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  • Last month The Royal Mint unveiled eight new designs for UK coins inspired by conservation and Britain’s natural habitat.
  • Today The Royal Mint started production of the new coins, with the 50p expected to enter circulation before the end of November.
  • The first coins to be struck include the £1 featuring British Bees, the 5p featuring an oak leaf and the 50p featuring an Atlantic salmon.

2nd November:

The Royal Mint has today begun production of the new coins of the nation – featuring brand new designs across the 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2, all of which are inspired by Britain’s natural habitat.

The new coins were unveiled by The Royal Mint in early October, with each design highlighting His Majesty King Charles III’s passion for conservation and the natural world. The number indicating the value of each coin has also been enlarged, to help children understand the value of money.

The new coins mark the final chapter of His Majesty King Charles III’s transition onto British coinage. Several million of the coins are currently in production at The Royal Mint. The 50p will be the first coin to enter circulation and is expected to appear in peoples change by the end of November, with other denominations expected to enter circulation from 2024 in line with demand.

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.

Rebecca Morgan Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said, “This is a rare and historic moment as we introduce eight new designs across the UK’s coins. The new coins celebrate Britain’s natural habitat and reflect King Charles III’s lifelong commitment to conservation. The 50p will be the first coin to enter circulation by the end of November and we hope it will help spark conversations about conservation. The new designs also feature larger numbers to help children understand the value of money. We anticipate the first coins bearing the news designs to be highly collectable, with members of the public checking their change to find these wonderful designs for the very first time.”

The new ‘definitive’ coins of the nation:

1p

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. 

2p

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.

5p

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.

10p

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. 

20p

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.

50p

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.

£1

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.

£2

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).

Commemorative sets of the definitive coins are also available from The Royal Mint’s website and are priced from £33 at www.royalmint.com

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