Malta has been using the Euro as its currency since 2008. Apart from the regular circulation coinage, the country has also authorised some mints to issue non circulating and bullion coins under its jurisdiction. The one kilogram of gold (1 kg) is a very large format formally denominated with a €500 (Five Hundred Euro) face value. According to Eurozone convention, the denomination is legal tender in Malta only, and not in the whole Eurozone.
This coin celebrates the accession to the throne of King Charles III. While Malta is a republic, it has a long association with British monarchy, having been a British colony from 1813 to 1964. Queen Elizabeth II (the mother of King Charles III), was the last monarch of the country.
Charles III spent some of his childhood on the island. Between 1949 and 1951, the young princess Elizabeth made Malta her home at the age of 23 while her husband was stationed on the island with the navy. Living at Villa Guardamangia, an 18th-century house owned by the Prince’s uncle Lord Mountbatten and just outside the city of Valletta, the newlyweds and their two young children could lead a relatively normal life. As Queen, Elizabeth II visited Malta after it became a republic in 1992, in 2005, and 2007 on the very day she and Prince Philip celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Her last visit to Malta was in 2015, when she attended the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Valetta.
The Central Bank of Malta says about the coin:
After serving as the longest heir apparent in history to his mother Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III ascended to the throne on the 8th of September 2022. Now head of the UK and Commonwealth, His Majesty hopes to follow the inspiring example he has been set by his late mother. Born November 14, 1948, during the reign of his grandfather King George VI, Charles seemed destined to lead an extraordinary life. With a rigorous education, a distinguished military career, and now King of England, His Majesty has reached his zenith overseeing a modernised monarchy.
The reverse, designed by acclaimed coin designer Jody Clark, illustrates King Charles III in a left-facing portrait. The obverse bears the Coat of Arms for the Central Bank of Malta. In the eyes of the monarchy, the island of Malta has always been a place of pride, love and significance. Its pivotal military roles, its accommodation of Princess Elizabeth in the early 1950s and its continued support of the Commonwealth make it a fitting obverse for King Charles III.
The obverse of the coin shows at its centre the Coat of Arms of the Central Bank of Malta. At centre, a shield divided in three parts; in the top part, a horizontal key as a symbol of economic progress and security; the lower parts have "heraldic hatching" indicating a white background on the left, and a red background on the right - the colours of the flag of Malta; in the left part, the George Cross, awarded to Malta for bravery in April 1942 by King George VI. Above the shield, a crest surrounded by laurel and palm branches, symbols of honour and peace respectively, supporting a mural crown on top - symbolic of Malta's historic role as a fortress.
On the sides, the shield is supported by two armoured and helmeted Knights of Malta holding large swords, representing confidence and strength, the two virtues incorporated in the Bank's motto. These symbolise some of the greatest pages in Malta's long military history, which, for more than two-and-a-half centuries, was ruled by the Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem. The plumed helmet of a knight which surmounts the shield also has a special connection to Malta as it was modelled on one found on a monument in the 16th century Co-Cathedral of St John in Valletta, built by the Knights.
On a ribbon below, the motto in Latin: FIDUCIA FORTIS ("In Confidence Strength"), and the date the bank was founded, 1968.
Around above, the name of the issuing authority: CENTRAL BANK OF MALTA.
Around below, the face value 500 EURO.