Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveils new £5 coin to mark the life of Mahatma Gandhi as Diwali celebrations begin
A new £5 coin to commemorate the life and legacy of Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi has today been unveiled by the Treasury.
The launch of the coin, which pays tribute to the man who led the Indian nationalist movement against British rule, has been launched to coincide with the start of festival Diwali and India's 75th year of independence.
The coin features an image of India’s national lotus flower and is part of the Royal Mint’s wider Diwali collection.
Available in a range of standards including gold and silver, the special collectors’ coin was designed by Heena Glover and features the lotus alongside one of Gandhi’s most famous quotes - ‘My life is my message’.
It is the first time that Gandhi has been commemorated on an official UK coin. The final design was chosen by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who is the Master of the Mint.
He said: "This coin is a fitting tribute to an influential leader who inspired millions of people around the world.
"As a practicing Hindu, I am proud to unveil this coin during Diwali. 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."
Mahatma Gandhi was born in 1869 and was the leader of India's non-violent independence movement against British rule. He died in New Dehli in January 1948, after being shot by extremist Nathuram Godse.
The £5 coin, which won't go into circulation, goes on sale today. Coin collectors can purchase it from The Royal Mint website.
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."