In the wake of Queen Elizabeth II‘s death, one of the changes that’ll affect Australia will be to our cold, hard, cash. Yep: Australian money will get a face-lift.
I’m sure dads across the nation are currently hoarding $2 coins to sell on eBay in 45 years as we speak.
Having the monarch’s face on our coins harks back to the British Empire: King George VI appeared on Australian coins before Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953.
Per the ABC, Queen Elizabeth II’s face has appeared on the coins of 35 nations. She’s also featured on more coins than anyone else in the world.
In fact, it’s actually part of Australian law: the 1965 Currency Act says Australian coins have to feature whoever’s monarch. Yeesh.
Hence the face-lift to reflect the new monarch: Queen Elizabeth’s eldest son King Charles III.
The Royal Mint in Canberra is planning to start producing coins with Charles’ face on ’em by 2023. There are also plans to swap out the $5 note, which currently has Elizabeth’s face on it. She also appeared on the $1 note, which alas is no longer in circulation.
Worried about what’ll happen to your existing piggy bank/random pile of emergency 20 cent coins? Well, it turns out coins and $5 notes with Queen Elizabeth’s face will continue to be legal tender even after the Mint starts making coins with King Charles on them.
“The $5 banknotes featuring the image of Her Majesty The Queen can continue to be used,” the Reserve Bank of Australia said, per 9News.
“They will not be withdrawn and are likely to remain in circulation for years to come.”
Apologies to all the eBay-hopeful dads.
The Treasury, the Perth Mint and the Royal Australian Mint have been prepping for the coin change for a couple of months.
It turns out the new Charles-themed coins will most likely show him facing left instead of right. Traditionally, a new monarch always faces the opposite way to the previous monarch on coinage.
There’s also the matter of choosing which pic ends up on the coin: you’d probs want some say in it, wouldn’t you? No one wants an awkward Facebook tagged photo from their aunt’s birthday party on hundreds of thousands of coins. That final pic will ultimately come from the UK’s Royal Mint, per The Guardian.
Regardless of what portrait of Charles ends up getting chosen, we’ll be waiting ’till next year for any shiny new coins.