Major change to money in Australia today: What you need to know

Australians will soon be seeing coins with the head of King Charles III on them, with the Australian Mint releasing the first batch into circulation. 

Millions more of the coins will be made over the next few months making them an increasingly common sight for those still using coins. 

King Charles III is only the second monarch to feature on Australian currency with his mother Queen Elizabeth II the reigning head of the Commonwealth when the country switch to decimal currency in 1966.

New $1 coins featuring King Charles III have been delivered to banks in Australia

The first batch of 3.5million $1 coins with King Charles III’s effigy on them have been delivered to banks with other denominations to follow depending on bank demand. 

For coin collectors, there will be special versions going on sale early next year designed to be kept rather than spent.

Assistant Minister for Treasury Andrew Leigh said the coins’ release was a significant event for Australia.

‘For most Australians, this will be the first time they have held in their hands a coin with a king.

‘A lot of work has gone into producing these coins. Millions of people will be keen to get their own little piece of history.

‘Under a tradition dating back to at least the 17th century, successive monarchs face in different directions on the coins. Queen Elizabeth II faced to the right. King Charles III now faces to the left.’

Any coins and notes bearing the image of Queen Elizabeth II will remain legal tender. 

Unlike the Queen, King Charles has chosen not to be depicted with a crown in his effigy. 

The Royal Australian Mint has also released a 50c coin commemorating the reign of Queen Elizabeth with the six versions of her image all appearing on the coin. 

QEII commemorative coin

The 50c piece features the six version of her portrait

The Royal Australian Mint has also released a 50c coin commemorating the reign of Queen Elizabeth which features the six versions of her portrait

Some people have already gone to banks to get the new King Charles III coins with uncirculated rolls of the coins appearing online for up to five times their value.

The Royal Australian Mint confirmed there will be 10million of the new coins minted so they will be ‘easily accessible’.

The dies used for coins bearing the Queen will be gradually retired from next year. 

King Charles IIIThe Queen