George Osborne visits the Mint

This week we welcomed George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to The Royal Mint. Following his recent announcement about the new, highly secure UK £1 coin, the Chancellor visited us to meet the team who developed the iSIS technology that will be used in the new £1 coin.

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iSIS is a new technology, developed here at the Mint, that has multiple levels of security including forensic security built into the coins that makes it harder to counterfeit and quicker to detect than any coin before it. With high speed authentication and multiple levels of security, iSIS technology will make the new UK £1 coin the most secure coin in the world to date!

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During his visit the Chancellor also visited our Coin Production Room to see current £1 coins in production. After more than 30 years of service, the existing £1 coin has become more and more vulnerable to counterfeiting. It is estimated that 3% of all UK £1 coins in circulation are counterfeit. The new £1 coin will defend our coinage against this trend.

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The prototype for the new £1 coin is a 12-sided, bi-metallic coin both of which are features that add to its security. Being a dodecagon, similarities have been drawn between the new £1 coin and the old threepence piece (3d). The threepence was the first coin to feature a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, it is instantly recognised and distinctly British.

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A consultation with industry and the public is due to be held over the summer focusing on how to manage any impacts the change might have before a final decision is made on the precise specification of the new coin.

There will be a public competition held at a later date to choose the design for the reverse of the new £1 coin. The previous public coin design competition saw 29 50p coins designed by the public to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. You can still find all 29 designs in your change today, although many will have been tucked away into collections of all shapes and sizes, filling many a Coin Hunt collector album. The design that features on the current definitive circulating coins from 1p to £1 is also as a result of a public competition! The Royal Shield of Arms design was designed by Matthew Dent in 2008.

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So what do you think of the new £1 coin? Join the debate on our Facebook and Twitter.

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About Dan Oliver

Daniel is the Social Media & Content Marketing Manager at The Royal Mint. Before joining The Royal Mint in January 2014 he worked in a number of Digital Marketing roles. As a hobbyist, Daniel's fascination with coins and coin collecting is an evident influence in his articles.
  • SKF

    Love the new £1 coin

  • AMIFA

    Looks like a £1 should look! No euro lookalike coins for us!

  • Gordon

    I like the idea of bringing back the shape of the old 3d coin, and combining it as a dual metal coin, it should certainly look good. Question is, what will be the design for the reverse? Please, please, PLEASE do not let the (goodness knows how I should to refer to them) people who designed the current UK coins to be involved, the “concept” of lots of bits of an overall image randomly depicted is embarassing, to the point of being a joke. Strongly suggest that we look to our heritage, thier is enough done today to encompass one and all who live in the UK, particularly those who have arrived over the last 10, 20, 30 years or so, how about something for those of us who have been here for multiple generations, I vote for Britania, as we had on the old penny.

  • egg

    Splitting up the royal standard between 6 coins of different shapes and sizes was a horrible idea, though no doubt someone thought it was clever. Please don’t do it with Her Majesty’s head.

  • Zzarzax

    I used to love the threepenny coin as a kid. If you are looking for a design for the reverse, why not start with a tribute to the old coin and use the portcullis on the new coin.

    • chris

      chris – an opportunity to get Britannia back onto our coinage ?

    • Roy H

      The old thruppeny bit had a Thrift Plant on the reverse so why not revert to that. With a bit of `thrift` the new £1 Coin might just buy as much as the 3d did when it was scrapped!

  • Harmail

    Just Brilliant

  • Bob

    Why not take the old £ coin, drill a hole near the edge, fit a key ring and sell them for £2.00 for use in supermarket trolley…. (Plus VAT)

  • Mike Morton

    The threepenny coin shape stands in time as a great British design, it is very fitting that the new pound coin should use the same shape.

  • al

    I would suggest that the series be initiated by bearing the proper heraldic device of the constituant political subdivisions of the United Kingdom starting with the 1603 Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland.

  • Mark Porteous

    Nice to keep history alive, love the new look…

  • Craig34

    It won’t be long until the pound coin has the same purchasing power as the the old threepenny bit in its day.

  • Ralph Caton

    My favourite design on the Pound was the Welsh dragon of 2000 and 1995
    There aren’t enough dragons on coins….
    I don’t like the post 2008 designs though – makes it look like toy money. Will we ever get to the stage that the coin costs as much to make as it has as face value? Towards the end of the 1/2p coins life it was cheaper to drill a half-p than buy a washer….

  • Chunky

    Why is there so much fuss about a coin of so little value? 2017 – we should be thinking of a £5 coin, perhaps even a £10 coin, the value of our currency has been so debauched by inflation. I can’t see the point of forging a £1 coin.

  • Ben

    Very good idea and look, fully support this as do most people I know…..

  • Anne Seagrove

    I think the idea of the portcullis from the thrupenny bit is a nice idea or a depiction of Windsor castle or an old oak which are very british. I really think its a lovely design & ideal for those whore partially sighted.

  • Shane Rivett

    Love the new design and I think the £2 would need to become 12 sided and use the same technology to maintain the uniformity of the series.

  • charleysgranny

    love it

  • Paul Vincent

    Can I visit and have some nice new £1 coins

  • Chunky

    Chunky

  • Pete Willan

    Retro yet Classic individual design and defiantly more identifiable in pocket and purse, and should also assist visually impared folk

    Well done!

    Pete Willan

  • dan

    Yes I totally agree, put the old portcullis on the back!, i think we can manage to tell the difference with the old one, you know size, colour, date etc. so Zzarzax gets my vote!

  • Jennifer

    I think it looks quite good but how heavy is it,we could have Buckingham palace on it,that would be good

  • Adam

    From day one, I thought the pound coin was a bit too thick and a bit too heavy. Will the new coin be as heavy as the current one?

  • Colin MCGowan

    Really! Am I the only one that can see this not only as the old Three-pence piece, but that George Osborne is really saying that is how much the NEW one pound is worth in your pocket. Because between the ConLib’s and the Conservatives in Red Ties, better known as New Labour, the Mars bar has reduced in size and increased in cost and the Pound Coin in your pocket is the NEW three-pence piece….Ironic if you think about it!

  • Pirate

    Who is going to foot the bill for having to alter all the vending and ticket machines

  • Gingerpea

    gingerpea aggrees with Zzarzax, what a great idea, for the new £1 coin but I feel it to be an open invitation to the counterfitters to make a concerted effort to flood the market with dud coins before they are withdrawn from circulation.

  • dave

    I like Zzarzax’s idea, but why not use Madge Kitchener’s original reverse 3d design, a tribute to her idea and a reminder of the coinage of Edward VIII that never was?