The pound coin as we know it today is thirty years old this year.
That’s a long time, but the value ‘one pound’ has been around a lot longer as it originally referred to the value of a pound of sterling silver. Today, the pound sterling is still the official currency of the United Kingdom, and the pound coin is the chief coin.
At the time it was introduced, demonetising the pound note in favour of a pound coin was a world-leading innovation. The note was progressively withdrawn from circulation from 1985 and eventually demonetised on the 11th March 1988. At the time, the British public were largely receptive to the idea of a new coin and when it arrived it was well received…the chunky size and gold colour proving popular.
We still find 1983 pound coins in our change, as well as the more than 20 other designs of one pound coin. But though the coin itself remains as relevant as ever, not everything has aged so gracefully! We have compiled a list of 30 things about 1983 that highlight just how much has changed.
- The one pound coin is introduced to England and Wales. It acquires the nickname ‘the Maggie’.
- The Austin Metro was Britain’s best selling car
- Children’s ITV (CITV) is launched
- BBC Breakfast Time – the first breakfast TV show in the UK – is launched shortly to be followed by TV-AM on ITV
- The compact disc (CD) goes on sale for the first time in the United Kingdom
- Wheel clamps are first used to combat illegal parking in London
- Computer tycoon Clive Sinclair becomes Sir Clive Sinclair
- ITV launches Blockbusters, a gameshow hosted by Bob Holness and featuring sixth formers as its contestants.
- The best selling pop single was Karma Chameleon by Culture Club which spent 6 weeks at number one
- The wearing of seatbelts becomes compulsory in the front of passenger cars.
- Richard Noble, driving the British turbojet-powered car Thrust2, takes the land speed record to 634.051 mph
- First heart and lung transplant carried out in Britain
- The House of Lords votes to allow television broadcast of its proceedings
- Designer and entrepreneur James Dyson produces his prototype vacuum cleaner
- The first episode of comedy BlackAdder is broadcast
- Neil Kinnock becomes leader of the Labour party
- Terry Pratchett publishes his first DiscWorld novel – ‘The colour of magic’
- Amy Winehouse is born
- David Niven dies
- The first iPhone was invented
- The Motorola 8000x, becomes the first mobile phone available for sale
- Ronald Reagan proposes the development of technology to intercept enemy missiles. This becomes known as “Star Wars”
- The Conservative government, led by Margaret Thatcher, is re-elected by a landslide majority
- McDonald’s introduces the McNugget
- The De Lorean Motor Company ceases production
- Star Wars – return of the Jedi is released in cinemas
- The A-Team premieres on NBC in the USA.
- Bjorn Borg announces his retirement from tennis
- Michael Jackson’s Thriller single is released in the UK
- The My Little Pony line of toys is launched and to incredible success
Have you found a 1983 pound coin recently?
Say Happy Birthday to the £1 coin
The UK celebrates 30 years of the £1 coin in 2013. In that time we have released well over 20 designs. For 2013 a new series of floral designs have been developed to update the orginal floral designs released from 1984 onwards.
You can buy collector quality examples of these coins at The Royal Mint website.