London: The UK has unveiled new 50p coins featuring the portrait of King Charles III which will enter general circulation within weeks.
On its Twitter handle on Friday morning, The Royal Mint, official maker of British coins, said: “We are proud to unveil the first official coin portrait of King Charles III which has been designed by Martin Jennings FRSS and personally approved by His Majesty.
“The first coins to feature the effigy are part of a memorial collection for Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”
According to the BBC, the coins follow centuries of tradition with the monarch now facing left, the opposite way to his predecessor.
As with previous British kings, and unlike the Queen, he wears no crown.
The full inscription surrounding the effigy reads “CHARLES III D-G-REX-F-D 5 POUNDS 2022”, shortened from Latin, which translates to “King Charles III, by the Grace of God, Defender of the Faith”.
The reverse of the new coin shows two new portraits of the Queen, charting her journey from a young monarch to a long-standing head of state.
The coins will be sold to collectors by The Royal Mint from early next week.
The 50p coin will be available for general use well before the end of the year, distributed according to demand by banks, building societies and post offices.
They will co-circulate with coins featuring the late Queen, so those 27 billion coins will still be accepted in shops.
Anne Jessopp, chief executive of The Royal Mint, said that coins generally lasted for 20 years, so both Queen Elizabeth and King Charles coins will be in circulation together for many years to come.
“People should not worry if they have coins with the Queen on. We will keep those coins in circulation,” the BBC quoted Jessopp as saying.
“We are seeing people moving to different forms of payment, but people really like to use coins as well for lots of different reasons.”