31 October 2016
The Treasury has confirmed that the current pound coin will no long be legal tender in the UK in less than a year’s time. The current coin will be replaced by a new, 12-sided version in March 2017, after which a six month transitional period will follow during which both versions can be accepted in stores.
The new coin has been introduced following the revelation by the Royal Mint that around one in 30 pound coins that are currently in circulation is fake. The updated version has been specifically designed to be more difficult to counterfeit, and bears new features including a 12-sided shape, a bi-metallic design, a latent image which changes when viewed from different angles, and a hidden high security feature which will remain a secret to deter would-be counterfeiters.
"The new £1 coin will be the most secure of its kind in the world and its cutting-edge features will present a significant barrier to counterfeiters, reducing the cost to businesses and the taxpayer," said David Gauke, the chief secretary to the Treasury.
Businesses are advised that, although they should not accept the old-style coin in store after autumn 2017, they will be able to deposit coins at most high street banks and the Post Office.