The familiar round £1 coin that has been in the pockets of people since 1983, making it one of the oldest British coins in circulation. It became an icon of one of the strongest currencies, but now it has been decommissioned to make way for the new high-tech £1 coin. One of the main reasons as to why the coin has been replaced was due to the amount of counterfeiting it has undergone. The Royal Mint estimated that one in 30 coins, was a fake, resulting in a total 30 million fake coins.
The new coin features a 12 sided shape, which makes it increasingly harder to fake compared to the plain round shape of the older coin. The design also pays a homage to £2 pound coin by featuring a bimetallic. The £2 coin has a reputation for being an extremely hard coin to fake, due to the use of two metals, and now this trait has been passed to the new £1. The £1 coin has an outer ring that is coloured gold and made of nickel-brass, the inner ring is a silver coloured nickel-plated alloy. In terms of dimensions, the coin is also thinner and lighter than the older coin. The weighting is precise in order to make it harder to fake. The edges are also milled which give it a unique feel and adds another edge to the structural integrity of the design. Furthermore, the coin sees a use of a latent image, which displays an image similar to a hologram. When viewed at different angles either a “£” or a “1” is visible, this increases the security of the coin. The Royal Mint have also included a secret security feature built into the new pound in order to avoid it being counterfeited, and have used micro lettering inside the rim on both sides of the coins, ultimately the attention to detail is what ensures that these coins cannot be faked.
At the moment the Royal Mint have said that the old coins can be legal tender until October 15, until then, consumers are advised to return the old coins to banks. There is little doubt in whether the coin is the pinnacle of Royal Mint craftsmanship, and its security will ensure that it remains the most secure coin in the world.