The official coin effigy of Britain's King Charles III has been unveiled by the Royal Mint.

People using sterling will start to see the new monarch's image in their change from around December, as 50p coins depicting Charles gradually enter circulation to meet demand.

In the meantime, a memorial coin range will be released on Monday at 9am to commemorate the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II.

The king's portrait will first appear on a special £5 Crown and 50p commemorating the queen.

Chief Commercial Officer at the Royal Mint Nicola Howell said: "We expect customers will start to be able to receive the commemorative range from October and then we expect the 50p memorial circulating coin to be appearing in people's change probably from December."

The king's effigy has been created by sculptor Martin Jennings, and has been personally approved by Charles, the mint said.

In keeping with tradition, the king's portrait faces to the left, the opposite direction to Queen Elizabeth II.

As with previous British kings, and unlike the queen, Charles wears no crown.

The effigy was personally approved by the new British monarch

Chris Barker from the Royal Mint Museum said: "Charles has followed that general tradition that we have in British coinage, going all the way back to Charles II actually, that the monarch faces in the opposite direction to their predecessor."

He described the portrait as: "Dignified and graceful, which reflects his years of service."

The Latin inscription surrounding the effigy reads: "CHARLES III D G REX F D 5 POUNDS 2022" which translates to: "King Charles III, by the Grace of God, Defender of the Faith".

The effigy will start to appear on circulating and commemorative coins produced by the Royal Mint over the coming months.

The reverse of the commemorative £5 coin features two new portraits of Queen Elizabeth II.

The design was created by artist John Bergdahl in collaboration with the Royal Mint.

It will form part of a wider memorial coin collection.

The reverse of the 50p features a design that originally appeared on the 1953 Coronation Crown.

It was struck to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II's coronation at Westminster Abbey, and includes the four quarters of the Royal Arms depicted within a shield.

The reverse of a commemorative £5 coin features two new portraits of Queen Elizabeth II

Based in Llantrisant, South Wales, the Royal Mint has depicted the British royal family on coins for over 1,100 years, documenting each monarch since Alfred the Great.

CEO Anne Jessopp said: "The Royal Mint has been trusted to make coins bearing the monarch's effigy for over 1,100 years and we are proud to continue this tradition into the reign of King Charles III.

"Although technology has progressed, we continue to honour British craftsmanship passed down through the centuries.

"Our team of skilled modellers, tool makers and engravers will ensure that the king's effigy will be faithfully replicated onto millions of coins."

Mr Jennings said: "It is a privilege to sculpt the first official effigy of His Majesty and to receive his personal approval for the design.

"The portrait was sculpted from a photograph of the king, and was inspired by the iconic effigies that have graced Britain's coins over the centuries.

"It is the smallest work I have created, but it is humbling to know it will be seen and held by people around the world for centuries to come."

All UK coins bearing the effigy of the queen will remain legal tender and in active circulation.

Historically it has been commonplace for coins featuring the effigies of different monarchs to co-circulate, helping to minimise the environmental impact and cost.

There are around 27 billion coins currently circulating in the UK bearing the effigy of Queen Elizabeth.

These will be replaced over time as they become damaged or worn and to meet demand for additional coins.