A royal facelift of Australia’s currency is well underway, with an effigy of King Charles III put onto a new collector coin.
Big numbers queued outside the Perth Mint, in the city’s CBD, in anticipation of Monday’s release of the first Australian precious metal collector coin to feature the king’s portrait.
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It comes after Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September 2022, featured on our money for 70 years.
Just 7500 of the new special edition coins, which are made from pure silver, have been minted. They are selling for $130 each, largely due to the underlying value of the silver.
Despite them being worth just $1 if used for legal tender, they are expected to become a prized possession for collectors.
King Charles features on a new collector coin from the Perth Mint. Credit: Perth MintJust 7500 of the new collector coins, which are made from pure silver, have been minted. Credit: 7NEWS
Just hours after the collector coin was released, people trying to purchase it online got a “sorry you missed out” message.
“Charles is the sixth monarch to appear on the hundreds of millions of coins we have struck over the past 125 years and represents a new era for Australian numismatics,” Perth Mint’s general manager of minted products Neil Vance said.
“Queen Elizabeth’s effigy has appeared on Australian coins since 1953, and she was the only monarch most Australians have known.”
The effigy of the king faces left on the collector coin, the opposite of his predecessor, as has been tradition since at least the 17th century.
Unlike the Queen, Charles’s coin portrait does not feature a crown, as was his choice.
The collector coins are selling for $130 each. Credit: 7NEWS
One person in line outside the mint said they wanted to hand down a coin to their grandchildren.
Others had joined the line at 11pm on Sunday — the night before the release.
The front of the collector coin, which is part of the Australian Kangaroo series, features a bounding kangaroo surrounded by rays of sunlight.
It is also pressed with a “P125” mint mark to celebrate the Perth Mint’s 125th anniversary in 2024.
The first coins featuring the king were manufactured by the Royal Australian Mint and dropped into circulation in December.
Charles’s portrait was marked on 3.5 million $1 coins, before they were delivered to banks.
The Royal Australian Mint says existing coins bearing the image of the late queen will remain in circulation until they are taken out because of wear and tear.