Wholesale changes in coinage see dormouse, red squirrel, oak leaves, capercaillie, puffin, salmon, bees and wild flowers all featuring on Royal Mint’s conservation-based theme

The new 50p piece features an Atlantic salmon.

The Atlantic salmon is to feature on the new 50 pence piece, as the nation’s coinage changes with the change of monarchy. The ascendency of Charles III sees all of our coins go through a major transformation, with heraldry giving way to the natural world, reflecting Charles’ personal interest in the countryside and conservation.

Our coins, which haven’t seen any changes since 2008, feature a range of flora and fauna, from the 1p coin (featuring a dormouse) to the £2 coin (British wildflowers). Each coins characterises a strong story of conservation and the large numbers on the coins are designed to attract and inspire the younger generation.

The seven-sided 50p piece features an Atlantic salmon, which the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), which has been studying the species from its base at Frome, in Dorset for the past 50 years, and has witnessed a decline of 80% in the past 40 years. Dylan Roberts, Head of Fisheries at GWCT, said: “In England and Wales populations are now classified as ‘at risk’ on most rivers”. King Charles is a salmon fisherman himself, and in 2019, he addressed the Missing Salmon Alliance – a collective of conservation organisations focussed on salmon.

The full range of coins also includes: red squirrel (highlighted by the copper of the 2p piece); oak leaves and acorns (5p); capercaillie (10p); puffin (20p) and the gold surround of the one pound coin helps to depict the bee, one of our most important pollinators.

This year, each coin features a Tudor crown, unique to the year of Coronation, and the interlocking three ‘C’s symbol dates back to the time of Charles II.

The full range of coins include: hazel dormouse, red squirrel, oak leaves, capercaillie, puffin, salmon, bees and wild flowers, including a rose, daffodil, thistle and shamrock, to represent all parts of the UK.