New £1 coin: What you need to know about the 2017 launch


General Finance

The Royal Mint is launching the new 12-sided £1 coin today (28 March 2017). It is replacing the old round version after 30 years.

The design of the newest £1 coin will include new security features to help stop criminals making counterfeit copies. The Royal Mint claim that it's the 'most secure coin in the world'.

To help you spot a new £1 coin, we're taking you through its features and when you'll need to stop using the old ones.

What does the new £1 coin look like?

The new £1 coin has a number of new features including the following.

new 12 sided pound coin

12-sides: its unique shape means that you'll be able to recognise it by touch.

Bimetallic: it's made of two metals. The outer ring is gold coloured and made of nickel-brass, while the inner ring is silver coloured and made of nickel-plated alloy.

Latent image: it has an image like a hologram that changes from a '£' symbol to the number '1' when you see the coin from different angles.

Micro-lettering: the coin has small lettering on the lower inside rim on both sides. There's 'one pound' on the heads side of the coin, and the year of production on the reverse "tails" side.

Milled edges: it has grooves on alternate sides.                                                        

The coin also has a hidden high security feature that the Royal Mint built in to make sure criminals can't make copies. The Royal Mint claim that around one in thirty old £1 coins in circulation is a counterfeit.

What about the old £1 coin?

The new £1 coin will enter circulation from March until October. During this period, businesses will accept both the old and new £1 coins.

Businesses will stop accepting the old £1 coins from 15 October 2017. You will be able to deposit any remaining old £1 coins into your bank account or take your coins to your local Post Office branch where you can exchange them for the new editions.

You can do this from now until October. Although, it might be worth holding on to an old £1 coin as it is possible they could be worth something in the future. Find out if your spare change could be worth something.  

What about car park machines and shopping trolleys?

It's unclear whether all car park machines and shopping trolleys will be ready for the new 12-sided £1 coin.

According to the British Parking Association, around a quarter of the UK's 100,000 pay and display machines will not be ready in time to accept the new 12-sided coin. The Telegraph also claim that more than half of train operators will not have up-to-date ticket machines to accept new £1 coins from today.

You might have better luck at your local supermarket, as Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Lidl, Morrisons and Waitrose will accept both the old and new £1 pounds. All machines should accept the new £1 coin by the time the old coins are no longer in circulation from 15 October.

The 12-sided £1 coin is not the only new piece of currency – the Bank of England released the new £5 polymer note last September. Find out how long you have to spend your old £5 notes in our blog.

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