British citizens are getting used to all kinds of changes in the wake of Queen Elizabeth’s death earlier this month. One of those changes? New coins are being minted with King Charles III’s likeness on them, and the design has finally been released.
New Coins Show King Charles’ Face
Britain’s Royal Mint has unveiled the design for the new coins, which will start showing up around December as the 50-pence coins with his face on them slowly start circulating.
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The new coins feature the king’s face on one side, with him facing to the left—the opposite direction of his mother’s face on her coins. The portrait, which shows the king without a crown, is surrounded by the phrase “King Charles III, by the Grace of God, Defender of the Faith” in Latin.
“Charles has followed that general tradition that we have in British coinage, going all the way back to Charles II actually, that the monarch faces in the opposite direction to their predecessor,” said Chris Barker at the Royal Mint Museum.
The design was created by British sculptor Martin Jennings and was approved by King Charles. “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,” Jennings said of his work.
Will Old Coins With The Queen On Them Remain In Circulation?
This isn’t the only new coin that is going to start showing up in British citizens’ pockets. The Royal Mint also revealed a design for a coin that features King Charles’ portrait on one side, and images of his mother on the other.
According to the Royal Mint’s website, they have been creating coins for British monarchs for the past 1,100 years. “When first we used to make coins, that was the only way that people could know what the monarch actually looked like, not in the days of social media like now,” said Anne Jessopp, chief executive of the Royal Mint.
There are around 27 billion coins with the former queen’s portrait on them today. Those coins will continue to be used in the UK—as they remain legal tender—and will only be replaced when they become damaged or worn.
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People in the UK are getting used to all sorts of changes as King Charles and Buckingham Palace update elements of the monarchy. With the unveiling of this new coin, King Charles is joining a long line of monarchs who are forever memorialized on a piece of pocket change.