Littleton Coin Company

Collector Spotlight: Highlighting the NEW Coins of King Charles III

The first coins bearing the portrait of new monarch King Charles III debuted last year in 2023. This marked a BIG change for world coin collectors. For nearly 70 years – from her coronation in 1953 until her passing in 2022 – Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait adorned the obverse of all coins issued for Great Britain and the commonwealth of nations.

To prepare for the release of the first coins to depict the first portrait of a newly-reigning monarch in 70 years, a portrait was commissioned by the Royal Mint. The honor of designing Charles’ first coinage portrait went to renowned sculptor Martin Jennings.

A long-standing tradition

Another important tradition in British coinage history continues with these new releases featuring King Charles III. Ever since the rule of Charles II, the monarch’s coinage portrait has faced in the opposite direction from their direct predecessor.

Of course, the sole exception to this was during the short rule of Edward VIII, who preferred his left-facing portrait – even though he should have faced right according to tradition. Because Edward’s reign was cut short by his abdication, only proposed coin designs were ever released, and the left-right conundrum was corrected on coins of King George VI, whose portrait faced left. Since Queen Elizabeth II faced to the right on her coins, Charles faces left on his.

New coins on the block

Both coins, King and Queen - Littleton Coin Blog

Coins of King Charles III have already been released, and are proving to be popular with collectors. One of my favorites so far is this Definitives Collection. Each reverse honors flora and fauna of the UK – a nice tip of the hat to Charles’ dedication to conservation. These coins also show an interlocking “C” pattern to the left of the reverse. Dating back again to the reign of King Charles II, this pattern is used here to indicate the beginning of a new Carolean era.

Great Britain’s silver Britannia – struck in a full ounce of 99.9% pure silver – is an annual favorite. In 2023, two different Britannia designs were released! The first featured the queen’s obverse design, while the second depicted the new portrait of King Charles III.

Are you a collector of world coins looking to update your collection with the latest and greatest? Maybe you’re an Anglophile who enjoys tributes to the royal family. Either way, the coins of King Charles III are a solid choice.

This article was written by Kierstin S.

Since 2000, Kierstin has enjoyed sharing her love of collecting with folks like you.

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