The UK government launched the commemorative collectors coin, a special 5-pound coin, to celebrate the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, unveiled the coin on the festive occasion of Diwali.
“As a practicing Hindu, I am proud to unveil this coin during Diwali,” he said. “Mahatma Gandhi was instrumental in the movement for Indian independence and it is fantastic to have a UK coin commemorating his remarkable life for the first time.”
Nicola Howell, Chief Customer Officer for The Royal Mint, said “As we approach Diwali celebrations, we are delighted to unveil the first official UK coin commemorating the life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. The beautiful design builds on the enduring relationship and cultural connections between the UK and India.”
The commemorative coin also features an image of India’s national flower, the lotus. It is part of the Royal Mint’s wider Diwali collection. There is also a famous quote from Gandhi on the coin ‘My life is my message’. The coin is available in both gold and silver. It will be on sale, starting today, along with gold bars including the first gold bar of the UK depicting Lakshmi – the Hindu goddess of wealth.
The 20g gold Lakshmi bar was designed in partnership with the Hindu community in South Wales, where the Royal Mint is based. The Mint will join the celebrations at the Shree Swaminarayan Temple in Cardiff, where worshippers will offer prayers to goddess Lakshmi and lord Ganesha for the coming year.