For the first time in over 30 years, the British £1 coin is due for a change. As of the 28th of March, 1.5 billion brand new 12-sided one pound coins will be added into circulation. You may be wondering, why? What’s the point in changing it? The answer is quite a serious one – counterfeits.
The royal mint claims this new coin is the most secure coin in existence. It’s quite visually stunning too – 12 sides with alternate milled edges, and a colour scheme more similar to our current £2 coins. Anyone that wants to attempt to counterfeit it is supposedly going to have a rough time. The video below goes into more detail:
It turns out the round pound is the easiest coin to counterfeit, and thinking about it, that makes sense. It’s very simple looking and anyone with the right equipment and metal-works experience could probably stamp one of their own. Apparently, 1 in 30 pound coins in circulation right now are fake, which is a hell of a lot considering there is probably over a billion of them.
Fraudsters always manage to slip up though, with dates and designs not corresponding to one another on each side, colouring not matching genuine coins, coins looking as if they’ve never aged despite the year printed on them, as well as many other reasons.
I imagine for any businesses that handle cash, this would be something to pay close attention to. Since October last year, machines have been modified to accept the new coin ready for its circulation in March. As of this October, the old round pound coin will no longer be valid and businesses won’t be under any obligation to accept them. However, it will still be possible to deposit them at most high street banks.
If you ask me, it would be wise to start clearing out your old pound coins so you’re ready for the new one’s introduction. It would also be a good idea to keep a few somewhere safe – if it becomes a rarity in the future you may have invested yourself a small fortune!