On 28th March 2017 a brand new £1 coin will be launched in the UK. The coin was announced back in the 2014 budget and will replace existing coins by 15th October, when they will be removed from circulation and shopkeepers will not have to accept it. Understandably this new launch has raised a lot of important questions about the new currency.
The main difference is that the new pound coin has 12 sides, helping it stand out by sight and touch. It also features a gold coloured, nickel-brass outer ring and silver coloured, nickel-plated alloy inner one, looking similar to a smaller version of the £2 coin. Grooves are milled on the edge, while micro-lettering around the outer ring will say ‘one pound’ with the year of production found on the tails side.
What’s It Made From?
This new one pound coin is comprised of 70% copper, 5.5% nickel and 24.5% zinc, so there is no actual gold in its composition. Weighing 8.75g, if we were to take the current value of those commodities traded on the market it is within reason to say that the physical value of the coin could be higher that than its monetary value, which has happened previously with some small change. The new pound will also be thinner than the old pound coin, at 2.8mm thick but slightly larger with a diameter of 23.43mm.
Will It Affect the Markets?
A brand new pound coin in theory shouldn’t have much of an effect on the economy, as each coin is simply replacing an existing one. While there will be an influx of over one billion new one pound coins into the market, these will be later taken out to achieve balance. In the past, the launch of a new coin has not had a major impact on the markets.
Is it Safe?
One reason for the new style of pound coin being introduced is that it was too easy to be faked, with over 3% of all £1 coins in circulation believed to be counterfeit. The 12 sides of the new one and bimetallic style make it harder to forge. As does the milled edges, with grooves on alternative sides and a latent image which changes from a £ symbol to a 1 when seen from different angles. Plus, there is a hidden security feature built in to prevent counterfeiting which has not been revealed.
Any Other Issues?
The introduction of a new pound coin could cost the UK millions, especially for retailers. They will all need to adapt vending machines for example, to accept the new pound coin, as will parking meters and other machines. Between £90 and £130 has been quoted to change individual parking meters, which adds up to a lot considering the thousands across the nation.
It will be an exciting time with the launch of the new 12-sided one pound coin, costly at first but hopefully creating a safer way to spend.