The new £1 coin will be introduced from March 28th. Why is it being introduced, what’s different about it and when will the old £1 coin expire?
The new £1 coin
A new 12-sided £1 coin will be introduced from March 28th. The current £1 coin is being replaced because it’s too easy to forge.
The new £1 coin will:
- Be made of two different metals; the outer ring is gold coloured and the inner ring is silver coloured.
- Have tiny lettering just inside the edge of the coin. On one side it will have the words ‘one pound’ and on the other it will have the year the coin was made.
- Have a hologram-like image that changes from a £ sign to a 1.
- Feature an English rose, a Welsh leek, a Northern Irish shamrock and a Scottish thistle on the ‘tail’ side.
How long will old £1 coins be around for?
The old £1 coin will be legal tender until October 15th. It doesn’t actually mean that shops have to accept both old and new coins until October 15th, but they can take both if they wish to. If you’re paying by self service machine, you should be told which £1 coin to use, unless the machine accepts both.
SAVVY TIP: Between March 28th and October 15th, any businesses banking £1 coins should put the old and new coins into separate bags.
From October 16th shops don’t have to accept the old £1 coin, and you shouldn’t be given any of the ‘round’ £1 coins in change. However, if you still have some old £1 coins, you can pay them in at your bank or Post Office. But check whether there’s an upper limit on how much you can pay in. Your bank may only accept bags of £20 in £1 coins.
Parking and vending machine problems
Don’t get rid of all of your old £1 coins straight away as you may need some if you pay for your parking by cash, or use vending machines between the end of March and October 15th. There are reports that a significant percentage of parking machines and vending machines won’t be upgraded by March 28th to accept the new £1 coins. As machines don’t legally have to take the new £1 coins until October, you should keep both old and new £1 coins in your purse or wallet – if you can.
You can find out how to spot a counterfeit round £1 coin on the Royal Mint website.
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