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British Royals

A new milestone for the coins of a new King

Royal Mint

The first circulatory coins bearing the image of King Charles III are now in production at the Royal Mint.

The 50p pieces will go into use in December, landing in tills wallets in the run up to Christmas.

The image of The King has been created by renowned artist, Martin Jennings. As is traditional, Charles III is shown facing in the opposite direction to his predecessor, Queen Elizabeth II.

Royal Mint

Coins bearing the image of Her Late Majesty will remain legal tender – it’s estimated there are around 27 billion coins with an image of Elizabeth II on them in use in the United Kingdom right now. They will be phased out as they become too old for use.

Royal Mint

Special commemorative coins bearing The King’s image have already been minted but these 50p pieces are the first that will enter general use. On the other side of the coin are the four quarters of the Royal Arms depicted within a shield and separated by the symbols of the four Home Nations – a rose, a shamrock, a thistle and a leek. The design is based on a special coin issued in 1953, the Coronation Crown.

The Director of the Royal Mint Museum, Kevin Clancy, said this was a major moment in the history of British coinage, adding ”For many people this will be the first time in their lives that they have seen a new monarch appear on money. It represents the biggest change to UK coinage since decimalisation and will usher in a new era where the coins of Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III co-circulate in the UK. The new memorial 50 pence marks a moment in history and honours a landmark reign that lasted for 70 years.”

Charles III became King on September 8th 2022.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.