Coins featuring portrait of King Charles III set to enter circulation
The Royal Mint, the official maker of UK coins, has confirmed that coins featuring the portrait of His Majesty King Charles III will enter circulation.
All UK coins bearing the effigy of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will also remain legal tender and in active circulation.
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.
Anne Jessopp, Chief Executive Officer, The Royal Mint said: “We are honoured to have struck each UK coin of Her Late Majesty’s reign, documenting her journey from young Queen to respected Head of State.”
“As official coin maker to the UK, we have told the story of each monarch since Alfred the Great and are now preparing for the biggest change in British coinage for several decades.”
“The first coins bearing the effigy of His Majesty King Charles III will enter circulation in line with demand from banks and post offices.”
“This means the coinage of King Charles III and Queen Elizabeth II will co-circulate in the UK for many years to come.”
There are approximately 27 billion coins currently circulating in the UK bearing the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.
These will be replaced over time as they become damaged or worn, and to meet demand for additional coins.
The Royal Mint will unveil further details about the coinage of King Charles III over the coming weeks.
The Bank of England will reveal images of updated banknotes featuring a portrait of HM King Charles III by the end of this year.
The notes are expected to enter circulation by mid-2024.
His Majesty’s portrait will appear on existing designs of all four polymer banknotes (£5, £10, £20 and £50).
This will be a continuation of the current polymer series and no additional changes to the banknote designs will be made.
In line with guidance from the Royal Household to minimise the environmental and financial impact of the change of monarch, existing stocks of notes featuring HM Queen Elizabeth II will continue to be issued into circulation.
New notes will only be printed to replace worn banknotes and to meet any overall increase in demand for banknotes.
Current banknotes featuring the portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II will continue to be legal tender and will only be removed from circulation once they become worn or damaged.
They will co-circulate with those featuring HM King Charles III.
This is the last week that paper £20 and £10 banknotes can still be used.
The Bank of England will be withdrawing legal tender status of paper notes after 30 September 2022.
After this date businesses will no longer be accepting these banknotes as payment.
All polymer banknotes carrying a portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II remain legal tender, and the public can continue to use these as normal.
After 30 September 2022 you will not be able to use paper banknotes. However the following options will remain available:
- If you have a UK bank account, you will normally still be able to deposit them at your bank, or into your account at a Post Office.
- You can exchange certain withdrawn paper banknotes for polymer notes at a limited number of Post Office branches. This is a new service, and the full list of branches is on our website.
- You can exchange withdrawn banknotes with the Bank of England, including by post.
Although the majority of paper £20 and £50 banknotes in circulation have been replaced with new polymer versions, there are still over £5 billion worth of paper £20 featuring the economist Adam Smith, and nearly £6 billion worth of paper £50 banknotes featuring the engineers Boulton and Watt, in circulation. That’s more than 250 million individual £20 banknotes, and more than 110 million paper £50 banknotes.
The Post Office said it is prepared for a “last-moment” rush of customers depositing paper £20 and £50 banknotes.
Martin Kearsley, the banking director of the Post Office, said: “We’re fully aware that people lead busy lives and some may put off depositing their paper £20 and £50 banknotes until the last moment.”
“Postmasters and their staff are on hand to provide that human reassurance that your old notes have been deposited into your bank account and will provide a receipt too. Most Post Offices are open long hours including on Friday.”
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