Welcome to the new 12-sided 1GBP coin

Welcome to the new 12-sided 1GBP coin

The new 12-sided £1 coin came into circulation this month and is described by the Royal Mint as “ the most secure” in the world.

The new coin will replace the existing round pound, of which about one in 30 are thought to be fake.

The round pound will remain legal tender alongside the new coin for just over six months until 15 October this year, after which retailers are not obliged to accept it.

The high-security features include its distinctive shape and bi-metallic structure.

It also has an image that works like a hologram and micro-sized lettering inside both rims.

Around 1.5 billion of the new coins will be struck.


Welcome to the new 12-sided 1GBP coin


Here are all the subtle design features which make it safer:

1) Uneven sides –  The 12-sides of the coin are uneven and make its distinctive shape instantly recognisable, even by touch, making forgery tougher.

2) Secret messages –   The Government has employed a security technology company called Integrated Secure Identification System (iSIS) to fit the new coins with a special plating that can contain electromagnetic signatures. It’s also said to be especially hard to remove.

3) It’s made of two metals –   Like the £2 coin before it, the new pound will be made of two metals: nickel-brass on the outside and nickel plated solid alloy on the inside. This, plus the 12-sides, is believed to make the coin safer than ever.

4) A bigger coin – The new £1 is just under a millimetre wider than the current one, at 23.43mm compared to 22.5mm.

5) Grooves in the sides – The new £1 has grooves in the sides, known as milled edges.

6) Secret images –  Not only can the plating contain secret messages, but the design of the coin itself contains secret images, known as latent images. It refers to pictures etched into the metal that you can only see when the coin is tipped to the light. Like a hologram the image changes from a “£” symbol to the number “1” when seen from different angles. 

7) A ‘hidden’ security feature –  A high security feature is built into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting in the future. However, officials at the Royal Mint have not released any further details.


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