The Royal Mint has started production of the first circulating coins featuring King Charles III.

The official minter of UK coins has announced that the first coin to feature the 73-year-old monarch - who acceded to the throne upon the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth in September - will be the 50 pence piece, with the design created by acclaimed British artist Martin Jennings expected to circulate from December 2022.

Anne Jessopp, Chief Executive of The Royal Mint, said: “We are proud to have struck each coin of Her Late Majesty’s reign, and to continue our role as official coin maker into the reign of King Charles III. The first circulating coin to bear the portrait of the King is a special 50 pence which pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II. The coins will start to appear in people’s change from December 2022, and we expect them to be highly collectable [sic] as people look to mark this moment in history.”

All UK coins bearing the portrait of Queen Elizabeth will remain legal tender, meaning that coins featuring both monarchs will be in circulation and the public will be able to see the new designs in production - as well as strike their own coins - by visiting The Royal Mint Experience in South Wales from Friday (28.10.22).

The reverse of the 50 pence features a design that originally appeared on the 1953 Coronation Crown in tribute to Her Late Majesty and includes the four quarters of the Royal Arms depicted within a shield.

Director of The Royal Mint Museum Kevin Clancy explained that the new coins will be will "mark a moment in history" whilst also honouring Her Late Majesty's record-breaking reign of 70 years.

He said: "For many people this will be the first time in their lives that they have seen a new monarch appear on money. It represents the biggest change to UK coinage since decimalisation and will usher in a new era where the coins of Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III co-circulate in the UK. The new memorial 50 pence marks a moment in history and honours a landmark reign that lasted for 70 years."

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