New £1 coin to be launched
A new campaign has been launched by the government and the Royal Mint to help retailers and other cash handling businesses to prepare for the introduction of the new £1 coin in March 2017. The new £1 coin will be 12-sided and will replace the round shaped £1 coin that has been in use for 30 years. The new coin is being introduced to help combat the problem of counterfeit coins and will, according to the Royal Mint, be the most secure coin in the world. It has been estimated that as many as one in every thirty £1 coins on the high street are counterfeit.
The features of the new coin include hidden high security features to combat counterfeiting in the future as well as a hologram-like image that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when the coin is seen from different angles. Further information is available at the newly launched www.thenewpoundcoin.com website.
In the run-up to the introduction of the new £1 coin, all cash handling businesses are being advised to take the following steps before March 2017:
- check whether they operate equipment that handles the £1 coin
- contact their equipment supplier to find out if they need to make any adaptations or upgrades
- make the necessary changes to their coin handling equipment
- train their staff on the features of the new £1 coin
- consider any changes necessary to their cash handling processes e.g. counting, storing and banking during the co-circulation period.
The new and old coins will continue to be in circulation together for a six-month period from March to September 2017. From next Autumn, the current round £1 coin is expected to have disappeared from the high street. The old coin will continue to be accepted in most high street banks and the Post Office for the foreseeable future.
David Gauke, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said:
‘The pound as we know it will not be round for much longer. The introduction of this new £1 coin will be a highly significant event and we are working with The Royal Mint to ensure key industries are ready and to ensure a smooth transition. 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.’