The Queen’s Passing and a Look at King Charles III’s Effigy on Coins

Posted - March 1, 2023
The Queen’s Passing and a Look at King Charles III’s Effigy on Coins

Long Live the King’s Effigy

Big changes are underway with England’s currency. As you read this right now, bank notes, pound coins and pence coins are being embossed with King Charles III’s portrait. A noted difference is that the King’s portrait faces left whereas the Queen’s previous effigy faces right. The-Queens-Passing-and-a-Look-at-King-Charles-IIIs-Effigy-on-Coins

Effigy Coins and Their Distinct Differences

So, what is the story around the Royal Mint’s decision to alternate King Charles III’s direction? As it turns out, shifting the monarch’s direction on effigy coins has been a tradition of the Royal Mint since the reign of King Charles II in the 17th century. There was a slight break in this tradition as it came to Edward the VIII who insisted that his effigy face left but then the custom fell back in line with the coronation of George VI. 

King Charles III Personally Approved His Effigy Coin

As just pointed out, a monarch can and does have a say when it comes to how his or her image might be presented on a coin or note. Word is that King Charles III approved the image and its placement himself. Once approval was given, the Royal Mint started pressing the new effigy into the new currency. To be sure, it’s good to be the king. 

The Queen’s Effigy Will Still Be Featured on Some of the New Coins

The Queen is not lost to these new designs. The reverse of the 5-pound coin will include two new portraits of the late Queen and the reverse of the 50 pence piece will feature a nearly-forgotten design that originally appeared on Elizabeth II’s Coronation Crown coin. This coin will showcase the four quarters of the Royal arms with a shield placed between them. Circling between the images we note the emblem of each nation of the United Kingdom. 

So, when were these effigy coins put to the public? The Royal Mint began circulation in December of 2022. A note of interest here is that the newly minted 2022 effigy coins will clearly be somewhat limited before the 2023 King Charles III coins arrive. This alone suggests an exciting opportunity for collectors of British coins.

New Effigy Coins Mean New Collectibles are on the Way

To be sure, collectors will be keeping a keen eye out for these effigy coins now that they are in circulation. After all, this marks the biggest change to Britain’s coinage in almost seven decades and likely the first time many in England and around the world have seen a different Royal Mint effigy coin brought to market.

Will these new effigy coins make for a good investment? Time, of course, will tell but because this is the first new effigy coin design since the late Queen’s coronation, it’s safe to say that anticipation is high and the new 2022 King Charles III coins should make for a worthy addition to any collector’s trove. Hero Bullion is your trusted source for collectable coins. 

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