Coronation coins with first ever crowned effigy of King Charles III revealed by Royal Mint

Commemorative collection includes a portrait of King Charles wearing the Tudor Crown

Bronwen Weatherby
Thursday 13 April 2023 05:22 BST
The commemorative £5 coin and 50 pence coin is seen at The Royal Mint
The commemorative £5 coin and 50 pence coin is seen at The Royal Mint (Getty Images)

A crowned portrait of the King will for the first time feature on a new range of commemorative coins created to celebrate the upcoming coronation.

The collection, which includes a 50p and £5 coin, will be released later this month ahead of the historic 6 May celebration.

The effigy, which was designed by artist and sculptor Martin Jennings and is emblazoned on the highly collectible coins, depicts King Charles III wearing the Tudor crown.

The Tudor Crown was personally selected by the King for the portrait despite it no longer existing, having been destroyed in the 1640s.

It continues in the tradition of the crown being used in portraits of previous kings from the 20th century, including that of his great grandfather King George VI.

Mr Jennings said he was “proud” to have created the portrait, which he said was “both dignified and celebratory for this historic occasion”.

The 50p coin will also feature a drawing of Westminster Abbey by The Royal Mint’s resident designer Natasha Jenkins. The image also includes King Charles’ cypher and crown to symbolise him being inside the abbey where he is to be crowned.

A commemorative 50 pence coin is checked for flaws after striking at The Royal Mint (Getty Images)

The £5 coin features a design by Timothy Noad of the sacred and symbolic objects used in the coronation ceremony, known as the Coronation Regalia, and the St Edward’s Crown.

The range also contains a number of ounce coins, that are available in several editions and sizes, each featuring the crowned portrait of the King on one side and an intricate design by John Bergdahl on the other.

The 50p coins will be available to buy from 9am on 24 April for between £11 and £1,220, while the £5 coins are priced between £14.50 and £2,995.

A 1kg solid gold proof coin featuring the designs of Mr Jennings and Mr Bergdahl will also go on sale for £77,565.

Five million 50ps are also set to enter circulation later in 2023 featuring the original, uncrowned effigy of Charles by Mr Jennings and the commemorative Westminster Abbey drawing by Ms Jenkins.

This follows the five million memorial 50ps that entered circulation after the King ascended the throne.

Rebecca Morgan, director of collector services at The Royal Mint, called the range “a wonderful keepsake of such a historic occasion”.

“This is the first coronation that most of us will ever have seen – it has been 70 years since the last coronation in this country – and we know lots of people are gearing up to have a huge celebration,” Ms Morgan said.

“It is a historic moment for Britain and people are going to want something to remember it by and these coins are the perfect choice for that.”

She added: “The Royal Mint has struck the coins of the monarchy since the times of Alfred the Great.

“We are marking a moment in history and a new chapter in British coinage.”

Historian and curator at The Royal Mint Museum, Chris Barker, said the coins are unusual as they feature a crowned effigy of the King which in the 20th century has been reserved for commemorative medals only.

He said: “What also really stands out is the way the King is portrayed crowned because there’s a remarkable resemblance to his grandfather, George VI, and he has shown wearing the Tudor crown on coronation medals from his reign.

“You can see that the King is obviously channelling some of the iconography of the last king that Britain had.”

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