Royal Canadian Mint to start replacing image of late queen with King Charles

Royal Canadian Mint to start replacing image of late queen with King Charles
A likeness of King Charles is shown on a loonie in a handout photo. The Royal Canadian Mint will soon begin producing Canadian coins bearing the face of King Charles.

The Royal Canadian Mint has revealed the image of King Charles that will be soon be on all new coins.

It’s a profile of the left side of the King’s face, with him wearing a shirt, tie and no crown.

The design announcement Tuesday comes on his 75th birthday. His face on the coins replaces the image of his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II.

“Since opening its doors in 1908, the mint has featured the portrait of the reigning monarch on Canadian coins. When the Government of Canada announced that the effigy of His Majesty King Charles III would appear on Canadian coins, we were proud to once more uphold a long-standing Canadian tradition,” Marie Lemay, president and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint, said in a statement.

“Many of our employees worked as one to meet the historic challenge, and we are pleased to be ready for production on the day of His Majesty’s birthday.”

The work by Canadian portrait artist Steven Rosati was chosen from among submissions by 350 artists.

It was sent to Buckingham Palace for approval.

Rosati has designed other coins for the mint, including six silver National Hockey League goalie coins and a 100th anniversary commemorative loonie in honour of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The image was pressed onto a loonie for the first time at the mint Tuesday.

“The royal effigy on our coinage is an important Canadian symbol,” Chrystia Freeland, deputy prime minister and minister of finance, said in the statement.

“Steven Rosati’s portrait is a fitting tribute, and Canada is proud to mark His Majesty’s birthday with the striking of this first circulation coin.”

Earlier this year, the federal government directed the mint and the Bank of Canada to replace the image of the queen with one of the King on coins and on the $20 bill.

A spokesperson for the Bank of Canada said it has started the design process for the new bill, but it will likely be years before it’s issued.

“At this stage, it is far too early to be more precise about when the design of the note will be unveiled and when the note will begin to circulate,” said Rebecca Spence.

“The current $20 note will continue to circulate for years to come.”

The mint said a small amount of 2023-dated coins with the King’s likeness are to circulate in early December. Coin exchanges are set to take place later in the month at the mint’s Ottawa and Winnipeg boutiques.

The mint previously released pure gold and silver collector coins to mark the King’s coronation.

The King ascended to the throne in September 2022, following the death of his 96-year-old mother, who reigned for 70 years. He celebrated the beginning of his reign with a glitzy coronation that was attended by world leaders, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

All Canadian coins in circulation with the queen will still be considered legal tender.

Brittany Hobson, The Canadian Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 14, 2023. 

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