Entry Submitted by Jeff at 10:28 AM EDT on March 28, 2017
The British government is launching a new 12-sided pound coin that will weigh only 8.75 grams – a whole gram less. The new coin will also be thinner and wider.
David Gauke, the chief secretary to the British treasury, announced that the new coin will come into circulation today. The old pound will be phased out and become invalid as legal tender on October 15, 2017.
The move, which will replace £433 million (Dh1.95 billion) in coinage, is designed to battle counterfeiting. The Royal Mint estimates that one in every 30 pound coins is fake, and the new coin will include a "hidden high security feature" to prevent currency counterfeiting.
Mr Gauke called the new pound "the most secure of its kind in the world."
"The pound as we know it will not be round for much longer," Mr Gauke said. "The introduction of this new one pound coin will be a highly significant event and we are working with the Royal Mint to ensure key industries are ready and to ensure a smooth transition."
The design of the pound coin was based on the winning entry by David Pearce, a 15-year-old schoolboy who beat 6,000 others in a nationwide contest. The design features a rose, a leek, a thistle and a shamrock – the emblems of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – all growing out of a single stem.
It marks the first redesign of the pound since 1983. Last March, the Royal Mint began producing the new coins at its facility in Wales, at a rate of roughly 2,000 per minute, with a view to manufacturing more than 1.5 billion coins.
The new pound will feature an outer border of gold-coloured nickel and brass alloy with the inner area made up of a silver-coloured nickel-plated alloy. The image on the coin will work like a hologram, reading either as a numeric "1" or as the "£" symbol, depending upon the angle from which it is viewed.
The Royal Mint has also pointed out the finely milled grooves on alternate sides of the dodecagon as well as the "micro-lettering" along the rim of the coin, noting that such features make the coin harder to fake.
The pound’s redesign means that hundreds of thousands of machines across the country will have to be reconfigured to recognise the coin’s new shape, size and weight.
The introduction of the new pound coin is part of a larger revamp of British currency. In September 2016, the government introduced a new £5 note made of a durable polymer. Polymer versions of the £10 and £20 will be rolled out in 2017 and 2020 respectively.
Submitted by Jeff