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Lennon, Austen vie for spot on new U.K. coin

Iconic novelist Jane Austen, 16th century explorer Walter Raleigh and former Beatle John Lennon are among the latest batch of famed Brits who could end up on the face of a new coin.

Public vote to determine winner

Iconic novelist Jane Austen, 16th century explorer Walter Raleigh and former Beatle John Lennon are among the latest batch of famed Brits who could end up on the face of a new coin.

For the first time, the U.K.'s Royal Mint is calling on the public's help in determining which likeness to put on a new coin.

The chosen figure will join the mint's Great Britons collectible coin series, which celebrates great figures in British history.

Vying against Lennon, Raleigh and Austen are:

  • Douglas Bader, the double amputee who nonetheless became a Second World War Royal Air Force fighting ace.
  • Emmeline Pankhurst, political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement.
  • John Logie Baird, engineer and mechanical television system inventor.

Voting, which is open to anyone (not just British citizens), will close on July 31. The coin is to be issued later this year.

The Great Britons series already includes two dozen figures, including:  

  • Winston Churchill.
  • Queen Elizabeth I.
  • Charles Darwin.
  • Isaac Newton.
  • William Shakespeare.
  • Charles Dickens.
  • Florence Nightingale.
  • Alexander Graham Bell.
  • King Henry VIII.
  • Diana, Princess of Wales.