The End of the Round Pound

On March the 28th, the brand new pound coin will be coming into circulation. Here is everything you need to know about the change:

Why the change?

Estimates claim that 1 in 30 pound coins are counterfeits, with more than 45 million forgeries currently in circulation in the UK. For businesses and the tax payer, this costs millions of pounds each year. The new pound coin has been billed as the most secure coin in the world. It will be made of two different metals, much like the current £2 coin, and this combined with its 12 sided design will make it much more difficult to copy. It will also have an embedded security layer within the coin, along with latent imaging, micro-lettering, and milled edges – In an effort to foil even the most determined forgers.

What will it look like?

The 12 sided design is in homage to the old “threepenny bit” which was in circulation between 1937 and 1971, the first coin to feature the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. In the year where the queen has celebrated her sapphire jubilee, this is a nostalgic nod to the length of her service. Of course, the new pound coin will still have a portrait of the Queen on one side, whilst the tails side has been designed by a 15 year old school boy from Walsall. This design includes a rose, a leek, a thistle and a shamrock – To represent each of the nations of the United Kingdom. In regards to its size, the new pound coin is slightly larger than the current design, but also thinner.

What does it mean for me?

Now is the time to start breaking open your piggy banks and rooting down the side of the sofas for your old pound coins. The new and old pound coins will be in co-circulation from March 28th until October 15th, when the legal tender status of the old pound coin will be withdrawn and you will no longer be able to pay with it in shops. After this date however, you will still be able to deposit the coin at your bank, and you’re recommended to contact your branch for more details. Most self-service machines, vending machines, and parking meters should have been updated to accept both coins, but this will be an ongoing process and you may struggle to use the new pound coin in some cases.

And for my business?

If your business operates equipment that handles the £1, you should already be underway in making the necessary adjustments or changes, and ensuring that all staff are fully aware. During the co-circulation period, you are able to accept either the old or new coins. You must return these to the bank in separate bags to enable them to be sorted efficiently. From the 15th October, you will be under no obligation to accept the old coin and should no longer distribute it.

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