First coins bearing portrait of Britain's King Charles unveiled
The Royal Mint unveiled on Thursday the official coin effigy of Britain’s new King Charles. The first coins to bear the king's portrait are a special five-pound crown and the reverse of a 50-pence coin commemorating the life of Queen Elizabeth II.
The effigy was created by British sculptor Martin Jennings from a photograph and was personally approved by the new King. In keeping with tradition, the portrait of Charles faces in the opposite direction of that of his mother.
The reverse of the five-pound coin features two new portraits of Queen Elizabeth while the reverse of the 50-pence coin features a design that originally appeared on the 1953 Coronation Crown.
Chris Barker, information and research manager at the Royal Mint, said Jennings had managed to achieve “a real warmth and humanity” in the portrait of Charles.
“It’s a little bit different to what you might have got with Queen Elizabeth II, particularly her first coinage portrait from the 1950s where it was very idealised, this is much more humane in regards to Charles, it’s much more the man himself and you are also seeing the age of Charles coming across in a dignified and graceful way,” said Barker.
All of the approximately 27 billion coins currently circulating in the UK bearing the effigy of Queen Elizabeth will remain legal tender and will be replaced by coins bearing the image of Charles over time.