World Coins

Australia now circulating $1 coin with King Charles III effigy

Australia has begun circulating $1 coins with the new effigy of King Charles III. Other denominations will follow in the first half of 2024.

Image courtesy of the Royal Australian Mint.

Australia has begun circulating $1 coins bearing the new effigy of King Charles III.

The Royal Australian Mint released 3.5 million coins to banks on Dec. 4, and on Dec. 5 staged a photo op with RAM CEO Leigh Gordon using some of the coins at Cooleman Court shopping centre in Canberra to do his charity Christmas shopping.

Queen Elizabeth II ruled for 70 years. Most people in Australia have never seen another monarch represented on their coins. The last time the effigy was changed was upon King George VI’s death in 1952.

“Australia has been anticipating the new King Charles coins since the passing of the Queen in 2022,” Gordon said. “Crafting them has certainly been a big part of life for our team at the Mint, and it’s finally happened… The King has left the building and is on his way into the public mainstream. We should start seeing them in our change very, very soon.”

The new effigy was designed by British coin designer Dan Thorne.

Once the model was received by the Royal Australian Mint, in-house coin designers modified the design to make sure it would work on all Australian currency. The model underwent months of testing and a number of adjustments before the final effigy was determined.

Coins with Queen Elizabeth II’s effigy remain legal tender and will remain in circulation for many years, Gordon said.

Other denominations featuring the new effigy will be rolled out across the first half of 2024, based on bank demand.

The Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Effigy by Jody Clark will continue to be used on some collectible coin programs into 2024, as they were already “currency determined with the Queen’s effigy,” RAM told Coin World.

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