In recent months, Britain has continued its mourning after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022. As they heal, many changes have begun with the adoption of King Charles III on coinage and banknotes. The King has not officially been coronated, with the coronation of King Charles and his wife, Camilla, scheduled for Saturday, May 6, 2023. The long period with no official monarch is a long-standing tradition that the country remains in mourning for an appropriate amount of time.
As noted in the GoldClub Review earlier this year, the Royal Mint unveiled the new portrait of King Charles III in October 2022. The design was created by British sculptor Martin Jennings. Jennings is a well-respected artist, known for his ability to capture the likeness and personality of his subjects in his sculptures. The portrait was sculpted from a photograph of the King and incorporates elements from iconic portraits of other monarchs from Britain’s vast history of coinage. This design has been personally approved by King Charles III.
One of King Charles III’s main priorities is sustainability. The royal household advised major governmental organizations to take this into account with the change in the monarchy. The Royal Mint, Royal Mail, and Bank of England all announced the change of effigies will take place gradually to lower the cost and environmental impact. New coinage and banknotes will be produced to replace old, worn-out currency, but banknotes featuring Queen Elizabeth II will continue to circulate. Currency featuring Queen Elizabeth II is expected to be in circulation for at least 20 more years. King Charles will be only the second monarch to be featured on banknotes, as Queen Elizabeth II’s effigy only began appearing on banknotes in 1960.
The new design differs from Queen Elizabeth II’s effigy in a few ways. The new portrait shows King Charles III in left-profile relief, opposite his mother’s. It is a tradition in the monarchy to change the direction the monarch faces when every new monarch comes into power. The King is also portrayed without a crown, contrasting many of Queen Elizabeth’s effigies. Surrounding the portrait is the inscription “• CHARLES III • D • G • REX • F • D,” which translates to “King Charles III, by the Grace of God, Defender of the Faith” in Latin.
The first coins to feature this effigy were the 50 pence coin and the commemorative £5 coin. The coins’ releases were meant to honor the life of Queen Elizabeth II. The 50 pence coin features King Charles III on one side and a design highlighting the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on the reverse side. 9.6 billion coins are going to be produced to honor the Queen’s 96 years of life. The reverse of the commemorative £5 coin features two portraits of Queen Elizabeth II designed by artist John Bergdahl.
Obverse and Reverse
The first 2023 Britannias to include King Charles III on the obverse have now been minted and are available to order from GoldClub Direct. The reverse face of the coin remains the same design. For a limited release, the Royal Mint produced 2023 Britannias that featured Queen Elizabeth II as they were adapting to the largest change in British coinage in decades. Throughout this year and in future years, more and more bullion products from the Royal Mint will feature King Charles III.
It is not only British coinage that is affected by this change. All members of the British Commonwealth also feature the monarch on their currency. Countries like Canada, Australia, and others will also change their currency to feature King Charles III. These portraits could be different from those of the Royal Mint as each sovereign mint has the ability to create its own design.
2023 Gold and Silver Britannia’s and other King Charles III coinage available now!
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