The new 12-sided one pound coin enters circulation

The new £1 coin has officially entered circulation in the UK today.

The Royal Mint have labelled the new coin as the ‘most secure in the world,’ with a number of features that make it much more difficult to counterfeit.

The £1 coin was introduced in 1983 and is being replaced for the first time in over 30 years. The Royal Mint is producing 1.5 billion of the new coins.

Approximately one in 30 one pound coins in circulation are said to be counterfeit, which is why the UK government is changing the dimension and introducing a range of new features.

The new features include a bi-metallic design, where the coin is made up of two metals; the outer ring is nickel-brass and the inner ring is nickel-plated alloy. Latent imaging and holograms, where the £ symbol changes to the number 1 when the coin is seen in different angles, is an additional new feature of the coin.

And a hidden high security feature which has not been revealed is embedded into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting in the future.

Old v new

Research from Mastercard states that the pound is the oldest currency in circulation and is used in eight countries around the world. The life expectancy of a £1 coin is approximately 40 years.

The research also shows that there are over 30 million counterfeit £1 coins in circulation today. If you piled all the counterfeit coins on top of each other, they would be 94,500m tall, which is the equivalent to 308x the size of The Shard building in London.

Cash accounted for 86% of payments in 1983 in the UK when the first £1 coin was rolled out, and 46% of payments in 2017, showing a noticeable shift in the way consumers pay.

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