See the first pictures of new Canadian coins featuring King Charles' portrait

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OTTAWA — For the first time in 70 years, when Canadians are sifting through spare change they fished out of the depths of their pockets, a new monarch’s face will soon be staring back at them.

On Tuesday, the Royal Canadian Mint revealed new images of the first Canadian coins to feature the effigy of His Majesty King Charles III. On the same day, mint President and CEO Marie Lemay struck the first $1 Canadian coin to bear the King’s likeness, marking the first time in 70 years that a new monarch’s face adorns a coin in Canada.
The announcement was made on the day King Charles turned 75 years old.

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Royal Canadian Mint

Starting in December, Canadians will begin seeing a small number of $1 coins featuring the new portrait of the King. The image is of a portrait created by Montreal-based artist Steven Rosati, whose image was selected from a pool of over 350 artists and engravers following a “complex” multi-step process, according to the mint.

His portrait was then approved by both government officials and Buckingham Palace.

“I am honoured and humbled to have had my design of His Majesty King Charles III’s effigy chosen for such a prestigious moment in the history of Canadian coins and very excited and proud to eventually see it in production,” Rosati said in a statement.

Observers may note a key difference between the portraits of King Charles and his mother and predecessor, Queen Elizabeth II. Whereas the queen looked to the right in her portrait, the King looks to the left.

“In keeping with long-standing tradition, His Majesty King Charles III’s profile will face left. This is the opposite direction in which the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II was depicted. The initials of the winning artist will also appear on the obverse,” reads the mint’s website.

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Royal Canadian Mint

But keener observers still may note an intriguing design choice on the more uncommon 50 cent coin that features the Canada Coat of Arms on its reverse side.

Whereas the new King’s portrait will feature, like on all other coins, on the obverse side, it’s Queen Elizabeth II’s Canadian Royal Crown that will still sit atop the country’s Coat of Arms on the reverse, according to renders of the coin published by the Mint.

The country’s Coat of Arms was last revised in 1994 and appears to have not been updated since the Canadian government announced in May a redesign of the Canadian Crown that traded the St. Edward’s Crown and its religious symbols, such as crosses and a Fleur-de-lis, for maple leaves and a snowflake.

The new loonie will maintain its signature gold colour and 11-sided Reuleaux polygon shape, as well as the image of the iconic bird that is its namesake on the reverse side. The redesigned coin will also feature the inscription “D.G. Rex” (dei gratia rex in Latin) next to the King’s face, meaning “by the grace of God, King.”

The mint also released images of all other Canadian coins that will also feature the King’s portrait, though there was no date for when they would enter circulation. In most cases, the reverse side of each coin remains unchanged (a beaver on the nickel, the Bluenose schooner on the dime, a caribou on the quarter and a polar bear on the toonie.)

National Post

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