The new £1 coin entered circulation on 28 March 2017 and is now legal tender. The new £1 coin is 12-sided and will replace the round shaped £1 coin that has been in use for 30 years. The new coin has being introduced to help combat the use of counterfeit coins and will, according to the Royal Mint, be the most secure coin in the world.
The new coins are being produced by The Royal Mint, in South Wales, at a rate of up to four million per day and should start appearing regularly over the coming days and weeks. However, there are concerns that some vending machines and supermarket trolleys are not yet ready for the new coin meaning that some machines will only take the new coin and some only the old.
It has been estimated that as much as £1.3 billion worth of coins are stored in savings jars across the country and the £1 coin is thought to account for a third of this amount. The new and old coins will continue to be in circulation together for a six-month period from 28 March until 14 October 2017. From 15 October 2017, the old round £1 coin will lose its legal tender status.
The features of the new coin include hidden high security features to combat counterfeiting as well as a hologram-like image that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when the coin is seen from different angles.
Commenting on the launch of the new coin, the Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Baroness Neville Rolfe said:
'Today marks the start of the six-month transition period, so I’d urge everyone to make sure they spend, return or donate their old round pounds before 15 October. We have been working hard with businesses over the last three years to help make this changeover as smooth as possible.'