People will have the opportunity to “find a piece of history” in their change as the new 50 pence coins marking King Charles III’s coronation go into circulation from Thursday, the Royal Mint has announced.
Royal Mint coin designer Natasha Jenkins designed the new money, with the coins being the second 50ps to enter circulation bearing King Charles’s official coin portrait.
The first were the memorial 50 pences, which entered circulation in December 2022, marking the transition from the late queen to the king.
The reverse (tails) design of the new 50p, created by Ms Jenkins, features Westminster Abbey. At the centre of the design is the king’s official cypher, representing him at Westminster Abbey being crowned king.
The obverse (heads) of the 50p features the king’s official coin portrait which was unveiled in September 2022 and is designed by sculptor Martin Jennings, as well as being personally approved by the king.
All 50p coins entering circulation will feature the king’s uncrowned portrait, the Mint said, differing from the commemorative coronation coins that were unveiled earlier this year.
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“We are delighted to announce that five million 50p coins produced to mark His Majesty King Charles III’s coronation will enter circulation from today," said Rebecca Morgan, director of commemorative coin at the Royal Mint.
“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.
"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.”
Earlier this year, the Royal Mint unveiled a commemorative coin range marking the coronation. Collectors from 89 countries purchased the coins directly from the Royal Mint.
UK coins bearing the effigy of 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.
This ensures a smooth transition, with minimal environmental impact and cost, the Mint said.