The final batch of the round £1 coins was minted at The Royal Mint on Wednesday, making way for the introduction of a new 12-sided replacement.
The new dodecagon shaped coin will come into circulation in 2017 and is designed to combat counterfeiting. The new pound coin is described as the “most secure in the world” and was designed by a 15-year-old schoolboy.
The Daily Mail reports:
The current £1 coin was introduced in 1983 by the Royal Mint with designs that celebrate the four countries that make up the United Kingdom, with 24 different styles depicting capital cities, bridges and national emblems.
But a new 12-sided bi-metallic coin, which is two colours like the £2 coin, will replace it. Experts say it will be the most secure coin in circulation in the world.
The Royal Mint held a UK-wide competition for the new coin design. David Pearce, a 15 year-old schoolboy from Walsall, West Midlands, won the competition for his design featuring a rose, leek, thistle and shamrock emerging from a Royal Coronet.
The current round coin is said to be no longer suitable for a coin of its value, leaving it vulnerable to ever more sophisticated counterfeiters.
More than 2.2billion circulating round £1 coins have been struck during its 32 years. It was launched on The Queen’s birthday on 21 April 1983.
The coin is seen as a success, with the fact 1983-dated coins can still be found in change evidence of its durability far exceeding the nine-month lifespan of the £1 note that it replaced.
John Jones, a Royal Mint coin press setter, worked in the circulating coin production team at the time of the launch.
He said: ‘We were really proud when we got the £1 business, it was a feather in our caps to be striking it. Prince Charles came to strike the first one, and we all lined up to watch him arrive.’
It comes after in March last year, Chancellor George Osborne announced plans for the new 12-sided coin. More than 6,000 people entered the competition to design it.
The Royal Mint estimates that about three per cent of all £1 coins – or a staggering 45million – are now forgeries. In some parts of the UK, the figure is as high as six per cent.
Around two million counterfeit £1 coins are removed from circulation each year.
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