First King Charles coins go into production in Wales

STORY: Location: Ynysmaerdy, Wales

The first coins featuring Kings Charles

have gone into production

[Rebecca Morgan, Director of Collector Services, The Royal Mint]

"Today's a significant moment in history for Britain and for The Royal Mint. So, for 70 years, we've been striking the coins of Her late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and today we are striking the first circulating coins of King Charles III."

The King Charles effigy on the coin was

created by British sculptor Martin Jennings

The new 50-pence piece also honors

Queen Elizabeth who died in September

In keeping with tradition, Charles's portrait faces

in the opposite direction of that of his mother

[Martin Jennings, Artist]

"It's a forensic examination of photographs of the subject, King Charles. And you have to make sure that it is absolutely a likeness. It has to be him and nobody else. But at the same time, there are elements of idealisation. You're representing something about his role, about monarchy, about the new position that he's taken on. And so it needs something almost mythical about it, or mythic.

Some 27 billion coins featuring the Queen's image are in circulation

They will remain legal tender as they are gradually phased out over time