Production of the official coin effigy of King Charles III has started at the Royal Mint.
People will start to see the King’s image in their change from around December, as 50p coins depicting Charles gradually enter circulation to meet demand.
The move represents the biggest change to UK coinage since decimalisation.
Ahead of the new coins entering circulation, the Mint will release a commemorative coin range commemorating the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign.
Workers will produce 9.6m copies of the 50p coin to mark the Queen’s death at the age of 96.
Production of the coins with the late monarch’s portrait will conclude by the end of the year.
Kevin Clancy, director of the Royal Mint Museum, said: “For many people this will be the first time in their lives that they have seen a new monarch appear on money.
“It represents the biggest change to UK coinage since decimalisation and will usher in a new era where the coins of Queen Elizabeth II and Charles co-circulate in the UK.
“The new memorial 50 pence marks a moment in history and honours a landmark reign that lasted for 70 years.”
The coins will be made on demand in line with the wishes of the King and the late Queen, who asked for minimal waste during the process.
Rebecca Morgan, director of collector services at the Royal Mint, confirmed that “nothing is removed or changed just for change’s sake”.
“It wasn’t unusual to see two or three different monarchs on coins before decimalisation,” she said.
“As a result of decimalisation, most people under the age of 50 only ever have seen Queen Elizabeth II in their pockets.”
The 50 pence coin was chosen as it is one of the most popular for people to start collecting.
In the portrait, Charles faces to the left, the opposite direction to his mother – because tradition states monarchs face the opposite way to their predecessors on coinage.
Tradition also dictates that Kings do not wear crowns in their portraits on coins, while Queens are pictured crowned.
“I think it is really poignant that the King’s first coins are in tribute to his late mother,” Ms Morgan added.
“The only difference on the reverse of the coin is the date on either side of the leek, which is 2022 rather than 1953.”
All UK coins bearing the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II will remain legal tender and in active circulation.
There are around 27 billion coins currently circulating in the UK bearing the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.
These will be replaced over time as they become damaged or worn and to meet demand for additional coins.