The first coinage featuring King Charles III has begun appearing in circulation across the United Kingdom as of Dec. 8.
The new 50-pence piece bearing the king’s inaugural coinage portrait marks the transition from Queen Elizabeth II to King Charles III in the public’s change. Alongside the king’s portrait on the obverse, the late queen’s legacy is honoured on the reverse with the Royal Arms’ four quadrants each depicted within a shield alongside the emblems of the home nations – a rose, thistle, shamrock and leek.
The Royal Mint, the official maker of U.K. coins, issued a commemorative coin featuring the same design in October.
Starting this month, post office branches will receive 4.9 million 50-pence coins for circulation. Another 4.7 million coins will enter circulation “in line with demand,” according to a statement from the mint.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for coin collectors to add to their collections or start one for the first time,” said Rebecca Morgan, the mint’s collector services director. “We anticipate a new generation of coin collectors emerging, with people keeping a close eye on their change to try and spot a new ‘50p’ that bears the portrait of our new king.”