Coins featuring King Charles III will be used before Christmas in the UK, where they will circulate alongside existing ones depicting Queen Elizabeth II.
Charles is shown looking from right to left, in the opposite direction to his mother, following a royal tradition in which the orientation of coins is reversed for successive monarchs.
The portrait of the king, by sculptor Martin Jennings, will appear for the first time on special commemorative £5 and 50p coins, with the smaller denomination entering general circulation at Christmas, the Royal Mint said on Friday.
Because the coins can last 20 years, the 27 billion featuring the late Queen will not be withdrawn unless they are worn or damaged, according to Anne Jessopp, the mint’s chief executive, so it will be some time before all the coins change to charles ‘ face
The change comes at no cost to the taxpayer, the Mint says, because coins are always being produced to replace those in use. With the decline in the use of cash in favor of cards or mobile payment, fewer coins may be needed in the future.
Although the currencies are changing, UK notes will remain the same for now. The Bank of England has announced that it will continue to issue existing notes featuring the Queen, following instructions from the Royal Household to “minimize the environmental and financial impact” of any changes. The new notes are expected to be introduced by the end of the year and are expected to enter circulation in 2024.
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