A special 50 pence coin created to mark King Charles III’s Coronation in May will start to appear in circulation across the UK from Thursday.
Britain’s Royal Mint said the Post Office and bank branches throughout the country will receive 5 million 50p coins, which feature a design to celebrate the 74-year-old British monarch’s Coronation on May 6.
This is the second 50p to enter circulation bearing the King’s official coin portrait, the first being a memorial coin which entered circulation in December last year to mark the historic transition from Queen Elizabeth II to King Charles III.
“This is a special moment for the nation, as members of the public will have the opportunity to find a piece of history in their change,” said Rebecca Morgan, Director of Commemorative Coin at the Royal Mint.
“We anticipate the Coronation 50p coins will be highly sought after among coin collectors and members of the public keen to own a piece of British history. The Royal Mint has had the honour of striking coins for every British monarch since Alfred the Great and we are proud to continue that long history with the introduction of His Majesty’s official coinage,” she said.
The reverse or tails side of the new 50p, designed by Royal Mint Coin Designer Natasha Jenkins, features the historic Westminster Abbey in London, in a nod to the location of the King’s Coronation. At the centre of the design is the King’s official cypher, representing him at the Abbey being crowned the monarch.
The obverse or heads side of the 50p features the King’s official coin portrait, which was unveiled in September last year and designed by renowned British sculptor Martin Jennings and personally approved by Charles.
All 50p coins entering circulation will feature the King’s uncrowned portrait, differing from the commemorative Coronation coins that were unveiled to the public earlier this year.
Earlier this year, the Royal Mint unveiled a commemorative coin range marking the King’s Coronation which it says has proved popular around the world and saw collectors from 89 countries purchasing them.
All UK coins bearing the effigy of Charles’ mother, the late 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 in the UK. 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 said.