The Royal Mint has produced a prototype for a replacement £1 coin with the aim of reducing counterfeit coins in circulation.
The coin will include the Royal Mint’s new security feature, iSIS (Integrated Secure Identification Systems), which “involves the application of an existing security technology that has been proven over decades in banknotes”. The Mint states it is the first time that this existing security has been successfully embedded into coins, and its use will help secure the cash cycle by assisting coin handlers such as vending machine operators and retailers to minimise counterfeit acceptance.
“The proposed £1 coin design is distinctly British, with a twelve-sided shape which evokes memories of the pre-decimalisation threepence piece.”
The coin itself will be constructed from two different coloured metals (bimetal), utilising multiple layers of “cutting edge technology” to ensure its security when in circulation.
“After thirty years loyal service, the time is right to retire the current £1 coin, and replace it with the most secure coin in the world. With advances in technology making high value coins like the £1 ever more vulnerable to counterfeiters, it’s vital that we keep several paces ahead of the criminals to maintain the integrity of our currency. I am particularly pleased that the coin will take a giant leap into the future, using cutting edge British technology while at the same time, paying tribute to the past in the 12-sided design of the iconic threepenny bit.” George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to support Her Majesty’s Treasury and work on such an exciting project, which could potentially change the way that coins are made in the future. The current £1 coin design is now more than thirty years old and it has become increasingly vulnerable to counterfeiting over time. It is our aim to identify and produce a pioneering new coin which helps to reduce the opportunities for counterfeiting, helping to boost public confidence in the UK’s circulating coins.” Adam Lawrence, Chief Executive of The Royal Mint
A public consultation will be held this year to identify and manage the impact of the new coin’s introduction into circulation. The resulting conclusions will enable the Mint to finalise the coin’s specification.
Currently, the Royal Mint believes 3% of existing £1 coins in circulation are counterfeits, estimated to be around 45 million pieces.
Source: The Royal Mint