the vote he received shows clearly just how much his untimely death still resonates with the nation. He ranks alongside, and even ahead of, some of the greatest names in history and the Royal Mint is proud to commemorate a genuine British legend. ”
The coin is available to buy online from www.royalmint.com/johnlennon priced at £44.99.
For media enquiries, please contact the Royal Mint Press Office on 0845 600 50 18
Images of the John Lennon £5 coin are available upon request
About the John Lennon Alderney £5 Coin
The John Lennon Alderney £5 coin is a new coin to compliment the Great Britons series that was introduced in 2006 and includes 24 coins featuring famous Britons.
John Lennon was selected from six shortlisted Great Britons by a public poll on the Royal Mint’s website in June 2010.
The silver coin has an RRP of £44.99 + P&P and is available directly from www.royalmint.com or by calling +44 (0)845 60 88 222
The medallion, which is struck in solid sterling silver to Proof quality, features Her Majesty The Queen’s portrait on the obverse side. The reverse side features the iconic face of John Lennon, which is represented in the same style as the previous coins in the Great Briton series.