New 12-sided pound coin most secure in the world

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The current coin is being replaced for the first time in over thirty years because of its vulnerability.


London: The new 12-sided one pound coin – that will enter circulation in the UK in March this year – is the most secure coin in the world, thanks to a number of features that make it difficult to counterfeit, The Royal Mint has claimed.

The new coin is thinner, lighter and is slightly larger than the current one pound round coin. The current coin is being replaced for the first time in over thirty years because of its vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters.

About one in thirty one pound round coins in circulation is a counterfeit. The new highly secure coin will reduce the costs of counterfeits to businesses and the taxpayer, the Royal Mint, which is producing the new coins, said.

It has a number of features that make it much more difficult to counterfeit. Its distinctive shape makes it instantly recognisable, even by touch. User testing showed that the 12 sides of the new coin and the milled edges made it easier to identify for visually impaired people.

The coin is made of two metals. The outer ring is gold coloured (nickel-brass) and the inner ring is silver coloured (nickel-plated alloy). It has an image like a hologram that changes from a pound symbol to the number ‘1’ when the coin is seen from different angles.

The coin has very small lettering on the lower inside rim on both sides with grooves on alternate sides. It also has a high security hidden feature built into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting in the future.

The reverse side of the coin or the ‘tails’, shows the English rose, the Welsh leek, the Scottish thistle and the Northern Irish shamrock emerging from one stem within a royal coronet.

This was designed by David Pearce, who won a public design competition, of over 6,000 entries, at the age of 15. It was then adapted by professional artist David Lawrence.

The fifth coin portrait of Her Majesty the Queen is featured on the coin’s ‘heads’ side. It was designed by Royal Mint coin designer Jody Clark.

Jody is the first Royal Mint engraver to be chosen to create a royal coinage portrait in over 100 years. His design was selected from a number of anonymous submissions to a design competition.

The final specification of the coin and method of introduction were decided after a ten-week public consultation which looked at the physical and material characteristics of the coin.

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