When the new £1 coin arrived on March 28th of this year, the excitement whenever one of these shiny, multi-faceted coins was in our hands was palpable. Much prettier than their predecessor, the new pound coins are now well established and will be replacing the previous design for good very soon. To make sure you’re not left out of pocket with a pocket full of outdated currency, we’re got the details on when round pounds will be out of circulation and what to know about the new ones.
Round pounds are outdated
Just like the newly released £10 note and last year’s update to the £5 note, round pounds have been replaced with an upgraded version that’s much easier on the eye. But it’s not just because the Royal Mint decided more attractive money was in order. In fact, the old pound coins, which came into circulation on April 21, 1983, replacing the £1 notes, have been replaced because of security issues. It’s estimated that around 1 in every 30 of the old style £1 coins is a fake – convincing, but fake nonetheless, thanks to very clever forgery techniques.
With it’s 12-sided shape and dual-metal design, counterfeiters will find the new pound coin much harder to mimic than the old round pound. As well it’s unique shape, which is similar to an old threepenny bit, the coin has high-tech security features that will help to stop fake money from entering the market.
Getting rid of round pounds
After 15th October 2017, the old round pounds will be completely worthless, so you may want to raid that piggy bank now to make sure you haven’t got any more lying about. Thankfully, there are now more of the new pound coins in circulation than there are of the old ones, though one in three people will still have some to spend.
Over 800 million old round pounds have made their way back to the Mint, so make sure yours join them soon before you’re unexpectedly short of change in a shop! By the time the old coins officially leave circulation, trolleys, vending machines, parking machines and any other machines you feed money into will all have been updated to accept the new currency in place of the old. Many arcade games and coin machines have already been updated and will be finished by mid-October.
If you don’t manage to get around to returning your pound coins in time for the deadline then there are still a few things you can do. You can deposit the amount of round pounds you have in your account at your bank or building society, take them to your local Post Office to exchange them or take a money bag of coins to your bank to swap them for the new pound coins. However, these are only temporary options which will be withdrawn, so make sure you get rid of your leftover old pounds as soon as possible.
Read more: Is Your Loose Change Rare And Valuable?
The lowdown on the new pound
The twelve-sided coin has been specially made to fight against the high amounts of fake money that existed with the round pound. 1.5 billion of the new coins are being made from gold coloured nickel brass and silver, and nickel-plated alloy, and each coin has a security feature in the form of a hologram-like image. This image changes the pound (£) symbol to a number 1 when the coin is turned to different angles.
Another addition to the coin is the unique ‘tails’ side design. This illustration was created by 15-year-old schoolboy David Pearce, from Walsall. It features the main symbols of each part of the United Kingdom, including the leek for Wales, the thistle for Scotland, the shamrock for Northern Ireland and the rose for England.
Have you still got some old round pounds lying about? Better get checking behind those sofa cushions before the time is up to spend them!