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December, 8

Royal Mint sends David Bowie coin into space and back

In a fitting tribute to the man who gave us Space Oddity, a David Bowie commemorative coin has been launched into space by the Royal Mint.

Minted as part of its “Music Legends” collection, the coin was carried by a balloon to an altitude of 35,656 metres before descending back to Britain.

The Royal Mint said it was the first time a UK coin had been launched into space. The coin will now be offered as a competition prize for Bowie fans on the Royal Mint’s Facebook page.

There are a number of other versions being minted in the Bowie collection, ranging in price from £13 for an unlimited £5 coin up to £72,195 for a very limited £1,000 denomination, 1kg, gold-proof coin, of which only 11 have been struck.

The Bowie coins are the third in the Music Legends series, following coins in honour of Queen and Elton John. The design was inspired by an image of Bowie from his time spent living and recording in Berlin.

It includes the lightning bolt motif from Aladdin Sane. A glitter effect makes the lightning bolt on a number of the special-edition coins appear laced with stardust.

Clare Maclennan, the divisional director of commemorative coins 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.”

Space Oddity was released in the UK five days before the Apollo 11 launch in July 1969, and reached No 5 in the charts.

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