"The pound won't be round
for much longer"
THE Pound Coin was introduced in April
1983 and has since been in general circulation, but like its paper predecessor,
it’s about to be pushed into the history books. The new UK ₤1 coin will now be
entering circulation on 28 March 2017, just a few days after Mothers’ Day. This
new coin will be physically different and also have different material
characteristics to the round Pound. This change will see in our pockets a new 12
sided coin, made of 2 metals, like the current ₤2 coin.
We are told that it will be better for blind
people and people who have sight issues, as its distinctive shape will make it
instantly recognisable by touch.
As well as having an outer ring, that is gold
coloured (nickel brass) and an inner ring is silver coloured (nickel plated
alloy), this new coin has other very interesting visual features that will,
according to the Royal Mint, it makes it much more difficult to counterfeit.
Since the ₤1 was introduced, we have seen many
counterfeit copies popping up, but the new coin will contain some new high
security features which are built into the coin to protect it from
counterfeiting in the future.
To the eye, 1 of the security feature that
will be visible will be an image that will work like a hologram. This image will
change between a '₤' symbol to the number '1' as the
coin is seen from different angles. Also, the coin will have very small
lettering on the lower inside rim on both sides of the coin. 1 Pound on the
obverse "heads" side and the year of production on the reverse
It will also have a very distinctive pattern
on alternate sides, using grooves milled onto parts of the coins' the edges.
This will also help people with disabilities to recognise it.
No coin would be complete without a fantastic
design reflecting the country it represents, and for this the Royal Mint has
chosen to feature a design that was created by 15 year old, David Pearce, who
won a public design competition. It will show the English rose, the Welsh leek,
the Scottish thistle and the Northern Irish shamrock emerging from 1 stem within
a Royal Coronet. On the other side, the coin will have a portrait of Her Majesty
the Queen, designed by Royal Mint coin designer Jody Clark.
We are told that the new coin will be thinner
than the round ₤1 coin, at 2.8mm, with a slightly larger diameter, 23.43mm.
That, and the fact it has new materials, means the coin will be lighter than the
round ₤1 coin. All that sounds good, but here is the problem... You can use the
old ₤1 coin up to 15 October 2017, and then the old Pound will no longer be
legal tender. However, most coin handling equipment will require adaptation or
replacement, as the old coin is phased out. But without having coins to test
equipment, before 28 March 2017, many are asking what will happen when it comes
to the likes of parking meters. Sefton MBC has only recently put in new meters
and changes to coins in the past have left many motorists with issues. This
raises the question, how will businesses and Councils manage to meet the
challenges ahead. So when they arise, you will have to keep an eye out to see
which coins the equipment can accept, until the 16 October 2017 onwards... To
add to the fun, businesses will also have to return the current ₤1 coins and the
new ₤1 coins in separate packaging and, until 16 October 2017, businesses are
expected to accept both coins from customers! Not only that, but just when you
get your staff trained on the features of the new ₤1 coins. Just to add to
the fun, the forthcoming plastic ₤10 note is also on its way. The new ₤10 note
is due to be issued in summer 2017. Thankfully, the new polymer ₤20 note is
being reported as due to be introduced sometime in 2020!
So what are your views on this change to our
coins and notes? 1 thing that we have herd being asked has been:- "Why
Braille has not been used on the Polymer Banknotes..?" Please let
us know your thoughts and ideas, via emailing us to:-
Let's hope we can cash in on the new ₤1 coins,
as some managed to do with the new ₤10 notes... More information about the new
₤1 coin can be found on the Her Majesty's Treasury and The Royal Mint official
website for the new coin at:-
Just to add... you can continue to spend the
old 'Paper ₤5' notes, as usual until 5 May 2017. After this they
will cease to be legal tender.