LONDON (AFP) – The first coins bearing the likeness of Britain’s King Charles III entered circulation yesterday, The Royal Mint announced.
The new GBP0.50 (USD0.60) piece features an effigy of Charles, who became king after the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II in September.
The Royal Mint, official producer of United Kingdom (UK) banknotes and coins, is initially releasing 4.9 million of the coins via transactions made at the country’s postal offices.
Millions more will eventually enter use, with Charles’ head featuring on all denominations.
The effigy is the work of British sculptor Martin Jennings and was personally approved by the king.
Charles’ head faces left, in line with a tradition that the new monarch looks the opposite way to their predecessor.
The reverse side celebrates the life and legacy of Elizabeth, using the coin design for her coronation in 1953.
The coronation of King Charles takes place on May 6.