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Coinage portraits of King Charles III and related changes

Started by andyg, September 08, 2022, 08:19:58 PM

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andyg

Liz Truss, our new PM, has said "King Charles III" in her (very wooden) speach.
So that may well be the name he uses.

(British Kings and Queens sometimes take an alternative name,  Queen Alexandrina became Queen Victoria for example)
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

eurocoin

So far there is not yet much known about the new obverse portraits. Following tradition, the portrait of the new monarch will be facing left, which is the opposite direction of the direction in which the current portrait is facing.  Furthermore there has in the meantime been announced that the new king will be known as Charles III. The coins with the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II will remain in circulation and legal tender. They will not be demonetized or phased out.

The following issuers currently use a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on their standard circulating coins:  Australia, Belize, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Eastern Caribbean States, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, New Zealand, Saint Helena & Ascension, Solomon Islands and the United Kingdom.

Furthermore the change of monarch will impact the coinage of the following issuers that do not use the British monarch's portrait on their circulating coins but only on (some of) their collectors coins, or that only issue non-circulating coins at all: Alderney, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cameroon, Ghana, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Tokelau, Tristan da Cunha and Tuvalu.*

If the current situation stays the same, the new coinage portrait will be a creation of The Royal Mint, which will then be licensed to other mints. Pobjoy Mint, Tower Mint and Royal Canadian Mint will each likely come up with their own obverse portrait, although there is uncertainty over whether Canada will continue to mint a portrait on the obverse of their coins.

It should not be very long before we start to see changes to the coins. The mints were well prepared for the occasion. In 2017, for example, the then CEO of the Royal Australian Mint Ross Macdiarmid told the media that the coinage portrait of the future monarch was ready. In 2020, the Royal Canadian Mint first released -heavily redacted- documents related to the preparations for the changes to the Canadian coinage in case there is a new monarch, a copy of which they kindly provided to me in 2021. The documents show that the preparations for a transition started around the beginning of 2017. The mint mentioned in the documents that it expected the event to have a potentially very significant impact on its operations. They seemed to consider it as a burden. The option of there not being a new portrait on the obverse was left open, with the final decision having to be made by the Government of Canada. The documents show that the Canadian Mint also had contact with The Royal Mint and the Perth Mint on the subject, aswell as with Buckingham Palace.

*Based on the last 5 years.

FosseWay

Alongside the grief, commemoration and pomp reported in the British media just now, there are the inevitable questions about coins, banknotes and stamps. No, the ones featuring Queen Elizabeth won't be withdrawn - her father's carried on in circulation for 40 years in some cases. No, we can't expect new coins this year - the new monarch's coins generally appear in the calendar year following their succession (stamps may be different, I'm not sure). Yes, Charles will be on the coins when they are issued. And so on.

But one question hasn't been raised (unsurprisingly, since it's very niche): Will Charles's coins still have his titles in Latin, or will he/the Mint/whoever take this opportunity to make a change? In full, Charles's titles as used on the coinage would be in Latin Carolus III Dei Gratia Rex Fidei Defensor. In particular, the Latin form of his name is quite different from the English, whereas Queen Elizabeth used her name as it is in English. Or will it be hybrid text, with the titles in Latin but the King's name as Charles III?

Deeman

Quote from: FosseWay on September 09, 2022, 06:46:13 AMNo, we can't expect new coins this year - the new monarch's coins generally appear in the calendar year following their succession.

The last time coins of two monarchs appeared in the same year was 1727 - George I and George II. That was for currency coinage, but with the proliferation of commemorative issues there may be a possibility of 2022 issues in Charles' name that are scheduled but not yet issued.

FosseWay

Quote from: Deeman on September 09, 2022, 08:10:34 PMThe last time coins of two monarchs appeared in the same year was 1727 - George I and George II. That was for currency coinage, but with the proliferation of commemorative issues there may be a possibility of 2022 issues in Charles' name that are scheduled but not yet issued.
It occurred in 1820 as well - see attached crown (George III) and half-crown (George IV).

You're right about the scheduled but not issued collector coins - it depends on how quickly they can prepare the portrait, I guess.

andyg

Quote from: FosseWay on September 09, 2022, 09:48:39 PMYou're right about the scheduled but not issued collector coins - it depends on how quickly they can prepare the portrait, I guess.

Given how commercial the mint is nowadays it would not surprise me to see a proof/mint set with Carolus III dated 2022.

Circulating coins are another matter as they tend to lag quite some while behind.  We did have two portraits of the queen in 2015 though.
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Alan71

Will the new coins say "Carolus III"?  Surely we've moved on from having to render it all in Latin?  I was hoping we may even see the "DG REX FD" dropped, though that's less likely. 

There's talk that the Queen's coins will gradually be removed from circulation over several years/decades.  Is that really necessary?  It seems such a waste of perfectly usable coins.  We're a lot more cashless now anyway, so it's less important now than it was in 1953.  And his reign will be fairly short - by the time they've done all that, we could have William as King.

andyg

Quote from: Alan71 on September 10, 2022, 07:26:07 PMThere's talk that the Queen's coins will gradually be removed from circulation over several years/decades. 

Yes, I presume they will - all coins are as they get battered and bruised.  These steel plated things we have I suspect won't last as long as the copper-nickel / bronze they replaced.

Interesting point that Carolus III's reign ( ;D)  might not be very long, if he lasts as long as his parents it could be 30 years.  Now we have modern medicine the days of a young monarch are probably gone, unless they decide to retire.  Or lead the country into battle ;)
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Deeman


andyg

always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Alan71

Quote from: andyg on September 10, 2022, 09:00:20 PMTrue, but his dad lived to 99, mum to 96., grandma till 102.
I think that's unlikely, don't you?  The Queen Mother was still 101, she died a few months before what would have been her 102nd birthday.  Somehow though, that set a precedent.  I had, up until this week, assumed that the Queen had another five years.

She was just under three and a half years younger than her husband at his death, and it seemed like he had been kept alive for years.  96 suddenly seems young, even though it's anything but.  Charles may just make it to his silver jubilee but I certainly wouldn't put money on it.  And I'm not sure he expects to.

It should have gone straight to William.  That would have given more stability. From now (age 40) he could likely have made it to a Golden Jubilee.

quaziright

Given Charles tries to portray a more of-the-people vibe. While I don't expect him to agree to Charlie or Chuck, I would be surprised if he went along with Carolus as opposed to leaving it as Charles.

FosseWay

Quote from: Alan71 on September 10, 2022, 10:42:40 PMIt should have gone straight to William.  That would have given more stability. From now (age 40) he could likely have made it to a Golden Jubilee.
From the perspective of the country, you may be right. But there are two sides to consider here - the public and the private. The king of Sweden said a few years back when the question of abdication came up (again) that he basically didn't want to dump the office of monarch on Victoria when she's busy bringing up a young family. The same applies to William (only more so, because the British royal family is so much higher profile).

All the European countries with hereditary monarchies have reformed the way those monarchies behave and are treated, such that they are bounden to public opinion to a great extent - they basically fill the same niche as non-executive presidents such as Ireland, Germany etc. have. With that recognition that the monarch rules at the consent of the people there needs also to be recognition that the monarch and their family have the same right to a private life as a president or prime minister.

Also, it's fairly rare to have executive heads of state/government of William's age (40). There are clearly exceptions (hello Finland), but generally we don't see people reaching the top flight of politics until later on in their adult life. For non-hereditary ceremonial offices this is even more the case. So there is no particular reason for it to be desirable that a monarch is especially young, except for the superficial perspective of photogenicity.

eurocoin

#13
The Royal Australian Mint has confirmed that they will be using a portrait that is supplied by The Royal Mint. The mint continues to produce Australian coins depicting the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II until the portrait of King Charles III is ready for production. The portrait of King Charles III will be unveiled in due course. The mint does not comment on the name of the designer of the new portrait. It may still take upto 12 months from the unveiling, before the first coins are being released. Though the mint has confirmed that no 2023-dated circulating coins depicting the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II will be minted.

FosseWay

Quote from: eurocoin on September 13, 2022, 06:30:30 AMThe Royal Australian Mint has confirmed that they will be using a portrait that is supplied by The Royal Mint. The mint continues to produce Australian coins depicting the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II until the portrait of King Charles III is ready for production. The portrait of King Charles III will be unveiled in due course. The mint does not comment on the name of the designer of the new portrait. It may still take upto 12 months from the unveiling, before the first coins are being released. Though the mint has confirmed that no 2023-dated circulating coins depicting the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II will be minted.

This is all entirely in line with previous practice. George V died in January 1936 and George VI in February 1952. In both cases, coins continued to be issued in the old king's name for the rest of that calendar year, but they did not bear an "impossible" year (1953 + George VI, for example). I don't know how early in the following year the portrait of the new monarch was available. In the case of George VI it was probably later on, since no-one knew he was going to be king until 10 December 1936. It would therefore not surprise me if coins dated 1936 and with George V's portrait continued to be minted into 1937.