Coins with King Charles III’s face on have officially entered circulation today

4.9 million new 50 pence coins have been sent to UK Post Offices today.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 8th December 2022

The Royal Mint has announced that the first coins to bear the effigy of King Charles III have officially entered circulation today.

In what marks the historic transition from Queen Elizabeth II to King Charles III on the public’s money, following the passing of the former back in September after 70 years on the throne, the first coins to bear The King’s portrait – are 50 pence pieces, and they will start to appear in circulation in Post Offices around the UK from today.

The coins not only bear The King’s face, but are also said to commemorate the life and legacy of the late monarch.

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

4.9 million 50 pence coins with King Charles III’s face on have been sent to UK Post Offices today.


The coin will first begin being distributing as change when customers make a purchase in store, The Royal Mint explains, before a total of 9.6 million 50ps eventually enter circulation in line with the public demand for them.

“Today marks a new era for UK coinage,” commented Rebecca Morgan, Director of Collector Services at The Royal Mint.


“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.”

Also speaking as the coins enter circulation today, Nick Read – Chief Executive Office of the Post Office – said: “It is a tremendous honour for the Post Office 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 with King Charles III’s face on have officially entered circulation today / Credit: Royal Mint

All approximately 27 billion UK coins with Queen Elizabeth II’s face on will remain legal tender and in active circulation, and will eventually be replaced over time as they become damaged or worn and to meet demand for new coins.

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The Royal Mint explains that historically, it has been commonplace for coins featuring the effigies of different monarchs to co-circulate.

“This ensures a smooth transition, with minimal environmental impact, and cost,” The Royal Mint said.

Featured Image – Royal Mint