It’s no secret that Britain is rife with counterfeit £1 coins. In fact, experts have estimated that there over 30 million fake £1 coins in circulation – that’s 1 in 30 of all coins!
For this reason, the £1 coin that we know is being replaced with a thinner, lighter, 12-sided version.
It is set to be introduced on the 28th of March this year. Shortly followed by the new £10 note at the end of summer 2017.
The Royal Mint claim that the new one pound coin will be the most secure coin in the world. Because of this, they expect the new coin to reduce the cost of counterfeits to businesses and the taxpayer.
Initially, there will be 1.5bn of the new coins produced and put into circulation. And while they may be introduced at the end of march, it could be April or May until they start finding their way into your purse or wallet.
How does the new coin differ?
As I mentioned above, the new coin will no longer be round and it will instead be 12-sided.
The new 12-sided coin will be 2.8mm thick weighing 8.75g. This makes it almost 1g lighter and 0.35mm thinner than the old ‘round pound’. The new coin will however be marginally larger in diameter than the old coin. The new coin will be “bimetallic” which means it’s made from two different metals.
The new construction and shape of the 12-sided coin will make it much tougher to counterfeit. In addition, the new coin will feature a hologram-style image that changes from a pound sign to the number 1 depending on which angle you look at it from.
It has also been rumoured that the coin will have a “hidden high security feature” built in – although we’re not sure what this is at this stage!
What happens to the old coins?
In-short, you will have 6 months to get rid of your old £1 coins.
Thus, the round £1 coin will be withdrawn on the 15th October. Beyond this date, shops will no longer be accepting them as legal tender.
If you’ve been stashing coins in a money box or jam jar – don’t worry, you don’t need to carry them around in your handbag or backpack waiting to spend them! Instead, you can simply pay them into your bank.
Having been withdrawn from circulation, the old ‘round pound’ will be melted down to make new coins.
Is everyone prepared for the change-over?
Given that the original announcement was made in March 2014 – businesses have had plenty of time to prepare for the change-over.
It is believed that all supermarkets have changed the locks on their trolleys to accept both new and old coins. It’s also understood that all self-service checkouts will be ready.
The Mint have warned that not all parking and machines will work with the new coin from the date of introduction. This shouldn’t cause too much disruption given that most machines do tend to accept credit and debit card payments nowadays.
From today, you’ve got around 8 months to either spend or deposit your old pound coins before they’re removed from circulation and replaced with the new, 12-sided version
So, don’t panic – there’s really no rush to get rid of them!