The new “forgery proof” 12-sided £1 coins are already rolling off the Royal Mint press a year before they start to reach people’s pockets this coming March, ahead of the traditional £1 coin which is being replaced for the first time in more than 30 years because of its vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters. Both pounds will be in circulation during a six-month crossover period after the release of the newly minted coin.
The new design pound is said to be “forgery proof” and has been billed as the “the most secure circulating coin in the world”.
With fake coins costing the government up to £2 million a year, the ultra-secure replacement will be far harder for forgers to copy.
The Royal Mint will work with businesses during the introduction phase of the new coin and an awareness and education campaign is planned to help ensure a smooth transition to launch in 2017. We’re getting ahead of the curve by installing software so that all our machines can accept these ahead of the phase in this year. Our machines already accept the new £5 note and we will be future proofing machines at the end of March so that they are ready to accept the new £10 note which is also due for release this September.
- The new 12-sided coin, which resembles the old threepenny bit, will be the world’s most secure coin in circulation, the Government said.
- More than 2.2 billion circulating round £1 coins have been struck during the time they have been in use.
- Replacing £1 notes, the coins were first launched on April 21 1983.
- But, in recent years, as many as three pound coins in every 100 in people’s change have been fake.
- This equates to about 45 million pound coins being a dud.
- The new, two-coloured coin was announced in the 2014 Budget. It measures just over 2.3 centimetres in diameter and has rounded corners and milled edges.
Adam Lawrence, chief executive of the Royal Mint, said that by modernising the coin “we are helping to redefine the world of coinage for the future”.
Jonathan Hart, chief executive of the Automatic Vending Association (AVA), said: “The AVA and the Royal Mint have been working together for a number of years to ensure implementation of the new one-pound coin proceeds as smoothly as possible.
“Whilst we can’t hide from the fact there is a sizeable piece of work for our members to undertake to ensure readiness, as an organisation we completely understand and support the rationale and the need for a new, secure, one one-pound coin in the United Kingdom.”