Royal Mint releases commemorative coin in memory of former Wham! star George Michael

LGBTQ
A headshot of George Michael from the late 1980s.

The Royal Mint has released a commemorative coin dedicated to the memory of George Michael.

The UK’s official coin manufacturer unveiled the limited-edition coins, which pay tribute to the singer-songwriter’s hit single Faith, on Monday (26 February).

Designed by artist Sandra Deiana, the collectable coins feature a headshot of Michael. The former Wham! star is seen wearing his signature sunglasses in front of an engraving of the refrain of Faith.

“From the beginning of the project, I was clear about certain elements I wanted to incorporate into the design,” Deiana said. “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.”

Three coins with George Michael's faced engraved in them on top of a record.
George Michael is seen wearing his signature sunglasses on the coins. (Supplied/Royal Mint)

After starting his solo career in the late 1980s, Michael went on to sell more than 125 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time.

In 1998, he came out as gay on live TV, saying he felt “no shame whatsoever”.

Speaking to CNN’s Jim Moret, the singer said: “People like to think they can spot a gay person as opposed to a straight person because it makes them feel something… a little more defined in themselves.

“I want to say that I have no problem with people knowing that I’m in a relationship with a man right now. I have not been in a relationship with a woman for almost 10 years.”

Since his death, on Christmas Day 2016, at the age of 53, it’s estimated that his estate has made almost £55,000 ($70,000) a day.

George Michael Entertainment said in a statement about the new collectable: “We are deeply honoured 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 this way.”

The George Michael collectable coin is available on The Royal Mint’s website.

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