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A redesign for the pound coin that takes inspiration from the threepenny bit - but what’s your verdict?

PUBLISHED: 09:53 19 March 2014 | UPDATED: 09:53 19 March 2014

The new pound coin

The new pound coin


The pound as we know it will be replaced with a new coin with echos of the threepenny bit, Chancellor George Osborne will announce today.

The new pound coin The new pound coin

In his annual budget Mr Osborne will claim the new 12-sided piece will be the most secure coin in circulation in the world, after the current pound, which is more than three decades old, has become more vulnerable to ever more sophisticated counterfeiters.

The Royal Mint estimates that about 45 million £1 coins are now forgeries - about 3pc of the total number in circulation. The government will launch a consultation and expects to introduce it in 2017.

Mr Osborne said: “With advances in technology making high-value coins like the £1 ever more vulnerable to counterfeiters, it’s vital that we keep several paces ahead of the criminals to maintain the integrity of our currency.

“I am particularly pleased that the coin will take a giant leap into the future, using cutting edge British technology while at the same time, paying a fitting tribute to past in the 12-sided design of the iconic threepenny bit”.

The £1 coin

The pound coin was first issued on April 21, 1983

It weighs 9.5g and is 3.15mm thick

Coin edge inscriptions include DECUS ET TUTAMEN: ‘An ornament and a safeguard’ from Virgil’s Aeneid and NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT ‘No one provokes me with impunity’. The Motto of the Order of the Thistle.

How to spot a counterfeit pound coin. The date and design on the reverse do not match (the reverse design is changed each year). A list of designs and dates is available at

The lettering or inscription on the edge of the coin does not correspond to the right year.

The milled edge is poorly defined and the lettering is uneven in depth, spacing or is poorly formed. The obverse and reverse designs are not as sharp or well defined.

The coin shows no sign of age.

The orientation of the obverse and reverse designs is not in line.

Ahead of the announcement today, Helen Dickinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium, warned that it was important that any potential change was effectively planned and managed in order to minimise costs for business.

Kelvin Reynolds, director of policy and public affairs at the British Parking Association, welcomed the move adding: “Parking Operators have long expressed concerns about a rise in counterfeit £1 coins and the inconvenience this causes to motorists when coins are rejected by parking payment machines and the losses incurred as a result.”

Chief executive of the Royal Mint Adam Lawrence said the project could potentially change the way that coins are made in the future.

“The current £1 coin design is now more than 30 years old and it has become increasingly vulnerable to counterfeiting over time. It is our aim to identify and produce a pioneering new coin which helps to reduce the opportunities for counterfeiting, helping to boost public confidence in the UK’s currency in the process,” he added.

Meanwhile, it is also being reported that tax on Bingo halls will be cut from 20pc to 15pc in the Budget, in a bid to woo the game’s legions of female fans.

Bingo players and business owners from East Anglia have been lobbying the government to reduce tax paid by clubs to 15pc – like many other forms of gambling.


  • Anything that stops the clunk through a parking machine when you have no replacement. I have several "fakes" which I save for shopping trolleys

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Impossible to make a proper evaluation until it is in circulation!

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    la barbe

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Somethings gone wrong here, where's the moaning, where's the council blamers. I think you have a first here Archant, an article with no complaints or whining.

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    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • and those born after 1971 are thinking "what's a threepenny bit"?

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    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Personally, I think it looks terrific.

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    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • What is it going to cost to convert all the various machines to take this new coin. Can the taxpayer afford it? Other than that, I quite like the design.

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    Nowhere man

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • I can recall the introduction of the pound coin; the agonising about the gold colour. It seemed that at that time the mint had forgotten the three-penny coin! So then they decided to make a two pound coin and agonised about a two metal coin when the Portuguese had used the technique for the one and two escudo coins for years! I have only two small queries. 1) How big is it? 2) Why is it not like the one and two euro coins? I.e. A gold centre and silver surround to contrast with the two pound coin.

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    The Fortean

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

  • Some imaginative thinking - looks good. Should also help the disabled. Subject to cost of introduction - I'm all for it.

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    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

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