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King Charles III continues to make change in U.K. circulation.
On Thursday, The Royal Mint released the first photos of the commemorative coins of the 2023 Annual Sets, honoring influential Brits and major cultural anniversaries. The latest collection includes a tribute to the King, who turns 75 next November.
"The sets mark the beginning of a new chapter in numismatic history as the first to feature the new portrait of His Majesty The King," the Royal Mint wrote on Twitter, posting a photo of the shiny new change, depicting Charles on 5-pound, 2-pound and 50 pence coins.
The mint said that the King "personally approved" his 75th birthday coin, which features a thoughtful flip side. The reverse shows the King's official cypher over the number 75, flanked by oak leaves and delphiniums.
The Royal Mint
"The oak leaves represent strength, morale, resistance and knowledge, whilst his favourite garden flowers — delphiniums — reflect his love of nature. The precious-metals editions also include a fitting edge inscription — 'RESTORING HARMONY WITH NATURE' — that complements the design," the Royal Mint said in a statement. The top of the "tails" side of the coin reads "His Majesty King Charles III," while the bottom is etched with 1948 — his birth year — and 2023.
The 2023 Annual Sets also honors the life and work of The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkein, the 75th anniversary of the National Health Service, 75 years of the Windrush generation, and the centenary of the Flying Scotsman train. The four tributes are featured among the reverse sides of the 2-pound and 50-pence coins.
King Charles' coinage portrait by sculptor Martin Jennings was first unveiled in late September, three weeks after the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth, who famously graced British currency for decades. The Royal Mint has created coins for the U.K. for more than 1,100 years, including the coins during the late Queen's 70-year reign.
The Royal Mint began producing the first coins featuring King Charles' face in October, which entered circulation earlier in December, slowly replacing the ones featuring the late Queen Elizabeth II. The flip sides of the coins featured a tribute to the Queen with a design that originally appeared on her 1953 Coronation Crown. It includes the four quarters of the Royal Arms depicted within a shield. In between each shield is an emblem of the U.K. nations: a rose, a thistle, a shamrock and a leek.
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According to the mint, 9.6 million of the coins would be released into circulation in honor of Queen Elizabeth, who died at age 96 on Sept. 8.
The Associated Press reported in September that there are about 27 billion coins in U.K. circulation with Queen Elizabeth's likeness. The coins remain legal tender and will become gradually replaced as they become worn.