The Royal Mint has unveiled eight new coin designs that will soon appear on official UK coins, ranging from the 1p to the £2.
The new designs are inspired by flora and fauna found across Britain and reflect King Charles III’s passion for conservation and the natural world.
The new design of the nation’s coins – officially known as definitives – marks the final chapter of His Majesty King Charles III’s transition onto British coinage. The eight new coin designs will replace the current shield formation introduced under Queen Elizabeth II in 2008.
Unifying the new coins is a unique repeating pattern featuring three interlocking C’s. This aspect of the design takes its inspiration from history and the cypher of Charles II, while the flora and fauna look to the future and the importance of the natural world. The edge inscription of the new £2 coin was chosen by His Majesty and reads ‘IN SERVITIO OMNIUM’, Latin for ‘In the service of all’. It was taken from The King’s inaugural speech on 9 September 2022.
Anne Jessopp, Chief Executive Officer of The Royal Mint said, “This is a rare and historic moment as the complete set of UK coins change to celebrate a new monarch on the throne. The striking designs have been seen by His Majesty and reflect his commitment to conservation and the natural world, as well as celebrating British craftsmanship.
“The Royal Mint has struck Britain’s coins for 1,100 years and this collection will proudly take its place amongst the designs of monarchs ranging from Alfred the Great to Elizabeth II. A unique pattern of interlocking C’s adorns each of the new designs. This unifying feature gives a nod to history through the cypher of Charles II while celebrating King Charles III’s commitment to conservation.”
Gordon Summers, Chief Engraver at The Royal Mint said, “It is a privilege to work on the official coins of the nation and to ensure we reflect The King and Britain through our designs. Flora and fauna have deep roots in the history of UK coinage, but this is the first time that all eight coins have celebrated nature and wildlife.
“It takes a great deal of skill to create art on a canvas as small as a 1p or £1 coin. The Royal Mint has honed our expertise over 1,100 years and we can’t wait to see the new coins in the hands of the nation.”
Introducing the new ‘definitive’ coins of the nation:
|HAZEL DORMOUSE SMALL IN STATURE, THE HAZEL DORMOUSE IS A FITTING PRESENCE ON THE UK 1P COIN.MOSTLY FOUND IN SOUTHERN ENGLAND IN THE UK, THE HAZEL DORMOUSE POPULATION IN THE UK HAS HALVED SINCE 2007.HOWEVER, MORE THAN 1,000 HAVE BEEN REINTRODUCED IN 13 DIFFERENT COUNTIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO REVERSE THE HAZEL DORMOUSE’S ONGOING DECLINE.
|RED SQUIRREL THE RED SQUIRREL’S DISTINCTIVE COLOURING BLENDS PERFECTLY WITH THE REDDISH HUE OF THE UK 2P COIN.WITH 75% OF ITS UK POPULATION FOUND IN AREAS OF SCOTLAND, THE RED SQUIRREL CAN ALSO BE FOUND IN NORTHERN IRELAND, THE ISLE OF WIGHT, BROWNSEA ISLAND, ANGLESEY, CUMBRIA, KIELDER FOREST AND FORMBY.CONSERVATION EFFORTS ARE CURRENTLY IN PLACE TO MANAGE THE POPULATION IN THE UK TO AVOID IT BECOMING EXTINCT.
|OAK TREE LEAF THE UK 5P COIN DISPLAYS A LEAF TAKEN FROM AN OAK TREE, SIGNIFYING ITS ROLE AS A RICH HABITAT FOR BIODIVERSITY IN BRITISH WOODLAND AREAS.SUPPORTING MORE LIFE THAN ANY OTHER NATIVE TREE SPECIES IN THE UK, THE OAK TREE HAS A LONG ASSOCIATION WITH MONARCHIES, AS ANCIENT KINGS OF BRITAIN AND ROMAN EMPERORS WORE CROWNS OF OAK LEAVES.
|CAPERCAILLIE FOUND IN A SMALL PART OF SCOTLAND, THE CAPERCAILLIE IS THE WORLD’S LARGEST GROUSE AND FEATURES ON THE REVERSE OF THE UK 10P COIN.AFTER BECOMING EXTINCT ONCE BEFORE, IN THE MID-EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, THE SPECIES IS NOW AT RISK OF BECOMING EXTINCT FOR THE SECOND TIME.
|PUFFIN THE UNMISTAKABLE SEABIRD FEATURES ON THE REVERSE OF THE NEW DEFINITIVE UK 20P COIN.STRIKING IN THEIR APPEARANCE, AROUND 10% OF THE WORLDWIDE PUFFIN POPULATION BREEDS ALONG THE UK’S COASTLINE.CLASSED AS A RED LIST SPECIES, THE POPULATION IS PREDICTED TO SEVERELY REGRESS OVER THE NEXT 30 YEARS BUT THERE IS HOPE FOR THE PUFFIN IF ACTION IS TAKEN TO PROTECT THEIR NESTING SITES AND FOOD SUPPLY.
|ATLANTIC SALMON A PRIORITY CONSERVATION SPECIES, THE ATLANTIC SALMON FEATURES ON THE UK 50P COIN.WILD POPULATIONS ARE LOW DUE TO FACTORS LIKE RIVER POLLUTION, HABITAT LOSS, RIVER HEATING AND OVERFISHING.THEY CAN BE FOUND IN CLEAN RIVERS IN SCOTLAND AND WALES ALONG WITH THOSE IN NORTH AND SOUTH WEST ENGLAND.
|BEES THE £1 FEATURES A DEPICTION OF A BEE, SYMBOLISING THE 250+ SPECIES WHICH EXIST IN BRITAIN.BUMBLEBEES, MASON BEES, MINING BEES AND MORE – THESE INDUSTRIOUS INSECTS PLAY A PIVOTAL ROLE IN POLLINATING MANY PLANTS AND FRUITING TREES.THEY CAN BE FOUND ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, COMMONLY IN GARDENS, PARKS, WOODS, ORCHARDS AND MEADOWS, AND NOW ON THE REVERSE OF THE UK £1 COIN.
|NATIONAL FLOWERS THE UK £2 FEATURES FLORA THAT SYMBOLISE THE FOUR NATIONS OF THE COUNTRY – A ROSE FOR ENGLAND, A DAFFODIL FOR WALES, A THISTLE FOR SCOTLAND AND A SHAMROCK FOR NORTHERN IRELAND.INSPIRED BY THE KING’S INAUGURAL ADDRESS ON 9 SEPTEMBER 2022 AND PERSONALLY APPROVED BY HIS MAJESTY, THE EDGE INSCRIPTION READS ‘IN SERVITIO OMNIUM’, WHICH IS LATIN FOR ‘IN THE SERVICE OF ALL’.
Each coin has been created with the support of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
The new designs will start to enter circulation from 2024 in line with demand from banks and UK post offices. The official commemorative set of the new designs are released this week by The Royal Mint, priced from £33 at www.royalmint.com