With the dawn of each new reign, tradition dictates the minting of fresh coinage. This time, under the reign of King Charles III, British coins not only pay homage to the new sovereign but also serve as vehicles for an educational and environmental message.
Charles III takes the mantle from his mother, Elizabeth II, and, in keeping with tradition, his profile graces the new coins with a twist – while the right profile was chosen for Elizabeth, Charles adopts the left. These coins, divided into pennies and pounds, will be in circulation by year’s end.
Charles’s love for nature is immortalized on the flip side of the coins. Animals and flowers celebrate the natural world while serving an educational purpose. The newly minted coins for the reign of Charles III have been specially crafted to captivate the imaginations of young British children, aiding them in learning to count and handle money.
In each new reign, coins are struck bearing the likeness of the new king. The new pennies and pounds set to circulate by year’s end feature Charles’s profile, sans crown, just as his mother’s. In adherence to the tradition of alternation, the left profile has been chosen for the son, following Elizabeth II’s use of the right profile.
King Charles: the Coins, Pennies
On the other side, images celebrate the sovereign’s love for nature, a lifelong commitment to environmental conservation. These are intricately designed and chosen for their significance. The one-penny coin displays the hazel dormouse, a small rodent whose UK population has halved since 2007. For the two-penny coin, the red squirrel has been chosen, with its color accentuated by the coin’s copper.
The five-penny coin features an oak leaf, celebrating the role of this tree, symbolically associated with the monarchy, in preserving biodiversity. The capercaillie, a species in danger in certain areas of Scotland, appears on the ten-penny coin. On the 20-penny coin, we find the puffin, a seabird, while the 50-penny coins feature Atlantic salmon, endangered due to river pollution.
The Coins: Pounds
Lastly, on the one-pound coins, two bees are engraved, while for the two-pound coins, a composition of flowers has been chosen: the rose for England, the daffodil for Wales, the thistle for Scotland, and the shamrock for Northern Ireland. On the latter coin, the phrase “in servitio omnium” (in service of all), personally chosen by Charles and spoken in his inaugural address, is also etched.