Britain Introduces Traditional Design One Pound Coin

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne looks set to use the budget speech to announce a new design for the £1 coin, to be phased in from 2017. The new coin is similar to the traditional threepenny bit that was in circulation from 1937 to 1971.

The current £1 coin has been in circulation since 1983 and is minted to a standard that is now relatively easy to fake. The Royal Mint estimates that 3 percent of coins, or £45m in total, are counterfeit.

The new design is 12-sided and is made from two types of metal, in the same way the €1 coin is constructed. It will also have an added ingredient that makes it possible for a scanner to detect fakes very easily and quickly.

The change will mean vast numbers of parking meters and vending machines will have to be altered but the £1 has been in circulation longer than most other coins, so changes had been anticipated by industry.

George Osborne has already taken the prototype coin to the Queen, who is said to approve of the design. As with every other British coin it will feature her head on one side, the design for the other side will be subject to a competition.


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