The first coins featuring King Charles III entered circulation on December 2022, but when can we expect to see banknotes featuring His Majesty?
*** February 2024 – UPDATE ***
CONFIRMED – King Charles III banknotes to enter circulation from June 2024
The Bank of England have confirmed that new banknotes featuring King Charles III will begin entering circulation on 5th June 2024.
We can expect to see new £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes featuring The King’s portrait on the obverse, however the reverse designs will remain unchanged. Currently, banknote reverse designs feature Sir Winston Churchill, Jane Austen, JMW Turner and Alan Turing (from the £5 to £50 respectively).
The new notes will only be issued when there is sufficient demand or to replace worn or damaged older notes featuring Queen Elizabeth II – meaning that both monarchs will co-circulate on UK banknotes for the foreseeable future. The Queen Elizabeth II notes that are already in circulation will still be accepted in shops even after the new notes start to enter circulation.
Did you know? There are approximately 4.7 billion Queen Elizabeth II banknotes currently in circulation, worth an estimated £82 billion!
*** January 2024 – UPDATE ***
The first King Charles III banknotes go on display in the Bank of England Museum
New King Charles III banknotes are due to go on display as part of a special exhibition in The Bank of England Museum. Whilst we’ve seen some images of the new polymer notes featuring The King, this will be the first opportunity to see the them in person before they go into circulation later in the year.
As well as the new banknotes, the Future of Money exhibition will feature digital currencies, crypto assets, the increasing role of AI and explore the lifespan of cash.
The free exhibition will open in the Bank of England Museum on 28th February and will run until September 2025.
*** November 2023 – UPDATE ***
The Bank of England begin printing millions of King Charles III banknotes
The Bank of England have announced that banknotes featuring King Charles III are being printed at a rate of 6 million in 24 hours. However despite this, the new notes won’t begin circulating until mid-2024.
The delay in new notes entering circulation is caused by machines such as self service tills not being able to recognise the new image.
The Bank of England’s chief cashier, Sarah John, said “There is a lot to do to ensure that machines used up and down the country can accept the banknotes. They all need to be adapted to recognise the new design, with software updates, and that takes months and months. Otherwise, we will be putting a banknote out there that people simply would not be able to use.”
A more sustainable transition
Taking guidance from the Royal Household, the new banknotes will only be issued to replace worn or damaged Queen Elizabeth II notes, consequently two monarchs’ portraits will co-circulate for some time!
This transition phase will minimise the environmental and financial impact of the change, in keeping with the King’s vision for a more sustainable future.
His Majesty’s portrait will now appear on the front of the notes, however there will be no changes to the current reverse designs:
- Winston Churchill (£5)
- Jane Austen (£10)
- JMW Turner (£20)
- Alan Turing (£50)
But, any serious collector knows that it’s not just the design you should be looking out for…
King Charles III Banknotes – ‘Rare’ Serial Numbers to look for
Remember the excitement when the first polymer £5 note was issued?
I’m willing to bet that every single person in the country checked theirs at some point to see if they were lucky enough to find one with the prefix AA01.
The annual Bank Of England charity auction held at Spink and Son Ltd in London auctioned off a Queen Elizabeth II polymer £5 note with the serial number AA01 000017 for £4,150.
And the following year, a Jane Austen Polymer £10 note with the serial number AA01 000010 sold for a staggering £7,200 – over double the guide price!
As King Charles III becomes only the second monarch to appear on circulating Bank of England notes, i’m expecting a similar level of demand for the first run of AA01 notes during His Majesty’s reign.
Considered collectable due to the machine gun connotations, polymer notes with the prefix AK47 were thought to be worth tens of thousands of pounds following the new £5 release in 2016.
This idea emerged after a £5 banknote with the prefix AK47 fetched a winning bid of £80,100 on eBay.
The seller must have been overjoyed with the jackpot amount but unfortunately the buyer had no intention of paying up.
The first King Charles III 50p Coin
The first coin bearing the portrait of King Charles III entered circulation in December 2022 – have you found on in your change yet? Use our helpful collector map to see where in the UK they’re being spotted to help you hunt one down >>