Australia’s New King Charles III Coin Effigy Revealed!

More than a year after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, The Royal Australian Mint have officially announced the release of their first coins featuring King Charles III.

For the first time in 70 years, and after more than 15.5 billion coins were minted with the face of the late Queen, the Australian $1 coin will feature an effigy of the King.

Official Commonwealth effigy of King Charles III 
Credit: AAP
Official Commonwealth effigy of King Charles III
Credit: AAP

The King’s image

The King’s image that features on these brand new $1 coins will be the official Commonwealth effigy, available for use by all British Commonwealth countries. As with all official portraits of reigning monarchs, the new effigy has been personally approved by King Charles III.  

As with our UK coins, this new Australian $1 coin sees the monarch facing the opposite direction to his predecessor, Queen Elizabeth II.

Australian QEII Coin Effigies 
Credit: The Perth Mint
Australian QEII Coin Effigies
Credit: The Perth Mint

A major change for Australian Coinage

During her reign, six effigies of Queen Elizabeth II have featured on Australian coinage, however the latest change was only 5 years ago. From 1998 to 2018, with the exception of 2000, it was Ian Rank-Broadley’s effigy that featured on Australian coinage.

In 2018, a new effigy of the Queen by Jody Clark was approved and made it’s way onto Australian coins in 2019.

2019 Ian Rank-Broadley QEII Effigy on Australian £1

Considering that the Queen Elizabeth effigy only changed fairly recently, the introduction of King Charles III is sure to cause a huge shake up in Australian coinage.

How many will enter circulation?

The final mintage figure of the 2023 Australia $1 is yet to be confirmed, however, The Royal Australian Mint have announced that an estimated 10 million will be circulating by Christmas.  

Most Australians will never have held a circulating coin featuring a King on the obverse, so this new issue is guaranteed to attract the attention of not only collectors, but anyone who regularly uses coinage.

The $1 is the only denomination to feature His Majesty at the moment, however The Royal Australian Mint have said that the $2, $5, 10 cent, 20 cent and 50 cent coins will be released gradually next year.

When will we see the King on UK coinage?

Although we’ve already seen the King’s effigy on commemorative UK 50p, £2 and £5 coins since the Queen Elizabeth II Memoriam coin range last year, it’s just been announced that all UK coins are set to change. As the full range of circulating coins from the 1p to the £2 will not only feature the King, but are also set to receive brand new reverse designs.

As perhaps the biggest change we’ve seen to UK coinage in decades, we’re expecting a huge collecting rush for the New UK Coinage for King Charles III and can’t wait to see the new coins when they’re released. 

Keep an eye on our social media and website as we’ll be updating you as soon as we have more information on these exciting new coins. 

Over 130,000 collectors queue for this Remembrance $2 coin

Over 130,000 collectors queued online (with hundreds more queuing outside the Canberra shop) for the now sold out 2022 Royal Australian Mint’s Remembrance $2 coin.

The Royal Australian Mint issued this brand-new Remembrance Poppy coin to celebrate 10 years since their first ever coloured $2 was released into circulation.

The new coin features a re-issued design of their 2012 coin, which was the first circulation coin to include micro-text on the design.

Thousands queue for new Remembrance $2

This coin is so sought-after that on launch day, demand BROKE the Royal Australian Mint’s website.

Thousands queued for the new Remembrance $2 and soon after, secondary market sites had the coin listed for over 10 times the original retail price.

Example of Remembrance $2 coin on eBay. Sold 4th November 2022 for £227.98 (+£12.36 postage)
Example of Remembrance $2 on eBay. Sold 4th November 2022.

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Queen Victoria – Around the World on Coins…

Cast your imagination back to the 19th centuryQueen Victoria ruled 400 million people in an empire that covered almost a quarter of the world’s surface!

With a name and title famous across the globe, it may come as a surprise to you that Queen Victoria never actually stepped foot in many of the countries she ruled over.

Map of the British Empire during Queen Victoria’s reign.

India was held with such high regard in Victoria’s heart that it became known as the Jewel in the Empire’s crown. In 1876, India awarded her the title of ‘Empress of India’ in a gesture of appreciation.

Although having never stepped foot in the country and living 4,500 miles away, Victoria’s portrait was minted on to the currency of India (the rupee) from 1840, so people could recognise their empress!

The rupee is one of the oldest currencies in the world, so to feature a British monarch for the first time was an important moment in numismatic history.

1849 Indian One Rupee. Source: Numista

The later portrait issued on rupees, similar to the Gothic Head effigy, can be considered one of the most beautiful coins of the empire.

1889 Indian One Rupee. Source: Numista.

A 22hr flight to Australia seems a long journey now but for Queen Victoria, a trip to this corner of the world would have taken her almost two months to get there!

So, there’s no surprises this was also a country that she never visited. However, the need for a British presence in the country was growing with the empire; as the empire grew, so did the need for coins. The Royal Mint opened branches in Australia and in 1855, a sovereign was minted outside of the UK for the first time – the Sydney sovereign.

1855 Sydney Sovereign. Source: Numista.

It featured a portrait of Victoria that was based on the Young Head effigy, but with a sprig of banksia weaved through Victoria’s hair, giving the portrait a distinct Australian feel.

The Sydney sovereign became incredibly successful and a number of Royal Mint branches were opened throughout Australia as a result. To identify the Mint that sovereigns were produced in, mintmarks were added to the coins, with a small ‘P’ for Perth, and an ‘M’ for Melbourne.

‘P’ Mintmark for sovereigns minted in Perth. Source: Numista.

The sovereign became legal tender in the majority of British colonies in the 1860s, and its importance in British trade, and worldwide circulation earned it the title “the King of Coins”. By the final years of the British Empire, the sovereign was minted in four continents across the globe.

India and Australia weren’t the only countries that saw Victoria’s portrait. Her image also reached as far as Hong Kong, Ceylon, East Africa and New Zealand. In 1870 the first Canadian dollar with Victoria’s portrait was issued, taking Victoria’s image to a new side of the world for people to see.

Despite never leaving Europe, Queen Victoria’s portrait and image stood strong on coins around the world. Whilst she never stepped foot in many of the countries that she ruled over, that didn’t stop people recognising her image around the world.

The coins that they used every day provided a link to the empire that they were a part of, despite the miles between them.

If you’ve found this blog informative and have enjoyed reading, let us know in the comments below!

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