12 sided pound coin

12 sided pound coin - all you need to know

12 sided pound coin

Image: Royal Mint

The new 12 sided pound coin is being introduced in 2017 in response to counterfeiting problems which have seen millions of fake pound coins put into circulation by criminals. This is quite a big deal for UK consumers and businesses as the old coin will cease to be spendable quite soon afterwards and so you need to know what is happening and when.

When is the new 12 sided pound coin being introduced?

The new 12 sided pound coin will be introduced on March 28th 2017. From this day, you will be able to obtain the new coins from banks.

When do the old round pound coins stop being legal tender?

Between 28 March to 15 October 2017, both types of pound coin can be used alongside each other. However, from October 16 2017, the old round pound coins will be demonetised and shops and businesses will no longer have to accept them. Therefore, it would be a good idea to spend all of your old round pound coins by this time (unless you are keeping them as part of your coin collection of course), or pay them in to a bank or post office account.

What if I still have old pound coins after October 16th 2017? Are they worthless?

No, banks and post offices will continue to accept the old pound coins for a limited time but this will be subject to their own terms and conditions. Therefore if you find a stash of old pound coins down the back of your sofa (or in your washing machine filter) then you should still be able to cash them in. But don't hang about as there will be a limited window in which you can pay them in and this will not be indefinite.

What is so special about the new 12 sided pound coin?

The coin features a number of unique security features which are intended to make it a state of the art coin that is very difficult, if not impossible, to counterfeit. Some of the distinct features will include:

  • A unique 12 sided design. This is the best known feature of the new coin.
  • It will be bimetallic. It will be made of two different types of metal, nickel brass which is gold coloured, and nickel plated alloy which is silver coloured.
  • It will feature a hologram-like image called a latent image. The pound symbol will change to the number 1 when viewed from a different angle.
  • It will have micro lettering inside the rim of each side. Again, this should be very hard to fake.
  • It will have grooves on alternate sides on the milled edges.
  • It will also have a hidden security feature so even if someone can fake all the above, which sounds like a tough task, there will be an additional hidden feature that they would also have to duplicate.

What will the new 12 sided pound coin look like?

The new coin will feature a design by David Pearce showing an English Rose, a Welsh leek, a Scottish Thistle and the Northern Irish shamrock within a royal coronet. It will also have the fifth portrait of Her Majesty the Queen.

How big is the new 12 sided pound coin?

The dimensions of the 12 sided pound coin will be as follows:

  1. Weight 8.75g
  2. 2.8mm thick
  3. 23.43 in diameter.

It will be lighter, thinner and a little bit larger than the existing pound coin.

Can we expect special commemorative editions of the 12 sided pound coin?

We expect that the first job of the Royal Mint will be to get these into circulation successfully and to manage the transition from the old pound coin to the new. This will involve ensuring that thousands of coin mechanisms are updated to take the new pound and, eventually, to reject the old one. There will be a lot of work to be done to make it a success but we are sure that it will be achieved on time. Once that is sorted, we are sure that the Royal Mint will be planning some exciting new designs to commemorate lots of things.

What will happen to the value of my old round pound coins?

The value of collectors round pound coins is set by demand and supply and unless you are talking about a coin with a value of £1 (i.e. it's face value), then the fact that it can no longer be spent shouldn't make it any less interesting to a collector. In fact, if a lot of the coins that are currently in general circulation are removed from circulation and destroyed or recycled, then this might make a lot of them much scarcer so if anything, it could potentially make them worth more money in the future. Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, once they are no longer spendable, some of them will almost certainly be worth less than a pound, so you may want to take a good look at your collection and make sure you know which ones you want to keep and which ones you want to cash in or sell now.

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