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Royal Mint reveals official King Charles III portrait on new 50p coin

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

This morning, the Royal Mint unveiled the official coin effigy of King Charles III, designed by renowned British sculptor Martin Jennings.

The King’s portrait will first appear on 50p and £5 coins commemorating the life and legacy of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The coins will feature images of both the late Queen and King Charles III and will enter circulation as legal tender in January 2023.

In keeping with tradition, The King’s portrait faces to the left, the opposite direction to Queen Elizabeth II. 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’.

Reverse shows new portraits of Her Majesty

The reverse of the 50p coin features 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 reverse of the commemorative £5 coin features two new portraits of Queen Elizabeth II.  The design was created by artist John Bergdahl in collaboration with The Royal Mint. It will form part of a wider memorial coin collection, which will include a 50p released into general circulation in the UK.

Anne Jessopp, chief executive officer of The Royal Mint, said:  “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.

“This memorial collection commemorates [Her Majesty’s] remarkable legacy as Britain’s longest serving monarch. To ensure everyone can hold a piece of history in their hand, the 50p will also enter circulation in the UK.”

27 billion coins

All UK coins bearing the effigy of Her Late Majesty 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. This ensures a smooth transition, with minimal environmental impact and cost.

There are approximately 27 billion coins currently 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.

The Royal Mint released the memorial coin range this morning (Monday 3 October) via

Last week, reported that notes featuring a portrait of the new King are expected to enter circulation by mid-2024.