UK’s Royal Mint unveils first King Charles III coins

London: The UK’s Royal Mint on Thursday revealed the first coins to bear King Charles III’s official coinage portrait, offering collectors the chance to acquire the commemorative set with the new monarch’s portrait from January 3, 2023.

The design had been unveiled earlier this year as part of the Queen Elizabeth II memorial coin range and the all-new coins struck from January 1, 2023, will now bear the 74-year-old King’s portrait.

It symbolises one of the biggest changes to UK coins since decimalisation as collectors will see the country’s coins begin their transition from Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II who died on September 8, to her son and heir.

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“As the official maker of UK coins, the Royal Mint has been proud to strike every single UK coin for Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for 70 years; as we enter the New Year, we will start to see one of the biggest changes to UK coins for decades take place as King Charles III’s portrait begins to appear on all new UK coins,” said Anne Jessopp, CEO of the Royal Mint.

The Royal Mint has the duty to strike the coins of UK monarchs and has been responsible for doing so since the reign of Alfred the Great, dating back to the ninth century.

“Our role as an exemplar of British craftsmanship means each coin bearing his [King’s] portrait is of the highest quality, from the metal it’s struck on, to the hours of craft that’s gone into the design, the tooling and the final product for our customers,” added Jessop.

The Royal Mint’s “Annual Sets” of commemorative coins celebrate key events and anniversaries throughout the year and the 2023 range, available from next week, will include coins celebrating and commemorating the 75th Birthday of Charles in November 2023 with a GBP 5 coin; celebrating the life and work of author JRR Tolkien with a GBP 2 coin; celebrating the centenary of ‘Flying Scotsman’ passenger train with a GBP 2 coin; 75 Years of the National Health Service (NHS) with a 50 pence coin; and 75 Years of the Windrush Generation of 20th-century migrants to the UK with a 50 pence coin.

“Each year the Royal Mint reveals a collection of coins, known as the Annual Set, which feature a range of designs that appear on GBP 5, GBP 2 and 50 pence coins marking some of the year’s most significant moments and anniversaries,” explains Rebecca Morgan, Divisional Director of the Collector Services at the Royal Mint.

“This year is particularly special for the Royal Mint, as we unveil the first coins of 2023 bearing His Majesty King Charles III official coin portrait, which also includes a commemorative GBP 5 coin to celebrate His Majesty’s 75th birthday. The Annual Set provides members of the public with an opportunity to collect the very first coins of 2023 with the King’s portrait and mark this historic transition in monarchy on coins,” she said.

On November 14, 2023, Charles will celebrate his 75th birthday and the coin pays tribute to a monarch who, it says, has already spent his life dedicated to a variety of good causes, as he sets out on a new journey where he has promised his “lifelong service” to the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

The King’s love of nature and plants is captured within the design of his commemorative coin, where the crown, the King’s official cypher, and the number 75 is framed within oak leaves and delphiniums.

The precious metal editions of the coin will also bear an edge inscription which reads: ‘Restoring Harmony with Nature’.

The 2023 commemorative sets will be available in a range of precious metal and base proof finishes from next week at the Royal Mint’s website, with prices starting from GBP 50.

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