Image of King on Australian coins unveiled

After more than 70 years Australia’s currency is getting a facelift, with images of the King to appear on our coins within months.

Coins featuring an effigy of the King were released on Thursday by the Royal Australian Mint, and will start circulating before Christmas.

The first coin to bear the effigy will be the dollar, with other denominations to be rolled out progressively in 2024, based on demand from banks.

The image of the King is the official Commonwealth effigy. It was designed by the Royal Mint in London and given royal approval.

In line with tradition, the King will appear on coins facing left, in an about-face from the reign of his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, who faced right.

Royal Australian Mint chief executive Leigh Gordon said the question of when the King would be seen on Australian coins had been a frequent one since the late queen’s death in September 2022.

“As Australia’s circulating coin manufacturer, we appreciate the importance of the transition, and we are applying our considerable skill and expertise producing Australia’s coins bearing the new royal effigy,” he said.

“The staff at the mint have been very deliberate and measured in the steps to date and we are now well positioned to expand into production.”

Assistant Treasury Minister Andrew Leigh said for many Australians it would be the first time they had seen a different face on the currency.

“For seven decades, Australians have seen a queen on their coins. Every decimal currency coin has featured Queen Elizabeth II,” he said.

“Now, for the first time since 1953, the King’s effigy will appear on an Australian coin.

“For most Australians, this will be the first time they have held in their hands a coin with a king.”

new coin australia king

Assistant Treasury Minister Andrew Leigh at the unveiling of the new-look coin. Photo: AAP

Thursday’s coin update came as the federal government continues to mull who will appear on our lowest denomination bank note.

The $5 note still shows an image of the late queen but Leigh said last year that was not automatic due to her status as monarch.

“It’s a conversation that will take place in government, there’s no rush about it,” he said at the time.

“The priority now is changing over the coins, which is a much larger operation.”

Collectible coins bearing the image of the King will go on sale early next year.

All coins carrying the image of the late Queen Elizabeth remain legal currency.

– with AAP

Topics: King Charles
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