New £1 coin coming in 2017
The UK Treasury has alerted businesses that they must begin preparations for the new £1 coin which is to be introduced in March 2017. This follows in the footsteps of the new £5 note which has recently entered circulation. There will be a six month transition period, but in the meantime businesses will have to adapt to a 12 sided £1 coin. Everything from vending machines to pay-and-display parking ticket meters will have to be upgraded.
The most recent estimates from the Royal Mint suggest that there are approximately 28,996 million coins in circulation in the UK. More than 90 million coins are produced every single day from the small 1p coin up to the larger £2 coin.
The constant churn of coins makes it difficult to accurately know, but it is estimated that out of the 1,553 million £1 coins currently in circulation as many as one in 30 are counterfeit. Counterfeiting currency is a fraud as old as money itself and one which is taken very seriously by governments. Too much imitation currency in circulation damages the value of real money and can cause economic inflation.
The new £1 coin has been designed to thwart counterfeiting at every turn. The coin itself is bimetallic, made from an outer ring of nickel-brass and an inner circle of silver coloured nickel alloy. The complex 12 sided design is milled in an unusual fashion which ensures grooves on alternate sides. It has a hologram-style latent image which changes from a “£” symbol to a number “1” when seen from different angles and micro-lettering around the edges reading “one pound.” Last but not least, there is a secret bonus security feature on the coins, the details of which will not be released to the public.
The new £1 coin will be “the most secure of its kind in the world,” according to David Gauke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. With 1.5 billion of them in production, let’s hope he is correct.