Are You Ready For The New Pound Coin?

New Pound Coin

The arrival of the new five pound note in 2016 was just the beginning of the re-invention of the United Kingdom’s physical money. On March 28th 2017 a new pound coin is being introduced into the circulation; only this coin will look markedly different to the familiar gold coins you currently see.

Currently the coins that are used are circular and are visibly distinctive from other coins due to the gold colouring. The new pound coin is gaining the same colour scheme familiar on £2 coins but it adopting a 12-sided shape that makes it recognisable even just by touch.

Why The New Shape?

The current pound coin has been in circulation for over 30 years and is well known to be vulnerable to counterfeiters. In fact it is estimated that one in every thirty £1 coins that is in circulation is actually a counterfeit coin.

The new one pound coin has been designed specifically to combat counterfeiters in the attempt to reduce the cost for businesses and the taxpayer. As such, it is packed with a number of features that make it much harder to counterfeit than a traditional pound coin.

A Safer Coin

Some of the features include a latent image that is like a hologram that will change from a ‘£’ symbol into a number ‘1’ when you view the coin from various angles. Like the £2 coin, it is made from two metals with the outer ring being made from nickel-brass and the inner ring made from nickel-plated alloy.

A patented high security feature has also been built into the coin to help protect it in the future. The design of the coin was created by 15-year old David Pearce who won a public design competition. It features the English rose, the Scottish thistle, the Northern Irish shamrock and the Welsh leek emerging from one stem within a royal coronet.

A New Size For A New Pound Coin

The round pound coin has a diameter of 22.5mm, a weight of 9.5g and a thickness of 3.15mm. This makes it the thickest coin that is currently in circulation which makes it easily identifiable by touch. The new pound coin is thinner with a thickness of 2.8mm, lighter with a weight of 8.75g but slightly larger with a diameter of 23.43mm.

What Will Happen?

The new coin is going to be introduced into circulation 28th March 2017 and will be co-circulated with the current pound coin until 15th October 2017. This means that you will be able to use both the old and new coins at the same time and businesses will accept both.

Many machines such as vending machines and self service machines should have been upgraded to accept the new coin, though there is likely to be machines that have yet to be upgraded.

The old pound coin will cease to become legal tender on 15th October 2017. What this means is that shops will no longer accept these coins and you will be unable to use them to purchase items. You will however be able to take them to your bank or Post Office.

For anyone who is running a business that relies on physical money, it will be important to ensure that your equipment will be able to accept the new pound coin. Consider also training staff on the new pound coin to make them aware of the new features.

Invest in coin bags that can be used to separate the new pound coins from the old pound coins to allow banks to easily process your coins. Why not take a look at the coin bags that are available on OPInfo as they are pre-printed with the amount per denomination that is required for banking coins.


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Sarah Jubb

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