World Coins

Royal Mint strikes 2022 Charles III coins for release

The first coins to depict King Charles III will be a memorial 50-penny honoring his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Images courtesy of the Royal Mint.

The Royal Mint has begun striking the first circulating coins featuring the portrait of King Charles III, representing the biggest change to United Kingdom coinage since decimalization.

The first coin will be a memorial 50-penny coin to honor Queen Elizabeth II, and examples of these coins will enter circulation in December 2022. The Royal Mint will issue 9.6 million of these 50-penny coins.

The official portrait of King Charles III was created by British artist Martin Jennings, who officially began striking of the new coins at the Llantrisant site.

Since Oct. 28, visitors to the Royal Mint Experience, the Royal Mint’s visitor attraction center, have been able to view production of these coins, and may strike their own examples.

Kevin Clancy, director of the Royal Mint Museum, said, in a press release, “For many people this will be the first time in their lives that they have seen a new monarch appear on money.”

The reverse of the new 50-penny coin features a design that originally appeared on the 1953 Coronation crown, which was struck to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation at Westminster Abbey.

The design 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 approximately 27 billion UK coins bearing the portrait of 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, according to the Royal Mint.

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