One in every 30 £1 coins is fake, the Royal British Mint says and therefore 1.55 billion new £1 coins will be released in circulation after 28th March. The old coins will still be accepted in trading until October and after that could be changed only in the banks.
The new coin will be similar to the current £2 coin, with 12 sides, a golden-colored band around silver plate and according to The Royal Mint, the new coin will be “the most secure coin in the world”. The difference with the now circulated £1 coin is not only in the new look, but also weight (lighter) and size (around 1mm bigger). The new coin has also refined edges and hologram-like image that will prevent it from falsification because it has “hidden high security feature”.
Still 87% of the population is unaware of the coming change shows a survey concluded by Mastercard among 2000 people. According to the company’s experts over £1.1 billion are saved and hidden in people’s piggy banks and jars with an average of £15 in £1 coins in a household and up to have £25 among the people aged 18-25.
“Our message is clear: if you have a round one pound coin sitting at home or in your wallet, you need to spend it or return it to your bank before 15 October,” Baroness Neville-Rolfe, commercial secretary to the Treasury, said while announcing the new coin. Most of the collected old coins will be melted and used for the making of the newer version. Experts are warning that, if you’d like to change your coins directly in the bank, they must be in bags. And if you don’t have £20.00 in coins laying around in your house, you can simply put them into your bank or savings account and withdraw them back as a note. It isn’t recommended to use coin machines for swaps because possibly they will charge you.
The £1 coin was first introduced in 1983 and this will be its first replacement.