/ Money

Update: is the new quid on the block set to cause trouble?

New pound coin

Described as the ‘most secure coin in the world’, the new 12-sided £1 will enter circulation at the end of March. Is this a step forward for British currency, or is it more trouble than it’s worth?

Here’s a date for your 2017 diaries: 28 March.

It’s when the new 12-sided £1 coin is set to enter circulation.

Described as the ‘most secure in the world’, the distinctive gold and silver-coloured coin contains a host of anti-counterfeiting features including a hologram that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when viewed from different angles.

The Royal Mint estimates that around one in 30 of the current round £1 coins are fake, so the new quid has been introduced to keep several paces ahead of the counterfeiters. But at what cost to consumers?

Counting the costs

Well, for starters, you only have six months to spend or bank your old £1 coins, as they’ll cease to be legal tender on 15 October.

And with the government claiming that around £1.3 billion worth of coins are stored in savings jars across the country, with the current £1 coin accounting for nearly a third of these, it’s definitely time to start raiding them!

So what about the overall cost to the economy?

Thousands of businesses will have to adapt their self-service checkouts, vending machines and shopping trolleys, while councils will need to upgrade parking meters to accept the new coins.

Things like payphones and fruit machines will also be affected.

Similar changes were needed when the new fiver was introduced on 13 September last year and these didn’t exactly happen without a hitch, with many people reporting that machines wouldn’t accept the latest design.

In fact, only recently, I spotted car parking ticket machines that still wouldn’t accept the new plastic notes.

So what are odds that the new pound coin causes similar problems?

Pounds win prizes

Of course, the introduction of the new £5 note did provide the opportunity for eagle-eyed consumers to make a tidy profit.

Notes with low serial numbers or rare engravings are still being exchanged for hundreds of pounds online.

Only last month, a super-rare Jane Austen fiver, apparently worth £50,000, was found stuffed in a Christmas card. And there are supposedly two more of these notes yet to be discovered…

And with news that some of the rarer old pound coins, such as the Edinburgh £1, are already being sold on eBay, could we soon be treating our small change like a golden ticket to Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, too?

New £10 and £20 notes on the way

A new £10 is on its way this summer, along with a new £20 to follow by 2020. Like the new £5, both will be made from polymer, so they’re more durable, and will be packed with security features to make them harder to counterfeit.

So what are your thoughts on our new currency? Are you pleased we’re making steps to battle counterfeiting? Or is this new money more hassle than it’s worth?

Update: 3 May 2017

They’re touted as being the ‘most secure coin in the world’ and described as ‘indestructible’, but just over a month since the new £1 coin came into circulation, there have been numerous reports of faulty coins.

Reports vary from the coins being cracked or warped to the silver-coloured nickel-plated alloy centre separating from the gold-coloured nickel-brass outer ring. One even claimed the Queen’s head was missing.

The Royal Mint has now admitted that a small amount of £1 coins in circulation may be faulty after they were struck at a rapid rate during production.

Faulty versions of the coin, considered collectors’ items, are already appearing on internet auction sites, with one apparently selling for £2,500


This comment was removed at the request of the user

The Kent Live piece is an excellent example of the media merrily misleading. They start the piece by saying

“It was hailed as the bank note it was impossible to counterfeit.”

which was never claimed. And we wonder why people are giving Trump the ammunition he loves.

Jay says:
4 May 2017

This new one pound coin just look like 20p coin and if you have a load of change in your purse you have to be very ,very careful to differentiates between £ coin and 20p coin Not impressed by the design.

Good point, Jay. Have you almost paid too much because of the similar design then?

The similarity is remarkable despite the fact that the 20p coins are seven-sided instead of twelve-sided, thinner, smaller in diameter, made of one metal rather than two-coloured, have ribbed edges, and have a different design. The £1 coin also has One Pound stamped on it in large letters which should help a bit with recognition when all other discriminators deceive.

Last Saturday I was looking at the number of old £1 coins still in my loose change and wondering when I was ever going to see one of the new twelve-sided ones. Then, walking along the road in the afternoon, I found one lying on the pavement. Such is the power of wishful thinking. Since then quite a number have turned up in my change but none instead of a 20p piece.

At one time I used to put coins that I found in my back pocket to give to charity. That was until one of them destroyed the plastic impeller on the drain pump of my washing machine because I had not checked the pocket.

I have a Science Museum coin sorter that was a Christmas present from a neighbour years ago. It seemed a pointless present at the time but has proved very useful for sorting out what is put in the donations bucket at charity events. I had only seen one of the new pound coins but on my last outing, most of them were shiny new pound coins, which the machine managed to sort out successfully.

I have just realised that there is an old £5 paper note that I found in a kitchen cupboard when I moved house last year. I don’t have contact details for the previous occupants so the £5 and a £10 note are still here.

Having worked on a food checkout for 15 years, I have seen some real corkers of forged £1 coins. Some of them were made of lead and lost most of their colour and looked fake from 6 feet away. this showed how people never look at the change they are given . The other main forgery to have been seen was that the queens head was not in line when you spun the coin around holding it between finger and thumb, the back faced a different way. It is so easy to check a lot of these things, and should be advertised a lot more by the banks.
I, on many occasion gave customers back faulty pound coins that they had been oblivious to and you would be surprised to see the look on their faces and shock when they realise that they had been duped.