The Royal Australian Mint will begin circulation of the last coin featuring the late Queen Elizabeth II’s likeness, come the New Year.
It will be the sixth portrait of Queen Elizabeth to appear on an Australian coin throughout her reign from 1952 to 2022.
Her Majesty’s trademark side profile will remain on the new coins, however, the single notable difference will be the inclusion of “Elizabeth II 1952 – 2022” outlining the coins.
Assistant Treasury Minister Andrew Leigh said this final release is designed to honour Queen Elizabeth.
“This series of collectable coins will serve as a lasting tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and a reminder for all Australians of her 70 years of service to Australia and the Commonwealth,” Leigh said.
“The Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Obverse will be used on collectable and investment coins starting from 1 January 2023.”
The coin’s release comes as the Royal Mint prepares to make the change for Australian currency to feature the likeness of King Charles III.
“We expect to be able to announce the design of the first King Charles III coins early in 2023, with coins featuring this effigy to be released late in 2023,” Leigh said.
Sticking with royal tradition, the updated coins of King Charles will keep the portrait facing left, as each new Monarch is required to face the opposite direction from their predecessor.
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While announcing the new coin, the Royal Mint conveyed their “honour to now strike the first UK effigy of His Majesty King Charles III”.
“Today we are honoured to reveal the first official effigy of His Majesty King Charles III appearing for the first time on a memorial coin collection honouring the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II,” the Royal Mint said in a statement at the time.
“At The Royal Mint, we have struck coins for the British monarchy for more than 1,100 years, and it has been our pride and privilege to strike every United Kingdom coin of Queen Elizabeth II’s remarkable 70-year reign. It is our honour to now strike the first UK effigy of His Majesty King Charles III on a coinage collection honouring the life and legacy of his mother Queen Elizabeth II.”
The Royal Australian Mint Chief Executive Officer, Leigh Gordon, said the transition from Queen Elizabeth to King Charles will not affect current monies in circulation.
“Our fundamental obligation is to ensure that circulating coins are available for all Australians,” Gordon said.
“Until circulating coins with the effigy of King Charles III have been produced, the Mint will continue to service the demand for coins using the standard 2022 Queen Elizabeth obverse.”
All coins featuring the late Queen’s portrait will remain legal tender after the coins have transitioned to the ruling Monarch’s likeness.