Preparing for change – what happens to UK coins and banknotes

Queen Elizabeth II was our longest reigning monarch – appearing on our UK coinage since 1953.

All 29 billion coins currently in circulation in the UK have Queen Elizabeth II’s effigy on the obverse.

Close up image of British banknotes and coins.
Close-up of British banknotes and coins.

As the nation prepares for a new monarch, questions are being asked about what happens to our UK coins and banknotes.

What happens to UK coins and banknotes with Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait and how long will they remain in circulation?

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What happens to British Isles and Commonwealth coinage with Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait on it?

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What do I need to do with my QEII coins and banknotes?

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When will the King’s coinage start circulating in the UK?

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Which direction will the King’s portrait face on our UK coins?

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Will there be a new obverse designer on the coinage of the King?

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What will King Charles III’s Royal Cypher look like?

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Find, Collect, and Swap the coins in your change

If you’re interested in coin collecting, our Change Checker web app is completely free to use and allows users to:

– Find and identify the coins in their pocket
– Collect and track the coins they have
– Swap their spare coins with other Change Checkers

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Code-Cracking Coins Go Global!

Today we’ve heard the news of an Australian 50 cent coin being released featuring a code-cracking design which has got Change Checkers across the globe talking…

That’s because FOUR unique layers of code have been included in the design, each containing special messages about the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) – with the coin issued in celebration of their 75th anniversary.

New Australian 50 cent celebrates 75th Anniversary of the ASD. Credit: Royal Australian Mint

The challenge for Australian collectors really is on to decipher the codes, including modern binary messages alongside coding which dates back thousands of years!

But, for collectors here in the UK, I’m sure this new Australian 50 cent has got you thinking about a recent 50p release with a design just waiting to be deciphered…

This UK 50p was issued to celebrate the life and achievements of famed war hero and cryptologist, Alan Turing.

Now, there’s no surprise this coin was popular with collectors. Not only is the 50p the UK’s most collected coin, but the release of last year’s Turing £50 banknote was the talk of the town! However, what really caught the attention of collectors was the design of the 50p…

You see, The Royal Mint have included not just one, but THREE hidden codes on the reverse of the Alan Turing 50p – can you spot them all?


Can you spot the words ‘GEARS GRIN THAN’ on the design of this coin?

When these words are entered into the ‘What 3 Words‘ navigation database, it shows a location for the University of Cambridge, where Turing studied mathematics!


The next hidden message is one of my favourite features of any UK coin.

Alan Turing’s famous quote ‘Only a foretaste of what is to come’ appears as an inscription.
This quote came from his reflections of his code-breaking machine, Bombe.


And of course, the designers behind this fantastic design get an honorary feature, with Christian Davies and Matt Dent’s initials featuring as an inscription.

I’m sure you’ll agree that these new coins are quite unlike anything we’ve seen before and the code-breaking elements are an incredibly fun addition to an already stunning design.

I’d love to hear what you think of these designs and whether you can crack the codes! Let me know in the comments below!

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Your top Winnie the Pooh 50p revealed!

Now that the Winnie the Pooh 50p Collection has concluded, with the 2022 UK Winnie the Pooh and Friends 50p, we wanted to know what your favourite design is!

And the results are in!

Vote Results

Coming out on top spot is the 2022 Winnie the Pooh and Friends 50p, taking 31% of the votes!

Issued in 2022, this coin features a design of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore, just as we remember them from A. A. Milne’s original books. The charming original illustrations from E. H. Shepard feature on all the 50p coins in the Winnie the Pooh coin collection.

These 50ps have been some of the most popular and in-demand coins of recent years, with thousands of collectors missing out on securing them in precious metal specifications.

Furthermore, the 2020 Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin, and Piglet 50p coins are no longer available at The Royal Mint, in any specifications.

Change Checker has a limited number of the 2020 Winnie the Pooh 50p coins remaining for collectors.

Fill the gaps in your collection before it’s too late! Click here to browse the complete Winnie the Pooh 50p range >>

Where did your favourite Winnie the Pooh 50p place in our vote? Let us know in the comments below!

Fill the gaps in your Winnie the Pooh 50p collection!