Published: Tue, January 03, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

United Kingdom starts countdown to new £1 coin

United Kingdom starts countdown to new £1 coin

The Royal Mint will make over 1.5 billion of the new £1 coins, which is based on the design of the old 12-sided three-penny bit, a popular British coin which went out of circulation in 1971.

The New Year's Day announcement is the first time the Treasury has laid out an exact timetable for the currency swap.

The Treasury is launching a public awareness campaign to ensure everyday people spend their old £1 coins or return them to the bank before October 15.

The UK Treasury has announced the new £1 coin will begin circulating on March 28.

There is even a hidden high security feature built into the coin to protect it from being illegally copied but the details haven't been made public.

More than 1.5 billion new pound coins will be produced by the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales, at a rate of up to 2,000 a minute.

The round pound's successor is thinner, lighter and slightly bigger in diameter - and experts believe that its distinctive design will make it trickier to counterfeit. It is 12-sided and has a hologram-like image under the Queen's head which changes from a '£' symbol to the number "1" at different angles.

The new coin is made of two metals, with a gold-coloured outer ring and a silver-coloured inner ring.

The Treasury estimates that £1.3bn of coins are being stored in savings jars, with £1 coins accounting for nearly a third of these. It also has very small lettering on both sides of the coin and milled edges.

"This is a historic moment as it's the first time we've introduced a new £1 coin since 1983, and this one will be harder to counterfeit than ever before", David Gauke, chief secretary to the United Kingdom treasury said in a statement.

But businesses in the region say they have been preparing and although it will be time consuming, will not cause a major issue.

What do you do with your old coins?

It is estimated that 3% of the current coins in circulation are fake.

"The transition is likely to affect a number of areas of their business, especially if they have coin-operated machines such as self-service tills in store".

"We encourage retailers to make use of the guidance provided by the Royal Mint and to speak to their suppliers of coin operated machines to make the transition as smooth as possible for consumers".

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