King Charles III bank notes and coins: Are they in circulation yet?

8 February 2023, 14:34

King Charles alongside his first 50p
King Charles currency: The new king's money is set to enter circulation. Picture: Alamy

By Zoe Adams

His Majesty the king will officially be crowned in May but as the UK prepares to officially change monarchs, here's when we'll see his bank notes and coins go into circulation.

King Charles III has been slowly unveiling his stamps, coins and bank notes as he prepares to officially become king on his coronation date in May 2023.

Approving images for the official documents - which have purposely left out a crown and all royal emblems - Prince William's father will soon see his face begin to replace that of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

In December 2022, the first 50p with Charles's face on were shown to the public, Rebecca Morgan, director of collector services at The Royal Mint said: "Today marks a new era for UK coinage, with the effigy of King Charles III appearing on 50ps in circulation.

"We anticipate a new generation of coin collectors emerging, with people keeping a close eye on their change to try and spot a new 50p that bears the portrait of our new King."

Related article: Charles 'wants Harry at his coronation despite bombshell memoir and William fears - and weighs up his own interview'

Related article: Furious King's Guard shouts 'get off' as tourist tugs at horse's reins twice

So are King Charles coins and bank notes in circulation yet? And can you still use money with the Queen on? Here's the royal latest.

King Charles in blue suit
King Charles III has insisted the costs, both financially and for the environment, are kept low. Picture: Alamy

When are King Charles III's coins in circulation?

50p coins officially went into circulation in December 2022 - an estimated 4.9million were being distributed to Post Offices.

Other coins, ranging from 1p-£2 will begin to circulate in 2023 but are only produced and distributed when needed in order to avoid additional costs.

Experts have revealed a coin has a life span of about 20 years so it will be common for King Charles's coins to circulate alongside the Queen's for many years to come.

King Charles and his wife Camilla Parker-Bowles
King Charles and his wife will have coronation ceremonies in May 2023. Picture: Alamy

When are King Charles III's bank notes going into circulation?

There's a much bigger delay when it comes to bank notes and the Bank of England has confirmed we'll see the monarch's face on paper money from mid 2024.

In guidance from the Royal Household, to minimise the environmental and financial impact that comes with the changing of the monarch, the king has insisted all existing notes with Elizabeth II on continue to be used.

New notes will only be printed to replace worn banknotes and to meet any increased demands.

Notes with the Queen on will remain legal tender until stated otherwise.

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