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30 Aug 17
Sound as a Pound – The New Pound Coin

There are thought to be more than 30 million fake £1 coins in circulation. There is estimated to be a one in 30 chance that any pound in your pocket is a fake. So the Royal Mint designed what they consider to be the most secure circulating coin in the world, made from two types of metal with a host of security features.

The old round £1 coin has been in circulation since April 21, 1983 and will continue to be legal tender only until October 15, 2017. The new, “unforgeable”, 12-sided £1 coin was introduced at the end of March 2017 and are now in circulation in banks and shops across the country.

It has caused significant issues with Supermarket trolleys, Pay-and-display machines, vending machines and train ticket machines. These machines will all need to be modified to accept the new coin by the 15th October.

So if you have got a collection of old-style £1 coins in a piggy bank or down the side of your sofa – then either spend them or pay them into the bank before the October cut-off date. Otherwise, you could be left out of pocket.



Its distinctive shape makes it instantly recognisable, even by touch.


The new £1 coins dimensions are different from the current round £1 coin. It is 2.8mm thick, making it thinner than the 3.15mm round £1 coin. It weighs 8.75g, down from 9.5g, and its diameter measures 23.43mm making it slightly larger than the round £1 coin, the maximum diameter (point to point) is 23.43mm.


The new pound coin is made of two metals. The outer ring is gold coloured (nickel-brass) and the inner ring is silver coloured (nickel-plated alloy).

Latent image

The new coin features an image like a hologram that changes from a £ symbol to the number ‘1’ when the coin is seen from different angles.


The new £1 contains tiny lettering on the lower inside rim on both sides of the coin. One pound on the heads side, known as the obverse side, and the year of production is engraved on the reverse tails side.

Milled edges

The coin has grooves on alternate sides.

Hidden high-security feature

A secret security feature is built into the new pound coin to protect it from counterfeiting in the future.

This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. For more information contact Watkins & Gunn Solicitors on 01633 262122 or visit to our website

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