The Royal Mint, the official coin maker of the United Kingdom, has unveiled the portrait of King Charles III to appear on UK coins.
The image, which will appear on commemorative £5 and 50 cent coins honoring the life of the late Queen Elizabeth II, was designed by British sculptor Martin Jennings and approved by the monarch, according to a statement from the Royal Mint.
In line with tradition, the King’s portrait will be facing to the left, in the opposite direction of the mother.
The Latin inscription surrounding the portrait reads: “• CARLOS III • D • G • REX • F • D • 5 LIBRA • 2022”, that is, “King Charles III, by the grace of God, defender of the Faith”.
“It is a privilege to sculpt Her Majesty’s first official image and to receive her personal approval for the design,” Jennings said in a statement.
“The portrait was sculpted from a photograph of the King, and was inspired by the iconic images that have graced British coins for centuries. It’s the smallest work I’ve created, but it’s humbling to know that people all over the world will see it and keep it for centuries.”
The 50 cent coin will be introduced into general circulation in the coming months, the Royal Mint said.
The reverse of the £5 coin will feature two new portraits of Queen Elizabeth II, designed by artist John Bergdahl.
The reverse of the 50 pence will feature the design originally featured on the Queen’s 1953 Coronation Crown coin. It will include the four quarters of the Royal Arms depicted within a shield. Between each shield will be the symbol of each nation of the United Kingdom: a rose for England, a thistle for Scotland, a shamrock for Northern Ireland and a leek for Wales.
“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has issued more coins than any other British monarch during her 70-year reign,” said Kevin Clancy, director of the Royal Mint Museum. “As we move from the Elizabethan era to the Carolingian era, this is the biggest change to Britain’s coinage in decades, and the first time many people will see a different image.”