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The new five pounds coin
Photograph: PA / Aaron Chown

The first King Charles III coins have just been released

There will eventually be 9.6 million of them in circulation

Ella Doyle
Written by
Ella Doyle

After the Queen died in September, people began questioning how different things would look in the UK. Suddenly, we noticed just how many everyday things we use had the Queen’s face on them, from banknotes to stamps to postboxes to police hats

And it turns out things move pretty fast. From today, the first 50p coin with King Charles III’s face on it will start circulating in post offices in the UK. The coin was designed by sculptor Martin Jennings and was personally approved by the King. And here’s a fun fact – each new monarch’s face the opposite direction to the last. So the Queen’s face always faced right, and Charles’ faces left. 

But don’t panic, that doesn’t mean you can’t use your Lizzy coins any more. They’re still in active circulation and legally fine to be used. In total, 4.9 million of the new 50p coins will circulate across 9,452 Post Office branches throughout the month, so you’ll start to get them as change when you’re posting something. There will eventually be 9.6 million of the coins in the UK. 

Rebecca Morgan, director of collector services at the Royal Mint, said she anticipates ‘a new generation of coin collectors emerging’ as people start to search for the new 50p. She said: ‘Today marks a new era for UK coinage, with the effigy of King Charles III appearing on 50ps in circulation.’ 

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