he twelve-sided £1 is the most secure coin in the world. It will launch to the public on Tuesday 28th March. There will be a ‘co-circulation’ period, where both versions of the coin will be accepted. Those who have piggy banks full of the coins need to cash then in before 15th October, or their cash will no longer be accepted.
It has a number of features which will make it difficult to counterfeit. The first is its distinctive twelve-sided shape which resembles the old three penny bit. This makes it instantly recognisable, even by touch.
It has a bio-metallic composition of two colours, a gold colour, a nickel brass outer and a silver colour nickel plated inner (similar to the current £2 coin). It also has a hologram-style image on the front which will change from a pound symbol to a number one when the coin is seen from different angles. It has lettering on the border of both sides a £1 on the tail side and the year of production on the head side and it is milled in alternate edges.
A night security feature is built into the coin to protect it from counter fitting in the future. The coin’s design reflects the United Kingdom's heritage and reputation for superb craftsmanship.
The coin is produced by the Royal Mint using cutting edge technology. It also features a new design depicting the English rose, the Welsh leek, the Scottish thistle, and the Northern Irish shamrock emerging from one stem in the coronet.
The coin features the fifth coinage portrait of Her Majesty the Queen. The new one pound coin has different dimensions from the round pound coin, it is lighter at 8.75 grams, thinner at 2.8 mm, and it is slightly wider the maximum diameter is 32.4 mm.
Fortunately, the new coins will work in supermarket trolleys and many vending machines will be adapted for the change. However, there are fears of chaos in car parks, as around a quarter of the UK’s 100,000 pay and display machines won’t have been changed in time.
The Government has informed businesses that they should begin preparing for the coin by updating machinery to ensure that it will be accepted, and making sure all staff know what it looks like.