POUND: The new coin will be “impossible” to counterfeit
The new £1 coin is finally in circulation – but how much is your change going to actually change your life?
The Royal Mint has released around 300 million of the new 12-sided coins into circulation. The new shape is said to be “impossible” to counterfeit – a problem that needed tackling, with one in every 30 original pound coins said to be fake.
The new design is intended to reflect England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - with a rose, a thistle, a leek and a shamrock. It is also thinner and lighter, although slightly larger in diameter than its predecessor.
Despite the new coin already being released, not everyone is ready. Trolleys, vending machines, parking meters and transport stations up and down the UK are not all ready to accept the new coins.
The 12-sided coin features a bi-metallic structure with a gold-coloured outer ring and a silver-coloured inner ring. It also boasts an image that changes from a "£" symbol to the number "1" when viewed at different angles.
Don’t worry about your old coins, which will be staying in circulation until 15th October 2017. You can take them to the bank and swap them for shiny new ones – but it might be worth keeping hold of a few for now, seeing as though not all machines in the UK are quite ready for them yet.
HOLOGRAPHIC WONDER: The new pound coin will be impossible to counterfeit thanks to cutting-edge technology
The current £1 coin is being replaced for the first time in over 30 years because of its vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters.
Approximately one in thirty £1 coins in circulation is a fake and that is why the Royal Mint are introducing a new, highly secure coin on 28th March this year, to reduce the costs of counterfeits to businesses and the taxpayer.
The new pound coin will be the most secure coin in the world as it has a number of features that make it much more difficult to counterfeit.
Following the introduction of the coin, there will be a six month period when the current £1 coin and the new £1 coin are in circulation at the same time. The current £1 coin will be demonetised on 15th October 2017.
For starters, it will have 12 sides, making it a distinctive shape that is instantly recognisable, even by touch.
The coin will be ‘bimetallic’ i.e. made of two metals. The outer ring will be gold coloured (nickel-brass) and the inner ring will be silver coloured (nickel-plated alloy).
When the coin is seen from different angles, it will display an image like a hologram that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’. Micro-lettering, milled edges and a hidden high security feature will also be built into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting in the future.
The coin’s design reflects the United Kingdom’s heritage and superb craftsmanship. Made by The Royal Mint – the coin will be produced using cutting-edge technology, developed in South Wales.
Featuring a new design that shows the English rose, the Welsh leek, the Scottish thistle and the Northern Irish shamrock emerging from one stem within a royal coronet, it was created by David Pearce who won a public design competition at the age of 15.
The fifth coinage portrait of Her Majesty the Queen, designed by Royal Mint coin designer Jody Clark, will also feature on the coin.