The official coin effigy of King Charles III has been unveiled by the Royal Mint.
Coins featuring the King’s image will gradually start to enter circulation from December, and will co-circulate with the Queen’s currency.
The Royal Mint says King Charles’ image will first appear on 50p coins and in keeping with tradition, his portrait will face to the left - the opposite direction to the Queen. The reverse of the 50p features a design that originally appeared on the 1953 Coronation Crown.
Nicola Howell, chief commercial officer at the Royal Mint, said King Charles worked closely with sculptor Martin Jennings and personally approved the effigy.
The Latin inscription surrounding the effigy reads: “• CHARLES III • D • G • REX • F • D • 5 POUNDS • 2022” which translates to: “King Charles III, by the Grace of God, Defender of the Faith”.
The design was created by artist John Bergdahl in collaboration with the Royal Mint and will form part of a wider memorial coin collection.
Chris Barker from the Royal Mint Museum described the portrait as: “Dignified and graceful, which reflects his years of service.”
Mr Jennings added: “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.
“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.”
Commemorative £5 coin featuring the Queen
A commemorative £5 coin has also been created that features two new portraits of the late Queen Elizabeth II on the back.
It was struck to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation at Westminster Abbey, and includes the four quarters of the Royal Arms depicted within a shield.
In between each shield is an emblem of the home nations; a rose, a thistle, a shamrock and a leek.
The memorial coin range to commemorate the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II will be released by the Mint on Monday 3 October at 9am.
Will coins featuring the Queen still be legal tender?
All UK coins bearing the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II will remain legal tender and in active circulation.
Historically it has been commonplace for coins featuring the effigies of different monarchs to co-circulate, helping to minimise the environmental impact and cost.
There are currently around 27 billion coins circulating in the UK bearing the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. These will be replaced over time as they become damaged or worn and to meet demand for additional coins.
Dr Kevin Clancy, director of the Royal Mint Museum, said: “Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has graced more coins than any other British monarch in a reign that lasted for 70 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.
“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.”