Millions of 50p coins bearing the image of King Charles III will enter circulation from Thursday via post offices across the country, the BBC reports.
They are the first mass-produced coins carrying the new King’s image, and will be given out in change to customers.
An estimated 4.9 million of the new coins are being distributed to post offices – about half of the total number earmarked for circulation.
Coins carrying the image of the late Queen will still be accepted in shops.
“Today marks a new era for UK coinage, with the effigy of King Charles III appearing on 50ps in circulation,” said Rebecca Morgan, director of collector services at The Royal Mint.
“We anticipate a new generation of coin collectors emerging, with people keeping a close eye on their change to try and spot a new 50p that bears the portrait of our new King.”
The coin has been struck at The Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales, using an image of the King produced over the course of months by sculptor Martin Jennings.
He used pictures of King Charles on his 70th birthday to create a likeness of the monarch, in what is the smallest work he has ever had to produce. He described its production and distribution as a “quite remarkable experience”.