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New 12-sided £1 coin launches: what it means for your round pounds

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

The “most secure” £1 coin enters circulation today but you’ll have six months to spend or exchange your old round pounds.

Banks and retailers will start to receive the new £1 coin from today but it could take some days and weeks before consumers can get their hands on them.

If you do get one in your change, The Royal Mint warns that not every machine and piece of equipment will be ready to accept the new 12-sided coin from today.

The round pound and the new £1 coin will be in circulation at the same time until the old pound coin loses its legal tender status at midnight on 15 October 2017.

After this date, shops will no longer accept the coins and they shouldn’t give you them in your change. But you may still be able to exchange the old £1 coin at most high-street banks including RBS, NatWest, Ulster, HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds, Santander, Nationwide, Clydesdale, Yorkshire Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and The Post Office, as long as you have an account with them. The banks may also impose deposit limits so it’s best to check before you go.

The Royal Mint said these banks are under no obligation to exchange coins with non-customers and urges consumers to spend or exchange the round pound before then.

Around one in 30 old round pounds is a counterfeit which is why for the first time in 30 years, the new, “most secure coin in the world” is being introduced.

New security features include a hologram-like image that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when the coin is seen from different angles. It also has micro-lettering, milled edges and a “high security feature built into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting in the future”.

The design includes the English rose, the Welsh leek, the Scottish thistle and the Northern Irish shamrock emerging from one stem within a royal coronet. On the flip side is the fifth coin portrait of the Queen.