Billions of coins feature Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait. What now?

Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait is on 29 billion coins at present in circulation within the U.Ok.

Peter Macdiarmid / Staff / Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait options on every of the 29 billion coins at present in circulation within the U.Ok., in addition to currencies of Commonwealth international locations together with Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

As King Charles III is now the monarch, coins bearing his picture will come into circulation, however cash that includes the queen is not going to be phased out anytime quickly, in accordance with Dominic Chorney from coin specialists A.H. Baldwin & Sons.

“I don’t imagine there’ll be a concerted effort to remove her coins,” Chorney informed CNBC.

“The coins will be lost over time, but I imagine there’ll be coins of Queen Elizabeth circulating for decades,” he mentioned.

Pound coins can usually flow into for round 30 years with out turning into too worn to be used.

Before decimalization occurred in early 1971 — the method which noticed the pound sterling shift from denominations of kilos, shillings and pence to simply kilos and pence — it was commonplace to see photos of earlier monarchs on cash.

“[There] would’ve [been] coins in circulation of Queen Elizabeth II, George VI, George V. Maybe even some really, really old coins featuring Queen Victoria,” Chorney mentioned.

And now because the coins bearing the late queen’s portrait are nonetheless authorized tender, there is no actual purpose to attempt to take away them, he mentioned.

“It means you’ll have coins of King Charles III circulating with coins of Queen Elizabeth II, which is unique in modern history because nobody remembers seeing two different monarchs in circulation,” Chorney mentioned.

Which manner will King Charles III face?

Using imagery of the monarch on coins is a convention that dates again 1000’s of years. It symbolizes energy and likewise ensures a forex, in accordance with Chorney.

“A currency can be trusted if it’s backed by the state,” Chorney mentioned, “and the most obvious symbol of the state, since the Roman times, is the emperor, the ruler, the king.”

Ever since 1659 on the finish of the Protectorate — a time when the U.Ok. head of state was the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell slightly than a king or queen — monarchs’ portraits on coins have confronted reverse instructions with every new coronation. 

When Charles II took to the throne in 1661, he opted for his portrait to be going through his left — the alternative approach to Cromwell, who had his father Charles I executed. 

Five totally different portraits of Queen Elizabeth II have featured on British coinage since she ascended to the throne in 1952.

JUSTIN TALLIS / Stringer / Getty Images

Rumor has it that the transfer represented the brand new monarch turning his again on Cromwell’s republican model of Britain, and the custom continued every time a brand new monarch took the throne.

The solely break from custom virtually got here from Edward VIII. His coins had been to face the identical manner as his father’s, to seize his extra flattering facet, however as he abdicated lower than a 12 months after he turned king his coins had been by no means issued. His brother and successor, George VI, opted to face the alternative approach to his father, and so the custom was restored.

Five totally different portraits of Queen Elizabeth II have featured on British coinage since she ascended to the throne in 1952. The most up-to-date was designed by Jody Clark, and it was the primary to be created solely from images slightly than a sitting with the queen.

The Royal Mint, the official producer of the U.Ok.’s coins, declined to touch upon the brand new cash set to be minted with King Charles III’s portrait, but it surely supplied the next assertion by way of electronic mail:

“The Royal Mint worked with Her Late Majesty throughout her reign – detailing her journey from new Queen to respected head of state across five coin portraits, and ensuring each new UK coin received her personal seal of approval. The remarkable legacy of Britain’s longest serving monarch will live on for many years to come.”

The Bank of England, which points the U.Ok.’s banknotes, confirmed financial institution notes that includes the picture of the queen would proceed to be authorized tender and mentioned additional bulletins in regards to the forex could be made “once the period of mourning has been observed.”


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