The new coins of King Charles III will be available by Christmas
The Royal Mint announced Friday that the king’s likeness, which was created by sculptor Martin Jennings, will first appear on special commemorative £5 and 50-pence coins, with the smaller denomination entering normal circulation by Christmas.
Before Christmas, King Charles III-themed coins will start to be used in the UK, where they will be used in conjunction with Queen Elizabeth II-themed coins already in circulation.
In accordance with a royal custom whereby coinage’ orientation is reversed for succeeding rulers, Charles is depicted facing left to right, the opposite manner from his mother.
The king’s likeness, which was created by sculptor Martin Jennings, will first be seen on commemorative £5 and 50-pence coins, with the smaller value entering circulation by Christmas, the Royal Mint announced on Friday.
According to Anne Jessopp, chief executive officer of the mint, coins have a lifespan of 20 years, therefore the 27 billion depicting the late queen won’t be changed to Charles’ face until they are all worn out or destroyed.
The mint claims that because new coins are always being minted to replace worn-out ones, the change is provided at no expense to the taxpayer. Less coins may be required in the future as people increasingly use cards or mobile payment instead of cash.
Although coins are changing, UK banknotes will remain the same for now. The Bank of England has announced that it will continue to issue existing notes featuring the queen, following guidance from the Royal Household to “minimize the environmental and financial” impact of any changes. New banknotes are set to be unveiled by the end of the year and are expected to enter circulation by 2024.