Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Britain Has Until Sunday to Spend its Old Pound Coins

  • 1.2 billion old coins returned before Oct. 15 deadline
  • Redesigned 12-sided pound coin aimed to battle counterfeiters

Britain’s round pound coin has one week to live.

After more than three decades jingling in pockets and purses, the coin is being abandoned for a snazzier 12-sided model that has features aimed at defeating sophisticated counterfeiters.

The new coin -- the pound’s first reshaping since 1983 -- went into circulation on March 28, and will be the only pound coin accepted after midnight Oct. 15. HM Treasury and The Royal Mint are urging people to either spend their old coins, exchange them at the bank or donate them to charity before they lose legal status.

More than 1.2 billion pound coins have been surrendered in the past six months, said Andrew Jones, the exchequer secretary to the Treasury and member of Parliament.

“There is still time to get involved,” he said in emailed comments. With just a week to go “I would encourage anyone who is yet to do so to dig out their remaining coins before Sunday.”

The new coin went into circulation about the time Prime Minister Theresa May signed a letter invoking Article 50, to start the process for Britain to leave the European Union.

New Quid

The Royal Mint aims to make more than 1.5 billion pound coins in Llantrisant, Wales, at a rate of as many as 2,000 a minute. That equates to nearly 3 million coins a day. In 2015 it estimated that 2.6 percent of all pound coins were fake, or about 33 million pounds ($43 million).

The new pound is the “most secure coin in the world.” Alternate sides are grooved and the coin has a gold-colored nickel-brass outer ring and a silver nickel-plated alloy inner circle. It will also have a hologram-like image that appears as a pound sign and the numeral 1 seen from different angles, as well as micro-lettering on the inside of the rim and a hidden, undisclosed security feature.

After the deadline, the old coin can be taken to banks or donated to charity. The Treasury and Royal Mint joined Children in Need to support donations of old coins to Pudsey’s Round Pound Countdown.

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