The Royal Mint has unveiled eight brand new coins featuring the four nations and the natural world, featuring King Charles III.
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The Royal Mint has recently launched eight distinctive coin designs, ranging from 1p to £2, each bearing images of Britain’s flora and fauna.
The new currency will enter circulation in 2024 and will slowly replace coins featuring the late Queen Elizabeth II.
One side of the coins will show different animals and plants from the UK on one side, with the face of the King facing left (the opposite way to the Queen).
Here’s more information about how the change of the coin design can help kids learn to count and what will happen to the current coins we use.
All the coins will feature three interlocking Cs, which is the privy mark of Charles II, and will show different nature and wildlife.
The 1p to £2 coins showcase creatures and plants like the red squirrel, hazel dormouse, bee, Atlantic salmon, puffin, capercaillie, and an oak tree leaf, along with national flowers for the UK’s countries on the £2 coin.
The new coins are the same size, colour and weight as before, so they will feel the same.
Although they will be issued to circulation in 2024, the coins will be dated 2023 for the date of the King’s coronation.
Here’s a summary of each of the new coins:
£2 Coin: Features national flowers from the UK: rose, daffodil, thistle, and shamrock. The edge inscription reads: “In servitio omnium”, which means in the service of all.
£1 Coin: Celebrates bees and their role in pollination.
50p Coin: Highlights the Atlantic salmon and conservation issues.
20p Coin: Features the puffin, a Red List species.
10p Coin: Depicts the capercaillie, a large grouse at risk of extinction.
5p Coin: Showcases an oak tree leaf, symbolising biodiversity.
2p Coin: Features the red squirrel blending with the coin’s hue.
1p Coin: Depicts the hazel dormouse, a species whose population has halved since 2007.
The coins will likely become collector pieces, but until we know their circulation, it isn’t easy to know which coins will be rarer than others.
Millions of new banknotes with King Charles’ image are in the printing stages, and they’re set to circulate from the middle of next year, a few months post the coin release.
As older notes with the Queen wear out or get damaged, these new arrivals will take their place.
However, the transition will be paced slowly, as self-service tills won’t recognise the new image immediately.
How the King Charles III coins can help kids
The new coins will be great for kids.
With cash being used less in a digital world, coins are being handled less.
However, all the coins show a large number, which can help children with financial literacy, helping them recognise the figures, learn to count and understand the use of money.
The coins can also make them aware of nature in the UK, particularly endangered species.
Find other ways to help with teaching kids about money.
What about current coins?
If you still have any old coins, which will likely be for years to come, you can still use them. They will remain valid currency.
As the old coins are phased out or if collectors hoard them, it will increase their rarity and value to collectors.
The exact impact would depend on different things, including the total mintage of the new and old coins, the handling of old coins by the Royal Mint, and the demand among collectors.
When do the new coins enter circulation?
While we need to wait until 2024 for the coins to enter circulation through Post Offices and banks, you can purchase an uncirculated commemorative set already.
Although you’d never want to use them as change (even when skint) as they are collector pieces worth more than the change you’d find in your pocket.
While it costs a little more, there is also a set that features the new uncirculated coins and a set of the Last Coins. This set will only be available to buy until 31 December 2023.