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Music

Sex Pistols release commemorative coin for Platinum Jubilee

Anti-royalist punks, the Sex Pistols, have released their ‘Pistol Mint Commemorative Coin’ this week ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee on Friday, June 3rd.

The nickel-plated coin features original album artwork creator Jamie Reid’s Union Jack flag design on the front, with a high quality, embossed recreation of Reid’s depiction of the Queen with a safety pin lip piercing on the flip side.

News of the new coin comes just days after the notorious band reissued their controversial 1977 single ‘God Save The Queen’, which famously lifts a middle finger to the monarchy with lyrics like: “God save the queen / She ain’t no human being / And there is no future / In England’s dreaming.” 

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The single was originally released 45 years ago during the time of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. 

Despite being immediately banned by the BBC at the time, the song reached number two on the UK’s singles chart (the track was listed as a blank to avoid causing offence). With the help of the leading single, the quintessential punk group’s debut album, Never Mind the Bollocks, became an instant classic and a cornerstone of rock history. 

The new commemorative coin (available here until the end of June), which marks the Queen’s 70th year on the throne, comes in a cushioned sapphire velvet presentation box with the front face design embossed with silver. Additionally, a bonus digital counterpart is available as an NFT that can be redeemed via The Pistol Mint website. The NFT collection features several various designs assigned randomly upon minting.

Despite the anti-royalist irony of the new coin, members of the Sex Pistols have since clarified that the 1977 single isn’t quite what listeners interpreted it to be. The band’s former frontman John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) said in a recent interview with Piers Morgan that he is “actually really, really proud of the Queen for surviving and doing so well”.

He elaborated in a conversation with TalkTV in May that ‘God Save The Queen’ was “anti-royalist, but it’s not anti-human”.

“I’ve got to tell the world this. Everyone presumes that I’m against the royal family as human beings, I’m not,” Lydon said. “I’m actually really, really proud of the Queen for surviving and doing so well.”

“I applaud her for that, and that’s a fantastic achievement. I’m not a curmudgeon about that.”