The first coins featuring a portrait of King Charles III, created by British artist Martin Jennings, have been released by the British Royal Mint. In the wake of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II this month, the commemorative £5 coin and 50 pence coin, which were both unveiled yesterday, are the first pieces of paper money to feature a portrait of King Charles III.

Image Source- Cosmopolitan

This £5 coin is indeed a memorial item, while the 50 pence coin will be used in commerce. The Royal Mint will release more coins with images of King Charles III during the coming weeks and months, however, the 27 billion coin with images of the Queen now in use will continue to be legal tender. They will still be accepted as legal tender for practical and environmental reasons; they will only be pulled out of circulation “after they become worn or damaged,” according to a statement from the Bank of England.


The Royal Mint, the official manufacturer of British coins, posted the following statement on its Twitter account on Friday morning: “We are happy to announce the first official coin depiction of King Charles III, which has been drawn by Martin Jennings FRSS as well as specially authorized by His Majesty.

Image Source- CoinsWeek

King Charles Coin

The monarch now is looking left, in the opposite direction from his predecessor, on the coins, keeping with centuries of custom, the BBC reports. He doesn’t wear a crown, unlike the Queen and earlier British kings. As stated by the Royal Mint Museum, it has long been customary for the new monarch to face away from the outgoing monarch.

Each of the five pictures of Elizabeth painted for the Royal Mint during her lifetime had a crown on her head, ranging from a lightweight golden crown to a substantial, imposing diadem.

Male kings typically don’t have crowns on their coins; only female monarchs do. Two new pictures of Queen Elizabeth II created by artist John Bergdahl will be on the reverse of the £5 coin.  The pattern used in the queen’s 1953 coronation will be reused at the back of the 50 p coins. It will have a shield with the four quarters of the Royal Arms.

There will be a rose, a thistle, a shamrock, and a leek for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales respectively between each shield. King Charles III, by the Grace of God, Defender of the Faith is written in full around the effigy as “CHARLES III • D • G • REX • F • D • 5 POUNDS • 2022,” which is shortened from Latin.

The image and inscription are placed in an approachable manner. Sticking to the royal customs, the Latin names of all the monarchs appear in the inscription.

The new coins, however, read Charles III instead of Carolus. Martin Jennings, the creator of the design remarked that this was the smallest work of his but he was happy to know that the coin was historic and will be recognized by people for the years to come.

The official coin maker and Britain’s oldest business, The Royal Mint, relocated to Llantrisant, south Wales, in 1967 to meet the decimalization process, and this is where the coins will be made. People had the habit of carrying coins with the king’s portrait before decimalization. The Royal Mint will begin selling a collection of memorial coins, along with the £5 Crown, to honour Queen Elizabeth’s life and legacy.

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Although a design for the new paper banknotes has not yet been made public, the Bank of England claims it will be completed before the year is through. Anne Jessop, the chief executive of the royal mint remarked that people will definitely use both the late queen and the present king coins for many years to come.

She assured people by addressing the ongoing chaos and said that the late queen coins will run normally. Such a chaos was made in the first place owing to the habit of people of preferring coins for various reasons.

Read More: King Charles III gets agitated over a leaky pen and sets off a controversy 

Srija Dutta

student, 21, Mount Carmel College, Bangalore


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