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First King Charles III coins unveiled with banknote design to follow by year end

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The Royal Mint unveiled the official coin effigy of King Charles this week, with the Bank of England announcing that the banknote design would be revealed by the end of this year.

The King’s portrait will first appear on a £5 coin and 50p coin commemorating the late Queen Elizabeth II, with the 50p coin entering circulation in the coming weeks.

The effigy has been created by British sculptor Martin Jennings, and approved by King Charles. In keeping with tradition, The King’s portrait faces to the left, the opposite direction to Queen Elizabeth II. The Latin inscription surrounding the effigy reads “• CHARLES III • D • G • REX • F • D • 5 POUNDS • 2022” which translates to ‘King Charles III, by the Grace of God, Defender of the Faith’. 

The reverse of the 50p coin features a design that originally appeared on the 1953 Coronation Crown. It includes the four quarters of the Royal Arms within a shield. In between each shield is an emblem of the home nations; a rose, a thistle, a shamrock and a leek.

All UK coins bearing the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II – of which there are approximately 27 billion – will remain legal tender and in active circulation. They will be replaced over time as they become damaged or worn and to meet demand for additional coins. 

The Royal Mint will release the memorial coin range on Monday 3 October at 9am.

Banknotes to follow

Meanwhile, the Bank of England has announced that it will reveal images of banknotes featuring a portrait of King Charles by the end of this year with the notes expected to enter circulation by mid-2024. 

The portrait will appear on existing designs of all four polymer banknotes (£5, £10, £20 and £50). This will be a continuation of the current polymer series and no additional changes to the banknote designs will be made. 

To minimise the environmental and financial impact of the change of monarch, existing stocks of notes featuring the Queen will continue to be issued into circulation and new notes only printed to replace worn ones and to meet any overall increase in demand. They will co-circulate with those featuring HM King Charles.  

End to paper £20 and £50 banknotes

Paper £20 and £50 banknotes will no longer be accepted as legal tender from today (30 September), as they are withdrawn from circulation. However, they can still be exchanged at banks and post offices, and many banks will still accept them as deposits.

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