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The First Portrait of King Charles Wearing a Crown Has Been Unveiled—and It’s on a Coin

The Royal Mint is releasing a coronation coin collection in honor of the King's big day.

The Royal Mint King Charles III Coin Courtesy of The Royal Mint

The first official crowned portrait of King Charles III is here.

Ahead of His Majesty’s coronation next month, the Royal Mint has unveiled a special coin that bears Charles’s effigy to celebrate the occasion. The significant offering is part of a coronation collection that includes a number of limited-edition offerings, such as a UK 50p coin, a £5 coin, the Sovereign, and a variety of fine gold and silver coins in a range of sizes.

Each piece in the main line features one of three exclusive designs on its reverse, or back. Flip these coins over and they’ll showcase the king-approved crowned portrait by artist Martin Jennings. In the image, Charles is seen donning the Tudor Crown for the first time; though the physical diadem was destroyed in the 1640s, it has been used in previous commemorative portrayals of kings throughout the 20th century, according to the Royal Mint.

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: King Charles III is presented with the first struck £5 Coronation coin by Royal Mint CEO Anne Jessopp (left) and Director Rebecca Morgan (centre) on April 13, 2023 at Windsor Castle, Windsor, England.  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 May 6 celebration. (Photo Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
King Charles III is presented with the first struck £5 Coronation coin by Royal Mint CEO Anne Jessopp (left) and director Rebecca Morgan (center) on April 13, 2023 at Windsor Castle in England. Jonathan Brady/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Browsing the array, which includes curated coin sets to mark Charles’s big day, you’ll find each type of currency carries an image made by a different creator. Royal Mint designer Natasha Jenkins, for example, crafted the reverse imagery that appears on the UK 50p coin, inspired by Westminster Abbey’s iconic architecture and features the king’s cypher. The Crown coin’s back, meanwhile, was designed by Timothy Noad and focuses on the royal regalia traditionally associated with the coronation ceremony—such as St. Edward’s Crown and Sovereign’s Scepters. Both coins will be offered in a variety of styles, including gold proof, silver proof piedfort, silver proof and brilliant uncirculated editions.

The Ounce coin, another piece from the lineup, will be available in several editions and sizes across different precious metals. Its ornate reserve was brought to life by coin artist John Bergdahl and features the crowned shield of the Royal Arms, which is surrounded by flourishes containing the floral emblems of the United Kingdom’s four nations. As for those Sovereign coins, a limited number will be struck on May 6, with more being dropped later this year.

The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III UK Coin Collection
The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III UK Coin Collection Courtesy of The Royal Mint

The Royal Mint is also offering plenty of ways for you to join in on the celebration. You can strike your own UK 50p coin on the day of the King’s coronation (May 6) via the Royal Mint Experience center in Wales, where you can go on coin-themed factory tours and partake in other activities. A coronation medal, designed by Edwina Ellis, will also up for grabs at the event, which you can snag a ticket for starting April 14 at 9 a.m.

Those who register for updates on the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III UK Coin Collection via the Royal Mint website could become part of a trio of winners that get one of three silver Proof coins: the 50p, a UK £5, or a UK 1oz piece. And if you aren’t one of the lucky winners, don’t fret: The entire coronation collection goes on sale at 9 a.m. UK time (4 a.m. EST) on Monday, April 23.

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