Twelve-cornered round: This is what the new British pound coin looks like, which is said to be more resistant to counterfeiting than any other coin.
Pascal Meiser London
A day before sending its formal farewell message to the European Union, Great Britain is beginning to make a name for itself in other ways. More specifically: The Royal Mint. The UK Mint is launching a new version of the pound sterling coin on Tuesday, which sets new standards in security.
This is also urgently needed. There are currently around £1.5 billion worth of coins in circulation. The Royal Mint estimates that every thirty copies are counterfeit. Last year alone, the Royal Mint withdrew £1.7 million worth of coins from circulation. This is mainly because the currency has remained unchanged since its introduction on April 21, 1983.
Many safety features
The heir presents itself very differently: it is packed with security features that are supposed to make it the safest currency in the world. The first level of security is obvious at first glance. The new coin is no longer round, but has twelve sides.
Two other features meant to make life difficult for counterfeiters are milled edges and a metal body. The golden outer ring surrounds the silver inner part, on which the image of the Queen appears.
Ironically: With this color scheme, the new pound looks more like the euro – a currency that Great Britain never wanted to adopt during its time as a member of the European Union.
But the most prominent feature of the new payment method is the three-dimensional image that changes from the pound symbol to the number one with the change in viewing angle.
On the back, the silver portion shows the four national symbols of the United Kingdom: the English rose, the Scottish thistle, the Welsh leek and the Northern Irish shamrock. The battle against counterfeiters has been completed with a more undisclosed advantage.
An expensive effort for vending machine operators
But not everyone is quite as excited about the new currency. A labor-intensive and cost-intensive period lies ahead, especially for vending machine operators. The AVA estimates that converting the machines will cost around £80 million.
Because the new currency has a slightly different block than the previous one. It’s about 1mm larger in diameter and slightly thinner, which is why it weighs 8.75 grams instead of 9.5 grams.
Important to know: Traditional pound coins are still valid as a means of payment until October 15 of this year. You must then exchange it for the new currency at banks or post offices.
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