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Redesign of the pound coin should see decrease in counterfeit coins

Authored by Phil Meekin

Phil Meekin

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Approximate read time: 2 minutes

The treasury and the Royal Mint have recently revealed the new look for the pound coin which will see its security upped and a big job for retailers whose staff will have to adapt and machines will have to change to accommodate the new design.

A new website has been launched in conjunction with the announcement of the new coin design which warns businesses of the imminent change. They will need to adapt their equipment and train their staff between now and March 2017 in preparation for the new coin.

When it comes to updated equipment, all machines which accept cash (such as vending machines) will have to be updated. From March 2017 to October 2017, there will be a six month transition period where businesses must accept both old and new coins. From October 2017, the current pound coin will be demonetised and the new pound coin will be the only accepted coin.

The main reason for the new design of the coin is because around one in every 30 pound coins currently in circulation is counterfeit. As a result, the new designs are more intricate and much more difficult to produce convincing fakes of.

Chief secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke, spoke to the BBC about the new pound coins; “The new £1 coin will be the most secure of its kind in the world and its cutting-edge features will present a significant barrier to counterfeiters, reducing the cost to businesses and the taxpayer,”

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Here is why the newly designed pound coin is more secure than its predecessor:

  • Micro-lettering – on the heads side, tiny lettering reads ‘ONE POUND’ and on the tails side, it will state the date the coin was produced.
  • 12-sided – this distinctive shape makes it recognisable and difficult to counterfeit.
  • Milled edges – there are grooves on alternate sides of the coin.
  • Bimetallic – like the two pound coin, the new one pound coin features two different types of metal. The outer ring is gold coloured nickel-brass and the inner ring in silver coloured nickel-plated alloy.
  • Latent image – there is an image like a hologram on the coin which changes from a ‘£’ sign to the number ‘1’ when seen from different angles.
  • Hidden security features – there is an additional security feature built into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting but details have not currently been revealed.

From autumn 2017, the current round one pound coin will no longer be accepted amongst businesses, in shops etc. If you do still have some of the old coins after this date, you will be able to deposit them at most High Street banks and the Post Office.

To find out more about the new one pound coin, visit the new Royal Mint hosted website.

References and further reading

Header Image from BBC.

Content Image from BBC Newsround.

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