New coin featuring King Charles enters circulation


The first coins featuring the head of King Charles III enter circulation today, the Royal Mint has confirmed.

His Majesty’s official effigy will first appear on 50p coins, with the reverse side commemorating the legacy of his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

The Royal Mint confirmed 4.9 million 50p coins would be distributed from Post Office branches throughout December. The remaining 4.7 million coins would follow in line with demand, it added.

Renowned British sculptor Martin Jennings was responsible for the design of the King’s effigy, which was personally approved by His Majesty. The portrait faces to the left, the opposite direction to the late Queen’s, in keeping with the royal tradition where it alternates from monarch to monarch.

The coin’s reverse design originally appeared on the 1953 Coronation Crown, struck to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation at Westminster Abbey. Its design includes the four quarters of the Royal Arms depicted within a shield – emblems of the home nations: a rose, a thistle, a shamrock, and a leek are in between each shield.

The Royal Mint confirmed all coins bearing the effigy of the late Queen will remain legal tender and in active circulation, as historically it has been commonplace for coins featuring the effigies of different monarchs to co-circulate.

An estimated 27 million coins featuring Queen Elizabeth II’s effigy are currently in circulation and will be replaced over time as they become damaged or worn to meet demand for new coins.

Rebecca Morgan, of the Royal Mint, said the introduction of coins featuring the King marked a “fantastic time for coin collectors to add one to their collection or start collecting for the first time”.

She added: “We anticipate a new generation of coin collectors emerging, with people keeping a close eye on their change to try and spot a new 50p that bears the portrait of our new King.

“The Royal Mint has been trusted to make coins bearing the Monarch’s effigy for over 1,100 years and we are proud to continue this tradition into the reign of King Charles III.”

Nick Road, of the Post Office, said the coin would be entering circulation in a “phased manner”, urging collectors to “keep an eye out” for the new 50p.