UK Begins Countdown for new £1 coin

The UK Treasury has announced the new £1 coin will begin circulating on March 28. It has also set a target in order to kill off the current version of the coin to be sometime in October.

Announcement

On New Years, the UK Treasury makes the announcement that it will begin circulating a new £1 coin by March 28, with an estimation to take out the old version by mid-October. This marks the first time the Treasury has laid out an explicit timeline for a currency swap.

“This is a historic moment as it’s the first time we’ve introduced a new £1 coin since 1983,” said David Gauke, the Treasury’s chief secretary.

Apparently the cause of the switch is in order to tackle the problem of counterfeits of the old version. The new coin will have high tech security features, making it more difficult for counterfeiters to target.

According to the Royal Mint, around 3% of the current £1 coins are fakes. The new 12-sided £1 coin will be made with two metals and will contain a hologram.

The Treasury will be launching a “public awareness campaign” in order to allow people to spend their old £1 coins or return them to the bank before mid-October. It has also announced that some of the old coins will be recycled in order to be made into the new £1 coins.

Reactions

However, many are not happy with the currency swap. Many businesses have expressed the concern that since the new coin has a different shape and weight that it would not fit into current vending machines, lockers and shopping carts.

According to the Automatic Vending Association, the industry will have to spend an estimated £32 million for the switch in order to ensure 500,000 nationwide machines can accept the new coins.