Last week, The Royal Mint unveiled 1 kilo silver and gold coins, worth £500 and £1,000 respectively, produced for the 2012 Olympics in London. Who said that this was going to be an austerity games?
The coins were designed by eminent artists Sir Anthony Caro and Tom Phillips and were approved by the Queen before they could be declared as legal tender.
Sir Anthony told the Guardian: “I made mine as small as possible and then saw Tom’s and realised I could get away with making it even smaller.” Tom Phillips used a tiny version of the logo as a full stop at the end of a poem which skirts the circumference of the silver £500 coin.
The artists are not the first to disparage the logo. In February this year, the head of the National Olympic Committee of the Islamic Republic of Iran said the logo was racist as it appears to spell out the word Zion (another word for Jerusalem). The much-maligned piece of design work has also been accused of looking like a lady giving London a blow job and footage of the logo flashing on the 2012 website was removed shortly after the launch because of fears it could prompt epileptic seizures.
Whatever you think of the logo (and the artists’ use of it), the new coins are unlikely to be finding their way into your pocket. The silver coin (face value, £500) will sell for £3,000 and the gold coin (face value, £1,000) will cost collectors an eye-watering £100,000.