The pound coin won’t be round for much longer

The pound coin won’t be round for much longer

The NEW £1 coin will enter circulation on March 28th, with the Royal Mint producing 1.5 billion new coins. The current £1 coin is being replaced for the first time in over 30 years because of its vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeits. With approximately one in thirty £1 coins in circulation being counterfeit, the launch of the new highly secure coin will reduce costs of counterfeits to businesses and the tax payer.

The most secure coin in the world

  • The new coin has a number of features that make it much more difficult to counterfeit.
  • 12-sided – its distinctive shape makes it instantly recognisable, even by touch.
  • Bimetallic – it 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 – it has an image like a hologram that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when the coin is seen from different angles.
  • Micro-lettering – it has very small lettering on the lower inside rim on both sides of the coin.
  • One pound on the obverse “heads” side and the year of production on the reverse “tails” side, for example 2016 or 2017.
  • Milled edges – it has grooves on alternate sides.
  • Hidden high security feature – a high security feature is built into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting in the future.

How will it affect my business?

All businesses which handle cash will need to prepare for the:

  • Introduction of the new £1 coin;
  • Co-circulation period, when the new £1 coin and the old £ coin are in circulation at the same time; and
  • Demonetisation, when the current £1 coin is no longer legal tender.


October 2016 to 27 March 2017
Preparing for the new £1 coin

  • Check whether you operate equipment that handles the £1 coin.
  • Contact your equipment supplier to find out if you need adaptations or replacements and by when.
  • Make the changes to your coin handling equipment.
  • Train your staff on the features of the new £1 coin.
  • Consider any changes to your cash handling processes e.g. counting, storing and banking during the co-circulation period.

28 March to 15 October 2017
Co-circulation period

  • You can accept both coins from your customers.
  • To enable banks to process your coins during the co-circulation period please ensure that old and new £1 coins are not mixed but returned in separate bags.
  • Your equipment may be able to accept or dispense both £1 coins or just one. Please check with your equipment suppliers.
  • You will need to tell your customers which coins your equipment can accept.

16 October 2017
Onwards Demonetisation

  • All your coin handling equipment should be able to accept the new £1 coin.
  • You are under no obligation to accept the round £1 coin from your customers and you should not distribute the round £1 coin.
  • The round £1 coin can continue to be deposited into a customer’s account at most high street banks and the Post Office*
    *check with your bank for more details, including deposit limits.

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