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New King Charles III 50p Entering Circulation - How Will Investment Coins be Impacted?


The media has been speculating for weeks about exactly when King Charles III’s image will be added to British currency. Well, we have some answers and will be revealing the details in this article.

The BBC has broken the news that a new 50 pence piece will be the first coin to feature the new monarch’s portrait. The design by British sculptor Martin Jennings will enter general circulation “within weeks” according to the BBC, as the news outlet received an exclusive look at the new coin.

The entirety of British legal tender coins in circulation and the majority of investment coins have featured Queen Elizabeth II's portrait for most Brits alive today. Her image has been a firm fixture on British currency since Elizabeth II acceded to the throne 70 years ago and has also been seen on the currency of Commonwealth countries for almost a century.

Keep reading to learn what we foresee for British currency and investment coins in the coming months and years. We’ll explore historical precedent for new monarchs and tap into our expertise to outline the coming opportunities for investors and collectors.

New King Charles III official portrait revealed

The new design will be initially available on the new 50 pence piece as well as a commemorative £5 crown. The design follows royal tradition, meaning that unlike his mother his portrait will face to the left as the new monarch always faces the opposite direction of their predecessor.

Another choice which follows previous precedent sees King Charles III without a crown, as British Kings are shown in portrait unadorned.

How long will currency featuring Queen Elizabeth II be in circulation?

Previous currency transitions and press statements from The Royal Mint have given us some indication of how the transition will be managed.

The challenge is vast. During Queen Elizabeth II’s record breaking reign of 70 years, she was sovereign leader of 15 nations and acted as the head of the Commonwealth to more than 50 others. Due to these associations her image appears on the currency of more than 20 countries across the map. The scope of the challenge is revealed by just how many coins and notes are in circulation in the UK. Currently there are 29 million coins and 4.7 million notes with her image – extend this globally and the numbers are staggering.

While we are primarily focusing on UK currency and investment coins, replacing the Queen’s image throughout the Commonwealth will be a monumental task which is bound to lead to some crossover.

It is likely that it will take several years, if not as many as 20 to replace all the coins and notes featuring the image of Queen Elizabeth II worldwide in favour of her son, the new monarch, King Charles III.

The Royal Mint and Bank of England have jointly confirmed that currency bearing the image of Queen Elizabeth II will remain in circulation and hold the status of legal tender for some time. The Mint has also announced that currency featuring both monarchs will be in co-circulation to allow a “smooth transition, with minimal environmental impact and cost”. Anne Jessop, Royal Mint Chief Executive has mentioned that coins are designed to last 20 years in circulation.

It is expected that by the start of 2023 coins with King Charles III’s image from 1p to £2 will be minted and in circulation.

New banknotes will take a little longer, and we should be seeing them in our wallets by mid-2024. £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes featuring the King’s portrait will use the current design and material.

What’s next for investment coins?

Gold Sovereigns and gold and silver Britannias are the most popular investment coins in the UK featuring Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait. We don’t yet know what the impact of the Queen’s passing will have on investor and collector demand, however a surge in demand is expected.

Across her reign we have seen five official portraits:

  • The First Definitive Coinage Portrait - 1953 - Mary Gillick
  • The Second Definitive Coinage Portrait - 1968 - Arnold Machin RA
  • The Third Definitive Coinage Portrait - 1985 - Raphael Maklouf
  • The Fourth Definitive Coinage Portrait - 1998 - Ian Rank Broadley FRBS
  • The Fifth Definitive Coinage Portrait - 2015 - Jody Clark

Now let’s look forward to the release of 2023 investment coins.

Gold Britannias

Gold and silver Britannias are minted ahead of a new release in October for the coming year. The Royal Mint is no longer minting 2022 Britannias, having commenced production of the 2023 coins bearing the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

At the time of writing, it is probable that the Royal Mint will release two editions of the 2023 Britannia the first with Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait and later in 2023, an edition with King Charles III.

Stay tuned to our updates to learn the upcoming changes to investment coins including Gold Britannias.

*Note: Gold Britannias are probably the most secure bullion coin in the world.

Gold Sovereigns

The 2022 Memorial Sovereign is due to be released in January, so coins are unlikely to have been produced as yet. Therefore, the mint has the opportunity to design coins with King Charles III’s portrait. Because of this, we anticipate that 2023 gold Sovereigns will feature the new King Charles III portrait design by Martin Jennings. While we await official confirmation of this, collectors keen to possess a gold Sovereign with Queen Elizabeth II’s image will be pleased to hear that the mint has confirmed that production of the 2022 gold Sovereign will continue until November.

Tudor Beasts Collection

Another coin with royal lineage, the 2023 Tudor Beasts Yale of Beaufort coin in silver and gold will be in demand. It features the fifth and most recent portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse, setting a precedent for other 2023 investment coins to use the same image, including the Gold Britannia.

Update your portfolio for a historic 2023

2023 will be a historic and exciting year for investors and coin collectors. Whether you’re an investor hoping to diversify your portfolio with a 2023 Sovereign or Britannia or a first-time gold investor seeking advice, we’re here to help.

Please don’t hesitate to give our team a call on 01902 623 259, or contact us by email. If you would rather visit us in person, please book an appointment to visit us in our head office in Wolverhampton.


Article Last Updated: Monday, October 10, 2022