AS many of you will know, the current £1 piece is set to be replaced later this year by a state-of-the-art 12-sided coin.
The new tender will come into circulation on March 28, 2017 with a total of £1.5 billion new coins being produced by The Royal Mint.
But why are swapping from the trusty round version –\!q which car park machines, supermarket trolleys and vending machines already accept – to a new design? What exactly makes this new coin so special?
The Royal Mint estimate that approximately one in 30 current one pound coins are counterfeit.
This has led to the first redesign on this coin in 30 years and the new version should be much tougher to counterfeit, ultimately costing businesses and tax payers less each year.
The new coin has been dubbed ‘the most secure coin in the world’ due to the numerous features that make it difficult to counterfeit.
It is 12-sided which makes in instantly recognisable, even to the touch.
The outer ring is a nickel and brass composite (making a gold colour) while the inner piece is a nickel plated alloy, giving it a silver effect.
There is also a hologram that changed from a pound symbol (£) to a number one when the coin is viewed from different angles.
Very small lettering – otherwise known as micro-lettering – appears on both sides of the coin on the lower inside rim and milled edges are another safety feature.
There is also a high security feature built into the coin itself to protect from counterfeiting in the future.
Cutting edge technology has been used to develop the new one pound coin on a site in South Wales.
It’s bold new design includes images of the English rose, Welsh leek , Northern Irish shamrock and the Scottish thistle with a royal coronet. The design was completed by 15-year-old David Pearce, who won a public design competition.
The new tender includes the fifth coinage portrait of Her Majesty the Queen, which was designed by Jody Clark, The Royal Mint’s coin designer.
There’s a significant change to the dimensions of the new coin.
The thickness is 2.8mm, making it thinner than the current £1 while it weighs in at 8.75g, making it lighter too.
With a diameter of 24.43mm it is slightly larger than the current £1 coin.
DATES TO REMEMBER
March 28 to October 15, 2017
This is the period where new coins will begin coming into circulation, but the current version will still be accepted, known as co-circulation.
October 16, 2017 onwards
By this point, any equipment that takes £1 coins should have been switched to the new version.
Businesses are no longer under obligation to accept the old coin and they will no longer be distributed.