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As I’m sure you are aware, the new £5 note recently came into circulation. And soon it will be joined by the new £1 coin! The new £5 note had a lot of benefits (a lot of them being environmentally friendly benefits!) and is apparently indestructible (jury is still out on that one); but what is the point of replacing all the old £1 coins with new ones?

Here’s everything you need to know about the new coins:

The new £1 coin will enter circulation on March 28th 2017. It has 12 sides and looks like this:

(If you squint it kind of looks like a £2 coin!)

An estimated one in 36 £1 coins in circulation are counterfeit which is one of the main reasons for the new coins: it will be the most secure coin in the entire world, as is very hard to counterfeit for a number of reasons:

  • The image is like a hologram that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when it is seen from different angles
  • It has grooved edges on each side
  • There is a hidden high-security feature that is built into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting in the future
  • it is made of two metals. The outer ring is gold coloured (nickel-brass) and the inner ring is silver coloured (nickel-plated alloy)
  • Micro-lettering – it has very small lettering on the lower inside rim on both sides of the coin

Its design reflects the United Kingdom’s heritage and will be made by The Royal Mint who will be producing 1.5 Billion of the new £1 coins.

The old round £1 coin will become invalid on October 15th 2017, so make sure you either spend them all or swap them in before it becomes too late. According to The Manchester Evening News, there are currently 1.3 Billion Pound worth of coins stored in savings jars – so make sure to smash open your piggy banks!

But what does the mean for businesses?

If you own a business you should check whether you have any equipment that handles the £1 coin (think vending machines, shopping trolleys, pool tables etc.), then contact your equipment supplier to find out what adaptations or replacements you may need, and by when. After you make the changes to your equipment, make sure to train your staff on the features of the new £1 coin.

From the 28 March to 15 October 2017 will be the co-circulation period, which means that both coins will be in use and valid. After 15th October, you are under no obligation to accept the round £1 coin from your customers and you should not distribute the round £1 coin.

This is the first time since 1983 a new £1 coin has entered circulation! What do you make of the new coin? Let us know @MACFinancial

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