Australia to Release New Coins Featuring King Charles III This Christmas

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The visage of King Charles III will soon grace Australian coins, marking his ascension to the throne following the demise of his mother, Elizabeth II more than a year ago, according to official statements made on Thursday.

The glinting golden Australian dollar coin will be the inaugural currency showcasing the likeness of the new British monarch, who concurrently holds the position of Australia’s head of state, as declared by the Royal Australian Mint chief executive, Leigh Gordon.

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Approximately 10 million of these dollar coins, replete with the king’s image, are expected to circulate by the forthcoming Christmas, Gordon projected.

The Assistant Minister for Treasury, Andrew Leigh, clarified that the delay in coin transition post the queen’s passing in September the previous year, wasn’t an oversight but a conscious decision to not hasten the process.

“We are eager to circulate as many of the new coins bearing the king’s image as we can,” Leigh stated.

Starting 2024, all coin denominations including 5, 10, 20, 50 cents, and the $2 coin will be issued featuring the king’s left profile without a crown, owing to the banks’ demand.

The traditional image of the queen wore a crown and was always depicted in right profile.

The king’s official Commonwealth Effigy, which was devised by The Royal Mint in London and approved by the king himself, will be adapted by all British Commonwealth nations.

The 15.5 billion Australian coins, imprinted with the queen’s image since the inception of decimal currency in Australia in 1966, will continue to be considered legal tender. Moreover, her image has been a staple on Australian currency since 1953.

Earlier this year, the government faced backlash when it decided to swap the queen’s image on the $5 note for an Indigenous design instead of the king’s. This particular note was the last remaining Australian banknote which featured an image of the monarch. Critics viewed this decision as the center-left Labor Party government’s subtle attempt to phase out the British monarch in favor of an Australian president as the country’s head of state.

However, Leigh assuaged fears by stating that there are no plans underway to expunge the monarch from Australian coins.