New King Charles 50p coins enter circulation today

Virgin Radio

8 Dec 2022, 09:00

The new King Charles II 50p coin.

Credit: Getty

If you are given some change next time you’re in the post office, you might want to have a closer look at the coins than usual, because you could be given one of the brand new King Charles III 50 pence pieces.

Millions of the new coins with the image of King Charles III are set to be put into circulation today, Thursday 8th December, via post offices.

Rebecca Morgan, director of collector services at The Royal Mint, said in a statement: "Today marks a new era for UK coinage, with the effigy of King Charles III appearing on 50ps in circulation. 

“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.”

Whilst there are almost five million of the coins initially being sent out to post offices to distribute, you might not see one for a little while, as collectors will certainly be keen to get their hands on them when they first drop.

The next batch of coins will be distributed later according to demand, making 9.6 million in total. That equates to one of the new King Charles coins for every seven people in the country.

The new coin uses an image of the King produced over the course of months by sculptor Martin Jennings. Meanwhile, the flipside of the coin uses a design that first appeared on Queen Elizabeth II's crown at her 1953 coronation. 

In a statement, Nick Read, chief executive of the Post Office, said: ‘It is a tremendous honour for the Post Office and for postmasters that the first coinage featuring King Charles III is being released into circulation via our extensive branch network.

Read explained that, because December is the post office’s busiest time of the year, the coin will be introduced in a phased manner. He said: “If you don’t receive the new 50p in your change on your first visit to a post office you may well get it in your change in a subsequent visit, so keep a look out for it.”

And if you’ve still got some 50p coins bearing the image of Queen Elizabeth II, then don’t worry, these will still be accepted when you are buying things. There are around 27 billion of these coins circulating at the moment.