UK Government shows new-look £1 coin set for 2017
It’s time to prepare to alter any products you own that take coin-based payments as the UK Government has announced it’ll be introducing a 12-sided £1 coin by 2017. Interestingly, it’s design is based upon the old Threepenny bit but is claimed to be the “most secure coin in circulation in the world.”
The new £1 coin will be around the same size as the current one, and contains an array of technological advancements that can help to reduce fraudulent copies of the coin. Currently around three per cent of £1 coins in circulation are actually fake – that’s around 45 million coins. Even then, the treasury removes around 2 million fake £1 coins each year.
“With advances in technology making high value coins like the £1 ever more vulnerable to counterfeiters, it’s vital that we keep several paces ahead of the criminals to maintain the integrity of our currency,” said a Treasury spokesperson. “We are particularly pleased that the coin will take a giant leap into the future, using cutting edge British technology while at the same time, paying a fitting tribute to past in the 12-sided design of the iconic Threepenny bit.”
The new £1 will also be brought in line with the aesthetic of the £2 coin as it’s comprised of two different coloured metals – just one of the ways it helps solve fraudulent coins from being circulated. The new coin also makes use of the Royal Mint’s brand new iSIS technology (Integrated Secure Identification System), which incorporates three tiers of banknote-strength security. ISIS can be authenticated via high-speed automated detection at all points within the cash cycle.
Speaking to BBC Radio, the Royal Mint’s director of circulation Andrew Mills also added: “We think it’s suitably British. It’s very reminiscent of two other British coins. The twelve-sided shape is very reminiscent of the threepenny bit and secondly, of course, it doesn’t look that dissimilar to the 2-pound coin.”
It’s been well over 30 years since the £1 coin was brought into circulation, and it seems that – while it’ll still carry the bust of Queen Elizabeth II on the ‘heads’ side of the coin – it’s an effort to revitalise the image of the pound coin. The UK Treasury will be holding a competition to get the British public to design a suitable ‘tails’ side to the coin.
This isn’t the only proposed change to British currency in the coming years, as plans have already been announced to introduce polymer notes to replace the current £5 note with £10, £20, and £50 notes receiving updates later on.
You can take a look at renders of the new pound coin, and a cheeky photo of the coin in question from George Osborne’s Twitter.