New pound coins come into use this March

The new 12-sided �1 coin. Photo: HM Treasury/PA Wire
The new 12-sided �1 coin. Photo: HM Treasury/PA Wire

With a new £1 coin due in March, people have been warned to cash in their old ones before they lose their legal tender status in October.

The new 12-sided pound coin, which will be the most secure in the world, will enter circulation on March 28.

This is the first time a new £1 coin has been introduced in over thirty years and the government is warning people not to get caught out should they have the old version stored in their piggy bank.

It said the current pound coin accounts for around one third of the £1.3 billion worth of coins stored in savings jars across the country.

Should they remain unspent or unreturned before October 15, 2017 when they lose their legal tender status, they will become nothing more than a collector’s item.

When it is introduced the new 12-sided £1 will be the most secure coin in the world. It boasts several new security features, including a hologram, to prevent counterfeits, which cost taxpayers and businesses millions every year.

The new £1 coin is based on the design of the old 12-sided three-penny bit, which went out of circulation in 1971.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said: “March 28 should be an important date in everybody’s calendar this year - as we will have a new quid on the block.

“This is a historic moment as it’s the first time we’ve introduced a new £1 coin since 1983, and this one will be harder to counterfeit than ever before.”

Helen Dickinson OBE, CEO of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Through the British Retail Consortium, most major UK retailers have been engaged in discussions and planning with The Royal Mint and Her Majesty’s Treasury since the announcement that a new pound coin would be introduced.

“Our combined input means we’re confident the new coin will address the issue of counterfeit coins for businesses and the general public alike, and will prove highly secure for customers to use.

“While there will be a natural transition period where some vending systems may only be able to accept the existing pound coin, our industry is committed to ensuring we’re fully prepared ahead of the launch in March.”

Association of Convenience Stories Chief Executive James Lowman said: “It is essential retailers are prepared for the introduction of the new £1 coin, as the transition is likely to affect a number of areas of their business especially if they have coin operated machines such as self-service tills in store.

“We encourage retailers to make use of the guidance provided by the Royal Mint and to speak to their suppliers of coin operated machines to make the transition as smooth as possible for consumers.”