David Bowie’s Face Finally Adorns (Real!) Currency


America’s got Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Abe Lincoln. Italy’s version of the €1 coin features Leonardo da Vinci’s The Vitruvian Man drawing. And Japan put Noguchi Hideyo, a scientist who did important work on syphilis, on their ¥1000 note. But now, finally, there is a real hero on legitimate currency: David Bowie. Yes, friends, should you happen to be in the South London district of Brixton, you can spend a Brixton pound (B£) decorated with the iconic portrait from the cover of Aladdin Sane. This alternate currency, which celebrates cultural figures who were born or have lived in the area, may only be valid in a small region, but it is absolutely legal tender intended to support the neighborhood and its independent businesses. You can even exchange it for pounds sterling! Of course, were we to get our hands on this banknote, we’d probably be less inclined to use it than to frame it. Read more about the fascinating Brixton pound — which has also featured Brixton Black Women’s Group founder Olive Morris and Vincent Van Gogh, among others — at Dangerous Minds.