Unveiled today, the 50 pence coin and commemorative £5 coin are the first currency to be minted with an effigy of King Charles III, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II earlier this month.
The first coins featuring King Charles III have been unveiled
King Charles III’s image differs in two major ways from the Queen’s. He is depicted facing to the left, as it is traditional for the British monarch to look in the opposite direction to their predecessor.
Unlike the Queen, he is not depicted wearing a crown. This aligns with many previous monarchs, including his grandfather King George VI and great grandfather King George V.
The coins feature a sculpture of King Charles III made by Martin Jennings
The image of the King was created from a sculpture made by Jennings, which replicates a photograph of the monarch. It will be produced on the majority of British coins that will be introduced to replace those featuring the Queen.
“It is a privilege to sculpt the first official effigy of His Majesty and to receive his personal approval for the design,” said Jennings.
“The portrait was sculpted from a photograph of The King, and was inspired by the iconic effigies that have graced Britain’s coins over the centuries,” he continued.
“It is the smallest work I have created, but it is humbling to know it will be seen and held by people around the world for centuries to come.”
A commemorative £5 coin has also been released
The 50 pence will enter circulation, while the £5 coin is a commemorative piece. More coins featuring King Charles III will be introduced by the Royal Mint over the coming months, but the 27 billion coins featuring the Queen that are currently in circulation will remain legal currency.
As coins generally stay in circulation for 20 years, people in the UK should expect to be using coins featuring both monarchs for many years.
“As we move from the Elizabethan to the Carolean era it represents the biggest change to Britain’s coinage in decades, and the first time that many people will have seen a different effigy,” said director of The Royal Mint Museum Kevin Clancy.
“Over the coming years, it will become common for people to find coins bearing His Majesty and Queen Elizabeth II’s effigy in their change, engaging new generations in the story of Britain’s Royal Family.”
Earlier this week King Charles III revealed his Royal monogram that will appear on the country’s official buildings, postboxes and passports. A proposal for a public memorial garden to Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace has also recently been revealed.
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