The portrait of King Charles III that will feature on British coins has been unveiled by the Royal Mint, the official maker of UK coins.
The image, which will first appear on commemorative £5 and 50 pence coins to honor 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 face to the left, the opposite direction to his mother’s.
The Latin inscription surrounding the portrait reads: “• CHARLES III • D • G • REX • F • D • 5 POUNDS • 2022,” which translates to “King Charles III, by the Grace of God, Defender of the Faith.”
“It is a privilege to sculpt the first official effigy of His Majesty and to receive his personal approval for the design,” Jennings was quoted as saying in the statement.
“The portrait was sculpted from a photograph of The King, and was inspired by the iconic effigies that have graced Britain’s coins over the centuries. It is the smallest work I have created, but it is humbling to know it will be seen and held by people around the world for centuries to come.”
The 50 pence coin will be released 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 a design that originally appeared on the late 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 emblem of each UK nation: a rose for England, a thistle for Scotland, a shamrock for Northern Ireland and a leek for Wales.
“Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has graced more coins than any other British monarch in a reign that lasted for 70 years,” said Kevin Clancy, director of the Royal Mint Museum. “As we move from the Elizabethan to the Carolean era it represents the biggest change to Britain’s coinage in decades, and the first time that many people will have seen a different effigy.”