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Britain's new £1 coin is 'most secure in the world'

Britain's new £1 coin is 'most secure in the world'
By Chris Harris
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This is the new £1 coin set to be introduced in the UK and billed as the ‘most secure in the world’.

It has been brought in amid concerns the current coin is vulnerable to counterfeiting, with around 45-million forgeries believed to be in circulation.

The £1 (€1.20), which will have 12-sides, is based on the design of the old threepenny bit, a coin in circulation between 1937 and 1971.

The fact the coin has so many sides – and that it is made from two different-coloured metals – should make it more difficult to forge.

The coin will also be armed with state-of-the-art technology that will mean it can be quickly scanned to determine if it is a fake or not.


Chancellor George Osborne unveiled the coin to parliament during his budget statement, which included measures to freeze petrol tax and boost the incomes of pensioners and savers.

The coin, which will be introduced in 2017 , will carry the Queen’s head on one side. A competition will be held to decide what to put on the other side.

“We think it’s suitably British,” the Royal Mint’s director of circulation Andrew Mills told BBC Radio. “It’s very reminiscent of two other British coins. The twelve-sided shape is very reminiscent of the threepenny bit and secondly, of course, it doesn’t look that dissimilar to the 2-pound coin.”


Today I will deliver a Budget for a resilient economy – starting with a resilient pound coin

— George Osborne (@George_Osborne) March 19, 2014

Osborne said: “After thirty years loyal service, the time is right to retire the current £1 coin, and replace it with the most secure coin in the world. With advances in technology making high value coins like the £1 ever more vulnerable to counterfeiters, it’s vital that we keep several paces ahead of the criminals to maintain the integrity of our currency.

“I am particularly pleased that the coin will take a giant leap into the future, using cutting edge British technology while at the same time, paying tribute to the past in the 12-sided design of the iconic threepenny bit.”

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