New 50p coin features ‘softer’ image of King Charles

A new 50p design featuring an image of King Charles III will enter circulation by the end of the year.

The coin, which has been unveiled by the Royal Mint, features the King’s effigy, which was created by sculptor Martin Jennings. In keeping with tradition, the King’s portrait will face to the left, the opposite direction from Queen Elizabeth II.

The effigy “could be viewed as softer and less regal than those of previous monarchs”, said Sky News, and it has received the personal approval of Charles.

Chris Barker, from the Royal Mint Museum, said that “if you look back on some of the portraits of Elizabeth” they were “much more idealised” but “this one is much more of the man himself… you see the lines in his face, the years of experience, and that humanity coming across”.

The Guardian noted that the Latin inscription surrounding the effigy reads: “:: CHARLES III :: D :: G :: REX :: F :: D :: 5 POUNDS :: 2022”, which means: “King Charles III, by the Grace of God, Defender of the Faith”.

Meanwhile, a special memorial coin range commemorating Queen Elizabeth II will be released next Monday. Charles’s portrait will appear on a £5 crown and a 50p piece celebrating the Queen.

The chief commercial officer at the Royal Mint, Nicola Howell, told the PA news agency: “We expect customers will start to be able to receive the commemorative range from October and then we expect the 50p memorial circulating coin to be appearing in people’s change probably from December.”

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Reporting on the launch of the £5 coin, the Daily Mirror made a quip about the current economic turmoil. On its front page this morning, the tabloid said the coin is “soon to be worth about 50p. Thanks, PM”.