The late Queen Elizabeth II excluded from coins

As in later times, when rulers come and go, the currency changes to reflect the change of power. In ancient Rome, for example, they would announce the coming of a new emperor on coinage. The Romans used the reverse of their coins as newspapers announcing victory, great building projects such as the opening of the Colosseum, or political events such as the destruction of tax records by Emperor Hadrian to record one of the earliest events of tax amnesty. Pictured here is Brutus’ famous “Feast of Saint” Denarius (85-42 BC), announcing that he had murdered Caesar in Addis in March of 44 BC.

The death of Queen Elizabeth will also lead to several changes in the currency. The Bank of England said shortly after her death: “Existing banknotes showing the portrait of Her Majesty the Queen will continue to be legal tender.” The Royal Mint continues to “mint coins as usual” and has not announced when they plan to replace her portrait with the newly appointed King Charles III. The coin was updated five times during her reign to reflect the natural aging process. There are currently 4.7 billion British bank notes in circulation with an estimated value of £82 billion ($95 billion). These bills will be in circulation for years to come as it takes a long time to exchange currency.

The UK is not the only one that now has to change its currency. Queen Elizabeth II broke Janess Book of World Records for being the longest-reigning monarch after sitting on the throne for more than 70 years. She also made history by appearing on more coins than any other king alive. No less than 33 countries feature a coin with the late Queen’s image. Some countries removed the Queen’s image decades ago after she gained independence. Jamaica replaced its image in 1966 with Marcus Garvey, while Bermuda changed its banknotes to show indigenous animals. Trinidad and Tobago also replaced its image with the coat of arms.

Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Belize, and many other countries will need to update some of their currencies. While the UK refrains from making a statement even after the 10-day mourning period, other countries have made clear their plans. Reserve Bank of New ZealandFor example, he said, “All coin stock of a denomination showing the Queen will be issued before a new stock comes out with the image of her successor. This is a few years.” The central bank said it would be “a waste” to shorten the life of the current currency in circulation, but they plan to move to a currency featuring the new king in “several years.” The bank is also concerned that a rapid turnaround could affect liquidity due to supply chain disruptions or sudden demand.

All coins with Queen’s portrait are valid and legal tender. Changing a currency takes years, as it is an expensive and gradual process.

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