A new 12-sided UK £1 coin will enter circulation on 28 March 2017, and is said to be the most secure coin in the world.
This is the first time the £1 coin has been introduced in over 30 years as the UK looks to remove the old coin because of its vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters.
Approximately one in thirty £1 coins in circulation is a counterfeit.
According to HM Treasury, around £1.3 billion worth of coins are stored in savings jars across the UK, and the current £1 coin accounts for almost a third of these. “Therefore it is important that all round £1 coins are returned before 15 October 2017 when they lose their legal tender status,” it said.
The new coin has a number of features that make it much more difficult to counterfeit.
- 12-sided – its distinctive shape makes it instantly recognisable, even by touch.
- Bimetallic – it is made of two metals. The outer ring is gold coloured (nickel-brass) and the inner ring is silver coloured (nickel-plated alloy).
- Latent image – it has an image like a hologram that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when the coin is seen from different angles.
- Micro-lettering – it has very small lettering on the lower inside rim on both sides of the coin. One pound on the obverse “heads” side and the year of production on the reverse “tails” side, for example 2016 or 2017.
- Milled edges – it has grooves on alternate sides.
- Hidden high security feature – a high security feature is built into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting in the future.
Chief secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said: “March 28 should be an important date in everybody’s calendar this year – as we will have a new quid on the block. This is a historic moment as it’s the first time we’ve introduced a new £1 coin since 1983, and this one will be harder to counterfeit than ever before.”