The first British coins bearing the image of the new monarch King Charles III will go into general circulation next month as some Brits could be paying for their Christmas shopping with coins featuring the new King. The Royal Mint based in Wales has recently begun to strike a new 50p denomination that will contain the image of the monarch on its obverse. The reverse of the coin, which features the four-quarters of the royal arms, flanked by the emblem of each constituent nation is a subtle tribute to the late Queen as it was the first design to be struck after her coronation in 1953. Although the new King is yet to have had his formal coronation it is expected the grand public occasion will take place at Westminster Abbey in London in the Summer of 2023.
As well as the 50p coin which is entering general circulation, the Royal Mint has also announced the release of a £5 coin not for general circulation that will feature the new King and commemorate the death of Queen Elizabeth II. It is expected in the near future that the Royal Mint will release far more designs featuring the new King both for general circulation and not as gold and silver coins featuring the monarch of the day are considered valuable investments.
The general public should not expect to see coins featuring the previous monarch disappearing anytime soon as it is common practice to co-circulate new coins with old to ensure continuity and to reduce the environmental impact and cost of replacing all the current coins. The Royal Mint currently estimates there to be around 27 billion coins in general circulation in the UK with all of these featuring the image of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. With her long 70-year reign it is estimated that Queen Elizabeth II had graced more coins and more designs than any other monarch in British history.