The new £1 coin. Are you ready?

The pound won’t be round for much longer.

The new UK £1 coin will enter circulation on 28th March 2017, and The Royal Mint is producing 1.5 billion of the new coins.

The final specification of the coin and method of introduction were decided after a ten-week public consultation which looked at the physical and material characteristics of the coin, as well as the parameters for the transition. Her Majesty’s Treasury and The Royal Mint are continuing to work with industry to introduce the new coin in a manageable way.

The new coin has a number of features that make it much more difficult to counterfeit.

  • 12-sided – its distinctive shape makes it instantly recognisable, even by touch.
  • Bimetallic – it is made of two metals. The outer ring is gold coloured (nickel-brass) and the inner ring is silver coloured (nickel-plated alloy).
  • Latent image – it has an image like a hologram that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when the coin is seen from different angles.
  • Micro-lettering – it has very small lettering on the lower inside rim on both sides of the coin. One pound on the obverse “heads” side and the year of production on the reverse “tails” side, for example 2016 or 2017.
  • Milled edges – it has grooves on alternate sides.
  • Hidden high security feature – a high security feature is built into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting in the future.

The new 12-sided £1 coin’s dimensions are different from the current round £1 coin.

  • Thickness: 2.8mm – it is thinner than the round £1 coin.
  • Weight: 8.75g – it is lighter than the round £1 coin.
  • Diameter: 23.43mm – it is slightly larger than the round £1 coin, the maximum diameter (point to point) is 23.43mm.

The current £1 coin is being replaced for the first time in over thirty years because of its vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters. Approximately one in thirty £1 coins in circulation is a counterfeit.

You will start to see the new 12-sided coin in the days and weeks following the 28th March.

Businesses across the UK who handle cash have been informed of the need to prepare for the introduction. Many will have upgraded their machines to accept the new £1 coin, however, not all machines will work with the new coin from the date of introduction. Safescan products have already been upgraded for the new £1 coin.

The legal tender status of the round £1 coin will be withdrawn on 15th October 2017.  From this date shops will no longer accept these coins, but you will still be able to take them to your bank.  We would encourage you to use your coins or return them to your bank before 15th October.

All businesses which handle cash will need to prepare for the:

  • introduction of the new £1 coin;
  • co-circulation period, when the new £1 coin and the old £ coin are in circulation at the same time; and
  • demonetisation, when the current £1 coin is no longer legal tender.

For a full list of business resources for you to display and general FAQs, visit