First King Charles coins to enter circulation from today

The first coins of the new reign will enter general circulation from today (Picture: PA)

Coins with King Charles’ image on them will appear in circulation from today.

Post Offices up and down the country will receive batches of 50p coins without Queen Elizabeth II’s likeness on them for the first time.

An initial trickle will turn into a rush over December, when 4.9 million coins are expected to be made available. 

They will be handed out as change when customers make purchases and post letters over the Christmas period.

Some 9.6 million 50p coins will eventually enter circulation in line with demand.

The reverse or ‘tails’ side of the coin recognises the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II with a design which originally appeared on the 1953 Coronation Crown.

A commemorative version of the coin was released in October, generating record visitors to the Royal Mint’s website in the 24 hours following.

They will appear the same day and Harry and Meghan’s long-awaited Netflix documentary is made available for viewers around the world.

King Charles coins will gradually replace ones featuring Queen Elizabeth over several years (Picture: PA)

Rebecca Morgan, director of collector services at the Royal Mint, said: ‘Today marks a new era for UK coinage, with the effigy of King Charles III appearing on 50ps in circulation.

‘It’s a fantastic opportunity for coin collectors to add to their collections, or start one for the first time.

‘We anticipate a new generation of coin collectors emerging, with people keeping a close eye on their change to try and spot a new 50p that bears the portrait of our new King.

‘The Royal Mint has been trusted to make coins bearing the monarch’s effigy for over 1,100 years and we are proud to continue this tradition into the reign of King Charles III.’

The King’s effigy has been created by sculptor Martin Jennings and personally approved by Charles.

The reverse side features a design which commemorates the Queen (Picture: PA)

In keeping with tradition, the King’s portrait faces to the left, the opposite direction to the late Queen.

Nick Read, chief executive of the Post Office, added: ‘It is a tremendous honour for the Post Office and for postmasters that the first coinage featuring King Charles III is being released into circulation via our extensive branch network.

‘December is our busiest time of the year so the coin will be entering our network in a phased manner. If you don’t receive the new 50p in your change on your first visit to a post office you may well get it in your change in a subsequent visit, so keep a look out for it.’

Coins bearing the image of Queen Elizabeth II will remain legal tender and in active circulation.

Around 27 billion coins is use across the UK bear her portrait and they will be replaced over time.

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