First King Charles III 50p coins enter circulation
Around 4.9 million coins are being distributed at post offices where they will be given out in change.
The coins will be distributed from today throughout December at 9,452 branches.
A commemorative version of the coin was released in October and saw record visitors to The Royal Mint’s website in the 24 hours following.
Queen’s image on the reverse
The King’s portrait will be on one side of the coin and, on the reverse, an image commemorating the life and legacy of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The image on the reverse is a design that originally appeared on the 1953 Coronation Crown.
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 King’s effigy has been created by the sculptor Martin Jennings and it faces to the left, the opposite direction to Queen Elizabeth II.
All coins with the Queen’s face on will remain legal tender and in active circulation. There are approximately 27 billion coins in circulation with the effigy of the Queen which will be replaced over time as they are damaged or worn.
“Fantastic opportunity for coin collectors”
Rebecca Morgan, director of collector services at The Royal Mint, said: “Today marks a new era for UK coinage, with the effigy of King Charles III appearing on 50ps in circulation.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for coin collectors to add to their collections, or start one for the first time. 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.”